Friday 24th of March 2023

Nairobi, Kenya

COVID-19: Jumia Celebrates its 8th Anniversary in Support of Its Communities

The e-commerce company will celebrate its anniversary supporting consumers and SMEs in the unique context of COVID-19

-Africa’s leading e-Commerce platform, Jumia, will mark its 8th Anniversary by celebrating consumers and communities through a consumer and seller centric campaign in the exceptional context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The company’s anniversary, themed ‘Stronger Together’, is one of its major annual commercial events and is taking place from June 22nd until July 5th, 2020 across the countries where Jumia operates in Africa.

The Company will continue to support its consumers through the various measures and initiatives that were started during the COVID-19 crisis, especially by providing a wide range of relevant products at the best prices and establishing new partnerships with both international and local brands.

“This event comes in the continuity of the multiple actions undertaken as part of the fight against COVID-19, to help our consumers safely access goods and services, at the best possible prices. This event will also help support our local sellers and logistics partners who operate on the Jumia platform during these challenging times.” said the Jumia co-CEOs, Sacha Poignonnec & Jeremy Hodara.

This year, the Jumia Anniversary event brings together a diverse list of brands across categories including Groceries (Unilever, Nestle, Coca-Cola, Carrefour), Sanitary & Hygiene (Reckitt Benckiser, P&G, Henkel, GSK), Beauty (l’Oreal, Maybelline, Garnier, Nivea), Phones (Samsung, Xiaomi, Nokia, Huawei), Electronics (Intel, HP, Philips, Sony) and many more.

About Jumia

Jumia is a leading e-commerce platform in Africa and was established in 2012 in Lagos, Nigeria. It is built around a marketplace, Jumia Logistics, and JumiaPay. The marketplace helps millions of consumers and thousands of sellers to connect and transact. Jumia Logistics enables the delivery of millions of packages through our network of local partners.

JumiaPay facilitates the payment of online transactions within the Jumia ecosystem. With over 1 billion people and 500 million internet users in Africa, Jumia believes that e-commerce is making people’s lives easier by helping them shop and pay for millions of products at the best prices wherever they live. E-commerce is also creating new opportunities for SMEs to grow and job opportunities for a new generation to thrive.

Content courtesy of Jumia Group 

Abdesslam Benzitouni – Group Head of Public Relation – abdesslam.benzitouni@jumia.com

South African e-commerce Fashion retailer RunwaySale gets big Investor Boost

A South African e-commerce fashion retailer has received a vote of confidence from an international private equity firm, which has invested R100-million into the business.

RunwaySale, which operates out of Cape Town, received the funding from SPEAR Capital which invests in consumer-based businesses supported by the spending of the African middle class. It has offices in Scandinavia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Exclusive Online Shopping Society

RunwaySale positions itself as an ‘exclusive online shopping society’ – a members-only private online shopping club. It offers 300-plus high-end fashion brands to an exclusive community of shoppers who check the site, mobile app and social media platforms daily in order to take advantage of the latest offers.

Explaining how the Runway Sale business model works in an interview with The Money Show, co-founder and CEO Karl Hammerschmidt said: “We obviously have a lower cost base to work against, so we can pass value on to the consumer and our various brand partners… at the end of the day it helps them to earn revenue… it’s a win-win for everybody.”

Sells Designer Brands At Discounted Prices

Founded in 2012 by the husband-and-wife team of Karl and Elmien, who is now the COO, RunwaySale describes itself as South Africa’s largest such shopping club. It notes on its website that it “sells designer brands at discount prices by hosting flash events”. It claims its prices may be discounted by up to 70%.

“E-commerce accounts for one percent of all retail in South Africa and, even before the coronavirus pandemic, was set to grow exponentially,” said Karl. “The synergies between the SPEAR Capital team and our own gives us the confidence and practical support we need to develop RunwaySale into a leading player in the local and regional e-commerce market.”

