Jumia Case Study: How to Generate More Sales for Your Ecommerce Business

By Bill Acholla May 26, 2018

Jumia Kenya eCommerce
With the hustle and bustle of city life, some people like myself prefer to live in the suburbs a few miles away from the city center.

With a bit of distance away from the squalor of the densely populated city capital, it gives little comfort from the headaches such as noise, traffic, and the likes.

The benefit of living in the city includes accessibility to a wide variety of products and services to satisfy one’s wants and needs.

And with the help of technology, these perks are being brought closer to us – a few clicks away from our smartphones, to be exact.

This gives the satisfaction of getting the products and services minus the inconveniences of the conventional method.

Jumia Kenya’s goal when it started to launch its online shopping website in Kenya was to create a sustainable impact in Africa.

It reaches out to people not just living in the metropolis, but also to anyone outside that has a phone and an internet connection. They set up marketplaces which cater the online community.

Today, Jumia operates in 14 countries and has 1.2 Billion consumers across Africa.

They have around 50 thousand active merchants and offers over 5 million products and services listed on their site.

And there is an average of one transaction or lead every two seconds.

Jumia Kenya’s Potential and Startup

Since the company was formed, Jumia has already envisioned a sustainable online environment that can be considered as a one-stop go-to place.

They initially ventured on electronics and fashion, followed up by houses, cars, foods, travels as well as job search.

Nick Miller, Jumia Kenya’s founder, considered the market environment of Kenya and noticed the strong potential in doing ecommerce.

The country is considered to be the first to have mobile money transactions and is considered to be the East Africa’s hub in technology.

There were some international brands and products that aren’t readily accessible in the Kenyan market.

These brands are increasing in demand, thanks to Kenya’s growing middle class and professionals.

This is one of the reasons why Amazon.com is one of the most visited websites in Kenya, even though Amazon doesn’t operate in the region.

How did they do it?

Despite the big market potential Kenya offers, Jumia Kenya’s start didn’t go as smoothly.

Firstly, the company wasn’t popular at the time. People are also hesitant in making transactions online because of widespread scamming that can be seen on the internet.

Just by learning the market environment on their intended target, Jumia already noticed that the problem with opening up an ecommerce can be challenging.

When they started Jumia Kenya in March 2013, the company focused on offering quality service and educating customers.

They expose the company to the public as much as possible by implementing an aggressive approach.

1. Creating a Market

On their webpage, the company helps disseminate information by giving the customers concise but clear information regarding the product or services they offered.

On some merchandise, they provide full details that the online community can easily understand.

Aside from details about the product and services, they also provide information about the company on their main site.

A customer care hotline was also included for the customers who have inquiries that are not posted in their FAQ section.

Jumia also tried to reach out to potential customers through different types of social media platforms.

They tried to make contact with potential buyers from different social media, blogging sites, and other news sites to have an initial lead on their ecommerce business traffic.

They had advertisements that focus on emotional triggers to give a feel-good vibe on the company, as was the example on its Youtube’s ad.

Jumia focused on giving a high-quality service, especially to their first customers. They made sure that the service they offered is delivered on a timely manner, resulting to positive feedback from their initial buyers.

Having a good content and good transaction with their previous customers, their site has increase conversion rate.

This simply means that their site will have higher chances of having a visitor make a transaction (or avail their services) in contrast to the typical window shoppers.

They speak with their target audience through email workflow. They obtain a list of customers who are interested in their products and services.

This list of emails is typically acquired when potential visitors go to their site and wants to be updated or informed regarding the company’s updated services and promotions.

2. Advertisements and Promotions

With their email marketing getting larger due to exposure, maintaining their customer’s interest is an important factor in the growth of the company.

By automating your marketing list, it will not only retain potential market but also persuade one-time buyers to make other purchases.

This automatic marketing in the form of announcements will keep their online customers updated regarding trends and news. Promotions are also regularly sent out to retain the customer’s interest.

They also send discounts on different items to have an edge. A good example of this is Jumia’s own version of Black Friday.

