Kampala, Uganda | Julius Businge | The rise of e-commerce in the past few years is benefiting budding entrepreneurs as consumers are finding it easy to do shopping by merely clicking the button of their internet enabled devices.
One of the entrepreneurs interviewed for this story, Joachim Mumbere has turned his shop into an e-commerce hub supported by e-commerce firm, Jumia.
He said: “I was approached by Jumia a few months ago to turn my store into a pick up station point for customers near me. Since I started, the feedback has been great, I have increased my sales because as customers pick their Jumia orders, they also buy something from my shop.”
Mumbere is not alone. Hundreds of pick up agents are set up across the country using their businesses or shops as pick up stations for the e-commerce company.
The new pick up station program is allowing businesses of Mumbere’s nature to earn revenue with every package picked from their pick up station.
For consumers, the initiative is giving them an opportunity to save on delivery fees by using the pickup points to receive their orders.
“I have now become the online shopping expert in my area,” said Annette Kasande, a shop owner and mobile money agent who in her role as a pick up agent also helps customers place orders.
Kasande said, many people are impressed with “our easy and convenient online shopping works.”
Jumia Uganda Chief Executive Officer, Ron Kawamara says this initiative will see the e-commerce firm partner with existing local business owners in each key town of Uganda.
Kawamara said, partnering entrepreneurs will earn additional income and have their sales boosted.
It will also encourage e-commerce penetration in many towns.
He says, Uganda’s e-commerce market is rapidly growing and is expected to become the second largest online market in the East African region, after Kenya.
This projection is supported by the rapid growth in telecommunications users and the widespread use of mobile money payments. Quarter three figures from Uganda Communications Commission indicates that slightly over 25 million are registered mobile money accounts and 26 million are registered as mobile subscriptions as of September 2020.