Former Tj Maxx Executive Appointed As Advisor

As part of this new partnership, Christophe Gaigneux, who was online chief executive for the European division of American department store chain TJ Maxx, has been appointed to the RunwaySale advisory board.

“The potential for e-commerce to contribute meaningfully to the local economy has never been greater and RunwaySale will be key to meeting the demand we know is building up in consumers across all demographics in South Africa,” Gaigneux is quoted as saying by Business Tech.

Content courtesy of The South African 

Vivo Woman

Vivo woman was founded in 2011, and is a proudly Kenyan-owned clothing brand which is designed to make women look and feel great. Vivo tapped into the need of ready-to-wear clothes that were affordable when Kenyan women had very few options to choose from.

“At Vivo, we pride ourselves in having 90% of the products we make, made in Kenya and we’re 100% dedicated to inspiring confidence in women no matter what size or shape they are! “

From a fitness wear clothing line to one of Kenya’s leading women’s clothing brand, Vivo has tapped into the need of ready-to-wear clothes that are affordable and offer a great sense of style and comfort.

With 90% of products made in Kenya, our clothes are designed to make you look and feel great as well as inspire a great deal in confidence in you no matter what size or shape you are.

The brand is known for its bright, versatile, colourful and edgy styles.  Vivo clothes appeal across the board, and in particular to anyone who enjoys style and is young at heart.

Vivo’s mission is to empower and inspire women, changing the way they see themselves through fashion,Vivo, which means “alive”, invites all women to thrive in their bodies.

Shifting away from Western centric fashion industry norms, Vivo puts African women’s clothing needs and tastes first with versatile fabrics and fits, while remaining globally accommodating.
Vivo customers can find casual, smart casual and activewear attire that reflects regional and community trends.

Content courtesy of Vivo Woman

Shop Zetu

Shop Zetu is a multi-brand platform that carries products from amazing African brands from clothes, beauty, accessories, jewelry  and many more made in Kenya fashion products you.

Officially launched on the 18th of December 2019, Zetu is Vivo Woman’s sister brand that aims to produce trendy and simple basics for women and men with a younger sense of fashion and style, following international and local trends.

Unlike Vivo that was created purely to cater to the female market, Zetu is a unisex brand that will carry items that cater to a more youthful, fun, hip and trendy set of clients.

Currently, Shop Zetu holds more than 11 brands as we continue to grow, namely:

Vivowoman, Zetu, Kipato Unbranded, Pauline Cosmetics, I Am Lipsticks, Ajani Handmade, Guo Studio, Nywele Chronicles, Kidosho Apparel, Shkwela and My Soul Tonic.

In the long run we hope that Shop Zetu will be a one stop shop where our clients can find products for everyone, Kids, Women, Men, Teenagers and perhaps even some bespoke collections from some of our partners.




Shop Zetu is to provide a platform for African brands that produce trendy, quality products as well as organize the fast fashion sector and create a best-in-class fashion centered multi-brand online platform.


To bring the value currently lost in the fashion retail value by supporting the local industry & community.

Learn more about sister brand Vivo Activewear

Content courtesy of Shop zetu 


Facebook launches Shop an e-commerce feature as pandemic pushes businesses online

Businesses will be able to sell to customers through Shops, potentially posing a challenge to commerce rivals such as Amazon, Facebook announced on Tuesday it is launching Shops, a service that will allow businesses to display and sell products on its platforms.

Facebook Shops
Facebook Shops is a simple version of your online store that lives inside the Facebook and Instagram mobile apps. Facebook Shops make it easy for billions of users to find, browse, and buy your products in the apps they use daily to discover new experiences

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO, is positioning Shops as a tool for small businesses, many of which have had to close their doors and move online due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Facebook Shops
Facebook Page shop, you can show and sell products to people right on Facebook. Customers may be able to purchase your products directly from your Facebook Page shop with checkout.

