The Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs, The Communications Authority of Kenya, The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) and the Deputy High Commissioner to Kenya at UK Government have called for unity of e-commerce enablers in Kenya. The stakeholders were speaking at the Twiva social commerce platform official company launch.
According to research conducted by KEPSA in 2019 on the adoption of digital platforms in Kenya, 56% of Kenyan MSMEs have not transitioned their operations online. Furthermore, only 10% of MSME are trading online through an e-commerce platform. 37% of businesses are willing to use digital marketing and e-commerce if they had help.
Digital and Social Media platforms have enabled MSMEs to market their businesses, products, and services online by partnership with social media influencers. Traditional Influencer marketing platforms, however, only link influencers with businesses to market their products but rarely drive sales. E-commerce platforms play a significant role in providing MSMEs access to markets. After listing on these e-commerce platforms, MSMEs, however, still need to market their products but often lack the skill set, mindset and capacity to do so, particularly online.
“Despite the fact that MSMEs hold more than 70% of the economy, most of them suffer from a lack of affordable, accessible, effective, and digital access to the market,” said Peter, Twiva CEO.
“Influencers know how to position products and brands online more than business owners who continue to lack digital marketing skills to navigate these platforms,” further explained Peter.
According to KEPSA, the availability of the best and appropriate means of market reach, SMEs can gain access to the vast opportunities brought by e-commerce platforms.
“We are determined to help SMEs leverage on platforms like Twiva to move from offline to online. We are also going to equip the SMEs to have impact on their growth and presence online through training,” said Martha Cheruto, Deputy CEO KEPSA.
“As a Ministry, our goal remains to facilitate universal access to reliable and affordable ICT infrastructure all over the country as an enabler of socio-economic growth, as was envisioned in our economic development blueprint, the Vision 2030. This innovative model of social commerce facilitates seamless business operations for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, (MSMEs) while creating job opportunities and multiple streams of income for young people,” stated the CS for ICT, Innovation & Youth affairs, Joe Mucheru in a keynote speech at the event.
As a country, the fear of contradiction that we have come of age; Digitization has truly become the great equalizer. Without digitization, things that we now take for granted, would still be a mere dream. The future of MSMEs is E-commerce and digitization will help them reach their full potential by the help of influencer marketing.