Kenya’s electronic commerce market is geared up for major growth in the next five years as mobile internet performance continues to improve, a proposed national addressing system comes into existence, and people become more comfortable with digital transactions.
Kenyan’s eager adoption of person-to-person mobile payments creates a solid base for the growth of mobile and electronic commerce. “We’re seeing more and more Kenyans go online, thanks to cheaper smartphones and mobile data,” Divisional Director Sage Dr. Rutendo Hwindingwi said. Combine that with Kenyans’ comfort with electronic transactions after years of using mobile data, and we can expect to see digital shopping and commerce really start to take off.
Digital transactions in Kenya take place via smartphones and mobile broadband. This because of low fixed-line and Personal Computer penetration. However, the mobile experience has improved dramatically in recent years and it has become simple and enjoyable to shop from a smartphone. With mobile money providers like M-PESA now adding APIs for smartphones to their products, they are opening up a range of new e-commerce applications and services.
Small and Medium Businesses are able to take advantage of the digital commerce wave as larger businesses. Platforms such as Facebook make it easy for entrepreneur’s interaction with customers, while affordable, packaged offerings like Sage Online Tools make it easy to construct and launch a marketing and mobile-ready e-commerce site.
For example, visualize being able to immediately check stock levels while standing next to a customer who found the business online, from a mobile device, then placing an order, running an invoice and accepting a payment – with all of these functions happening simultaneously via the cloud to sync with the accounting package.
According to the Communications Authority of Kenya, the e-commerce market in Kenya was worth around Ksh.4.3 billion in 2014. But with internet penetration of 82.6% and 35.5 million users (according to the authority), Kenya is one of the African countries best placed for a digital commerce explosion, ‘’Sh3billion in mobile transactions have already taken place in the country each day, according to statistics from the Communications Authority’’. Dr. Rutendo Hwindingwi concluded.