It is a month-long promotion where products can be bought at a discounted price.

3. Delivery

One of the challenges Jumia Kenya faced is the status of infrastructures in the country (as compared to western countries).

They also had difficulty in transporting their goods from the manufacturers or merchant to the customers.

They make sure that they can deliver the goods and services they promised. They provide detailed information on their site to give the customers a precise timeline of delivery.

This will give buyers an idea when they can expect to receive the merchandise they ordered.

Certain factors are used to set the delivery time. Some products can be delivered within 1 business day. If one buys products that have a different timeframe, the delivery time will be longer.

Some of their products, categorized as Jumia Express products, are those that are already sent to their warehouses to have a shorter delivery time.

Non-Jumia Express products, on the other hand, are those that are held by the seller. Once an order is requested, the Non-Jumia Express product must first be delivered to the company’s warehouse to ensure the quality. This makes the timeline longer as compared to Jumia Express.

Aside from the products itself, Jumia Kenya also considered the location of the delivery.

They have specific delivery scheme depending on the buyer’s and their warehouses’ location.

To make the delivery more efficient, the online marketplace employs locals that are familiar with the area to have a good grasp on the locations that are being delivered. They also have Pick-Up Stations in various parts of Kenya to give people more option.

4. Return Policy

Being a new player in Kenya’s ecommerce industry where people are having reservations in an online transaction, Jumia Kenya highlighted the Return Policy feature to build up trust when they were starting out.

The Return Policy, where purchased goods can be returned within seven days at no charge, ensures that the buyer will get the quality value he paid for.

This also filters out merchants that provides questionable products and makes sure they can uphold the standard quality of the products Jumia is selling.

5. Mode of Payment

From their online site, Jumia Kenya provides a few modes of payment. People can pay through cash-on-delivery, online banking, mobile banking or M-Pesa (an established currency which is usually transacted through mobile phones).

The different methods of payment give the first-time buyer assurance in completing the transaction.

This gives them a boost in confidence in the succeeding transactions they’ll make with the online store.

6. Merchants

To have a long and successful ecommerce business, Jumia also partnered up with small and large product and service companies.

A mix of international and local brands are affiliated to their online store, making them the leading name in online retailing in Kenya.

They offer a platform for an online place where large, medium and small business marketing can be done.

7. Freedom of Choice

The wide selection of brand as well as varying price range gives the customers freedom to compare and choose the best ones for their need.

They are affiliated with companies where products are considered status symbol and companies that are just starting up.

This widens the range of their target market, from customers who lavishly keep up with trends to the thrifty, economical ones.

Over to You

When Jumia considered venturing their ecommerce business in Kenya, they initially saw the huge potential as well as the challenges in the country.

They saw the contradiction where people are in demand of obtaining products and services online for convenience and their hesitation of doing the actual transaction online due to fraud.

After weighing their options, they proceeded and made a bet. They bet smart, and they bet big.

They went for the long-term play where they focused on providing high-quality service and convincing the online community that what they provide they can deliver.

Jumia started by making their way through social media, blogs, and online news. From the few leads that they got from the exposure, they make sure that that highest quality service is provided for them.

They provide accurate details regarding the product and services, a variety of options for products and mode of payment, customer support for assistance and inquiries, and a return policy.

In short, Jumia Kenya provided convenience, choice of brands accurate information on their products, secure mode of payment and acceptable delivery scheme.

By upholding to these style of service, Jumia’s greatest marketing force became their customers – through word of mouth. By 2014, a year after its initial launch, sales grew 900%. By 2016, its because Africa’s first company valued over $1 billion USD.

And today, they have a presence across 23 countries. There might be some other activities they did with other countries due to a different market environment, but the core values they apply stays the same.

The company is only 6 years old. And by digging a bit deeper on the internet, one can tell how it became successful by simply looking at its policies towards the merchants and its customers.

Can you become successful in your ecommerce business, or at least improve it by applying some core values Jumia applies?


Will you take the first step towards it?

That will totally depend on you.

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