Its 3 pm and Millicent Awour’s door bell in upper kilimani estate is ringing. At the door is a delivery officer from an online retail shop with samples of three mobile phones that she had ordered earlier in the day. He is gladly welcome and deliver the devices where Ms Awour only picks one and pays in cash. The delivery is free since its within Nirobi.
This is how Online shoppig has disrupted purchase for goods. Its is evident that Kenyans are now adapting to new ways of shopping at the comfort of their seats, with a wide array of online shopping.
The culture is slowly gaining its credibility among consumers with the highest number of purchases being electronics.
Online Advertisement and Referalls
According to a research done by e-Ensures on online shopping habits of Kenyans in the capital Nairobi during month of October-November 2016, 37% of the respondents said they try to shop online at least after every 2-3 months with many of them having started the behavior 5 years ago. Ms Awuor is one of them, having bought most of her electronics online , while importing others.
“75% of the people in our survey are driven to purchase an item after seeing an online advert, followed closely by referrals from friends and family that account for 21%”, said Nathalie Maikere, MD e-ENSURES.
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Electronics: Most Purchased items
The survey found out that most the respondents prefer to by electronics Items especially mobile phones at 58% with fashion items coming a distant second at 18% of the online purchases. The most sort phones on online stores are Samsung and Tecno brands cumulatively commanding over 50% of the demanded phone brands online.
On fashion, clothing was leading with most respondents preferring casual clothing at 54% while shoes and accessories following at 21% and 11% respectively. Many of respondents either compare the product description, pricing or do online product reviews before deciding on the product that they want to purchase.
Determinants of Purchase
However 39% of the respondents agree that pricing is there main decider in purchasing a product online. From the respondents interviewed by e-ensures, over 70% feel comfortable spending at most 20,000 Ks. on a product sold online.
With influx of online marketing sites in Kenya, Jumia and kilimall are the most sort online shopping sites at 38% and 22% respectively. There is however rising usage of social media platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram as alternative online market points for the respondents.
Mode of Payment
On payment, majority of the respondents paid on delivery the items bought online. Cash or M-Pesa transfers were the most preferred ways of payment at 48% and 42% respectively. However, there is limited use of credit cards and online banking transfers among the respondents as a means of paying for their products.
The respondents are however optimistic of the opportunities presented by online shopping with high approval ratings on the value additions of online shopping in their lives.
The ability to shop anywhere and anytime, ability to locate more information about a product and the added product choice were among the key ratings.
Many of those who had not tried online shopping or those who were skeptical sighted lack of trust, shipping costs, slow delivery, authenticity of the products, fear of payment methods, or because to some they do not understand how to make the online orders as the reasons to why they either don’t shop online or don’t frequently shop online.
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