Kenyan tech-logistics startup Sendy has launched a fulfillment service for online retailers in the country.
Sendy Fulfillment is a digital-enabled platform that relieves online sellers of logistics difficulties while also insulating them from the high operational costs that come with logistics. A state-of-the-art Fulfillment Center with multiple picking locations across Nairobi will serve as the operation’s nerve center.
The Fulfillment solution is aimed at e-commerce and direct-to-consumer businesses that do not have storage or delivery systems, and it will pick, pack, and ship orders to customers for a fee of 13% of the product’s selling price. The price also includes picking up the shipment from the vendor’s location, three shipping attempts, 60 days of storage, and inventory tracking. Businesses using the solution will be able to access quick and flexible financing to buy additional inventory and manage their cash flow.
Without standard fulfillment and logistics capabilities, a large portion of Kenya’s 1.5 million registered small enterprises and burgeoning online entrepreneurs face expensive logistics and storage costs, as well as a significant amount of time spent on logistics.
“Online shopping is booming, and locally owned firms are increasingly focusing their efforts on packing and shipping them to customers rather than selling. “We want small business owners to focus on selling and building their enterprises, customer service, and repeat business while Sendy Fulfillment’s tech-enabled platform takes care of the logistics,” said Chris Nyaga, Sendy Fulfilment’s General Manager for East Africa.
Fashion and electronic accessories, books, packaged food, beauty, baby products, and fitness equipment are among the first items to be sold. Vendors simply register on the Sendy Fulfillment platform, upload their inventory, and send items to a Fulfillment center near them. When a consumer places an order with a vendor, Sendy ships it on the vendor’s behalf from the Fulfillment center closest to them.
A normal delivery within Nairobi costs between Sh.300 and 1000 per shipment measured per mile. Sendy Fulfillment will provide low and mid-priced items with affordable delivery pricing and tracking services, allowing businesses and customers to follow the exact position of their orders while they are in transit. The customer can also choose a delivery time and location that is convenient for them.
“If e-commerce shops and other small businesses do not carefully manage their inventory, monitor, and estimate sales in the post-pandemic economy, they risk dead inventory and financial loss. By combining retail storage and delivery as a service, these expenses are reduced, and supply chain efficiency is improved, ” said Mr. Nyaga.
According to a McKinsey study, by 2025, half of Africa’s population will have access to the internet, and online shopping may account for $75 billion, or 10% of total retail sales. Innovative business models and better-optimized supply chains, including fulfillment, are projected to drive development in the face of infrastructural problems, tough operating environments for small firms, and a new crop of businesses.