Facebook currently allows sales on the platform through Marketplace, which was launched in 2016 and allows users to sell personal belongings to each other, much like Craigslist. Shops will be aimed primarily at businesses, allowing them to sell to customers on the app and potentially posing a challenge to commerce rivals such as Etsy and Amazon, which have profited from the increased online sales that have come with Covid-19 lockdowns.

The move to build up e-commerce offerings follows Facebook’s launch last year of limited shopping options on the photo-sharing app Instagram and the messaging app WhatsApp. Facebook also announced its now-struggling digital currency project Libra in 2019, which could be used for in-app purchases.

Facebook Pay, making payments is simple. Open your favorite app Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, or WhatsApp add your payment information, and you’re good to go.

Facebook Shops will tie at least some of those efforts together, enabling businesses to set up a single online store accessible via both Facebook and Instagram. A checkout feature will enable in-app purchases.

“Our goal is to make shopping seamless and empower anyone from a small business owner to a global brand to use our apps to connect with customers,” Zuckerberg said in a video announcing the new product.

As with Facebook’s other e-commerce features, Shops will be free for businesses to access, with the expectation that the tool will boost consumer engagement and ad sales.

“Our business model here is ads,” Zuckerberg said. “So rather than charge businesses for Shops, we know that Shops are valuable for businesses. They’re going to in general bid more for ads and we’ll eventually make money that way.”

Facebook is also rolling out a tool to connect loyalty programs and a shopping feature showing product tags underneath live videos, allowing viewers to make purchases directly while watching.

Facebook Shops will be available in some locations starting on Tuesday and roll out globally over the coming months.

Content courtesy of The Guardian 


Africa E-commerce Game Changer

Moulaye Taboure, founder of Afrikrea, a e-commerce marketplace for African fashion designers. Even though the platform predominantly services clients in Europe and the US, Taboure says orders from customers on the continent tripled on the platform over the past two months.

Further, Taboure says more designers in African cities with tougher movement restrictions are now signing up to the platform.

“This is definitely a game changer in Africa,” says the founder of Afrikrea, a fashion e-commerce marketplace in Abidjan.

Much of the demand shift is due to lockdown restrictions which have left brick and mortar retail outlets closed as governments attempt to curb the spread of Covid-19. In addition, reduced vehicular traffic also means deliveries can happen much faster in cities known for notorious traffic jams a boon for customer retention.

Put together, these coronavirus induced effects are “already positively impacting” e-commerce players in Africa, says Maxime Bayen, company builder at startup investment firm, GreenTec Capital.  “The companies we are talking with in that space have seen their sales gone up clearly.”

It’s an effect that plays out even for business-to-business (B2B) enterprises.  Sokowatch, which operates in in Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda and supplies informal shops and kiosks in low-income communities with products, is signing up more shop partners and reporting a higher share of stock in local shops compared to traditional suppliers. “We are a technology-enabled supplier that provides same day delivery to their shop, it’s not an option that they have with traditional suppliers to the store,” says Sokowatch founder Daniel Yu.

Taking advantage

The dominant view among e-commerce players on the continent is the boon will last a while longer even after lockdown measures are eased. With physical distancing measures likely to remain in place in different forms, there’s a strong possibility of a drop in foot traffic at normally crowded shopping malls and stores. Taboure says Afrikrea is already tweaking its model to make it cheaper for designers based in Africa to sign up so as to cater for an expected growth in orders from across the continent.

And he’s not the only betting on riding the wave, Only the flexible will survive. Every business has to learn how to do things very differently.”

Pan-African payments giant Flutterwave has set up an e-commerce portal that allows merchants set up online shops that it will power payments for. Essentially, Flutterwave is positioning to facilitate and take advantage of any recourse to e-commerce by offline stores and merchants.

In Kenya, Twiga Foods, a marketplace which supplies retailers with fresh produce from farms, has partnered with Jumia to widen the scope of its reach, allowing households order and receive foodstuff without visiting supermarkets.

