Jumia earlier this year was listed on the NYSE, becoming the first African e-commerce company to make it to the listing despite having made a loss of Kshs 14 billion in 2018. While this listing is undoubtedly one of Jumia’s highest moments, the company is still facing other problems as it looks to fully realize the dream of becoming Africa’s Amazon.
One of the major problems Jumia needs to fix in order to continue its dominance on the continent is the lack of formal addresses for deliveries. To solve this mega problem that not only affects Kenya but Africa at large, Jumia has partnered with Vivo Energy Plc to ease the delivery and pick-up process of products purchased by the millions who shop from the e-commerce platform across the continent.
Vivo Energy Plc, not to be mistaken for BBK Electronics-owned smartphone maker Vivo, is the official licensee of over 2,100 Shell and Engen service stations on the continent. In Kenya, Vivo Energy has 199 service stations spread across different towns.
Apparently, those who purchase products from Jumia will be able to pick them up from a nearby Vivo Energy service station. If not paid for, one will part with the required amount at this station, just like they do when going to pick a refilled cooking gas.
According to Jumia’s VP of Marketing, Boris Gbahoue, the company is “constantly looking at how we can further adapt our technology to be a part of the local infrastructure and become more accessible to more customers. The partnership with Vivo will enable Jumia to conveniently deliver products to current and new customers, including in remote areas.”
Besides a lack of addresses for deliveries, Jumia’s continued growth across Africa is also threatened by low internet penetration and a lack of proper means of payments (banking) in some markets, although the latter isn’t such a huge concern in Kenya because, MPESA.