Reviewing Online Marketplaces in Kenya: How they miss the point.

Last Updated on 16 February 2019 by Gertrude

This is a general overview of the marketplaces in Kenya. The world is going digital why not Kenya? We should too embrace online shopping; buying and selling. We don’t,  as we have heard too many scamming messages from West Africa, impersonation, spoofs and so on. We became fettered, brushing off anything to do with online shopping.

Those who embraced became too mean with information selling virtually almost everything they have learnt. Even if they sell, they don’t sell everything as they are afraid of being overtaken by newbies. Screaming, ‘learn all by yourself like I did” is what most say. Or pay I do for you. It doesn’t hurt to be an explorer, if we had a little craving for knowledge like children? We wouldn’t have to pay so much money to find information for us. Anyway, more rant about it next time. Actually, I had to as it’s leading us to what we are saying today.

What marketplaces do you know in Kenya? I know the major ones like Jovago, a more recent one. Travelstart, Olx and Jumia. I have had an experience with Jumia, we will review it here, together. They say it’s the ebay of Kenya, isn’t it? There are many, some you will tell me,  so,  we have a wider view of Kenya marketplaces.

What are your experiences with them? Would you ever shop online knowing you could be scammed? Have you ever dreamt about online shopping? These are some of the questions I would love you to answer while responding to the thought provoking question of reviewing Kenya Online Marketplaces and what they do wrong.

Avoid selling fast movers exclusively. What I have noticed is that most of them sell electronics like mobile phones, laptops, headsets, headphones etc.  They are going with what most would do online checking facebook, twitter and other social networks to determine what Kenyans buy online. I agree most women like shopping for clothes and men for electronics. Yes, this is an avenue to make money. But, is this the only things Kenyans buy online? Being provided for with these things at a click is so convenient we just buy.

Not all women are into clothes and shoes and handbags and jewellery. This is where they miss the point. These marketplaces too don’t have some things. For example, advertising something that’s not really there. I may be looking for landline phones, I see it among the categories. On clicking it, ”sorry this is not available, you could try these other options”. Feeling like slapping the desk is too little a thing to say. Write what is there. Don’t create a big market of things not there, it’s a turn off.  We love to buy electronics too, romance books, children books, such items.

Exorbitant pricing. Sometimes, we turn to online shopping thinking and believing things are cheaper. Oh no, in fact, they are quite high priced. We have to think and include shipping cost among other things. So, how do you expect us to charge fairly? They ask.

There’s absolutely no competition. Look at ebay. I know, that comparison is bad, leave it, you are saying. I can’t. Go to ebay, there are landline phones different, same with different pricing. I find things are easier there as I have the liberty to choose the cheaper one as long as the seller has a ‘crown’. There are wider variety of items to choose. Why can’t these marketplaces in Kenya have the same? Competitive pricing. Different manufacturers.

Allow for sellers too. Sometimes, like the newcomer kaymu has done, introduce a page for sellers. Let there be competition, fair competition. Monopoly makes for oppressive buying and biased pricing! Give sellers a space, let’s rate them good sellers and remove bad ones from sale.

Allow for other goods to be introduced. For example, pet foods, a wider variety, eyelashes, eye lenses a number of things as long as they are genuine products. Make us who love to buy from you have a wider selections of varieties we are lazy of acquiring from the nearby shops or supermarkets. We would love to see these and more items included.

I don’t know if I have left anything out. You can tell me. Next, we would want to review all these marketplaces one by one so we have a clearer view of what we are talking about!.

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Online Businesses / Work in Kenya