Similarly, FarmCrowdy, a Nigerian agri-tech platform that allows people invest in existing farms for a share of profits, has also launched a e-commerce platform for fresh produce. In addition to expanding the scope of market access for farmers within its network, the platform is also an obvious play to provide middle-class Nigerians with an alternative to crowded open-air markets that are likely viewed as high-risk for Covid-19 infections.

Established traditional businesses are also turning to e-commerce out of necessity. Eko Hotel, arguably the biggest hotel brand in Nigeria, has launched an online food delivery service, ostensibly to shore up revenue deficits given the impact of the pandemic on hospitality businesses.

“Only the flexible will survive,” says Victor Asemota, veteran tech investor. “Every business has to learn how to do things very differently. Those who have gained will want to sustain the momentum and those who have lost will die if they don’t change drastically.”

It’s not entirely a home-run for e-commerce businesses though. Supply chain disruptions could yet result in an inability to fulfill orders, especially in countries with strict lockdown measures. For instance, Jumia suspended delivery of all fashion items in South Africa last month. Poignonnec has also admitted to challenges being faced with fulfilling orders particularly for products sourced from China.

Then there are also concerns over the sustainability of the company’s reliance on groceries as an anchor for sales. “It’s not a very profitable vertical for a general merchandise e-commerce platform without specialized value chain for groceries,” says Laolu Sameul-Biyi, former financial analyst at Jumia. For his part, Poignonnec hopes that ongoing consumer adoption amid the outbreak “will accelerate the long-term shift to e-commerce” among local users.

Given the short-term boon amid a lack of options for customers, “the main question is whether or not this trend will stick in a post-COVID era,” Bayen says. For Taboure however, it’s up to e-commerce companies to ensure that answer is affirmative by solving problems around ease of use and building trust. “If it’s not easy to buy online [then] we need to find solutions,” he says.

Content courtesy of Quartz Africa and Afrikrea


E-commerce in Africa is getting a much needed boost from Coronavirus pandemic lockdown

Running e-commerce businesses in Africa’s overwhelmed cities can be a thankless task due to the basic infrastructure gaps and a reluctant customer base.

Take Nigeria Africa’s largest internet market, where e-commerce ventures face inefficient logistics and informal home addressing systems as well as uncertainty about the actual size of the addressable market. These problems are also often seen in other African markets and sometimes makes business untenable: Jumia, the largest e-commerce operator across Africa, shuttered its business in Rwanda, Tanzania and Cameroon over the past year.

But it turns out the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic may yet ease one of the lingering challenges faced by e-commerce businesses in African markets. While many of these ventures have attempted to engineer a shift in local social behavior in customers, the pandemic’s restrictions mean the choice of shopping online is  finally getting a PR or marketing boost out of necessity and safety.

Even though Africa has had a billion-dollar IPO for an e-commerce company and smartphone penetration is growing, the reality is that shopping online is still a fanciful prospect for most ordinary Africans. Even Jumia which was backed by the likes of Goldman Sachs and MasterCard, and once valued at over $4 billion by enthusiastic investors soon after its IPO, has been brought down to earth by the realities of promising but tough, underdeveloped markets across the continent.

While there are some interested customers, e-commerce players require much higher levels of mainstream consumer adoption and retention to build viable businesses in a space where most still remain comfortable with shopping offline or are not yet fully convinced by the benefits of online shopping including wait times for delivery or the trust factor needed for online payments. But lockdowns across the continent during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic are helping to accelerate a change in attitudes with consumers in many pockets exploring e-commerce out of necessity.

Jumia has reported a spike in both customer and seller interest as demand for groceries and essentials grew four-fold in the first quarter compared to last year, chief executive Sacha Poignonnec said during the company’s earnings call last week. In Morocco and Tunisia, sales have also doubled at different times over the last month.

Photo courtesy of  Afrika Tech

Content courtesy of Quartz Africa

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