Safaricom's Masoko e-commerce platform. What do you think?


#1

In case you only checkout the forum and don’t read out blog, there’s one story you must read:

Safaricom is said to be working on an e-commerce platform dubbed Masoko. Well, this is exciting news, I hardly shop online but maybe that’s because the current offerings don’t stock what I need.

Hopefully, Masoko will be able to fill this space for me.


#2

I think due to Safaricom’s great marketing (and huge pockets). That this will be huge competition to Jumia.
Question: Will Masoko accept Equiltel Payments?


#3

Haha. Don’t hold your breath. I doubt it will even accept other forms of payment.


#4

Good one :clap: The likely answer is, unfortunately, yes but with additional charges. You know Safaricom and their anti-competition tactics.


#5

Anything is possible, it could be the sandbox. You know, the Pixel or Nexus/Surface of Safaricom product to prove to partners what’s possible with their new API.


#6

Safaricom had a market if I am not wrong, not very popular, the name Masoko sounds very mathogothanio, but it might catch on with the trustworthy of Saf and the muscle, but still again we are still waiting for the Mpesa card, NFC sticker and wrist band, plus the music app, the FTTH, they should do one at a time.


#7

I am about to give up on this one.

It is almost end of July and still nothing. Lol.


#8

So much anticipation for nothing.


#9

The primary reasoning for this is the elections, Not even safcon with it’s sway bought from money stolen from its customers is enough to challenge the sorcery that is a general election. They might as well throw that stolen money in a shredder.

We might see more showy works towards the end of August.

Or, since quoting 48 laws of power seems to be an election thing - Keep others in suspense — cultivate an air of unpredictability! (p123-129)


#10

I don’t see them offering anything new over the current sites…maybe just that advantage of deeper mpesa integration, and stuff like buying with bonga points maybe


#11

Doubtful. It would be like expecting their roadshows to have the phones you want at a discount only to learn that some end up dying within a month of use - allegedly because they’re the defective units manufacturers sell off in bulk to try offset loses.

This might be used to test their - still to be showcased API - before wider rollout. Kenyans don’t trust online shopping esp from other Kenyans merchants - notice how many cloth and handbag sellers on facebook end up opening stalls in town? Clients want to verify in person before buying and thanks to the few cons out there, every vendor suffers.

Clients also change their mind esp when it’s pay on delivery - someone wants a pink top on tuesday but come friday they think the sky blue one is better even though the pink one is at their door, they refuse to pay so the company is down time and cost of delivery plus missed opportunity to sell that top to someone else.

If safcon still sell network locked phones, it’s a possibility that this will be MPESA only.

Safcon are behaving like Apple & Sony are right now - Apple won’t let iMessage be cross platform while it’s still the #1 preferred premium handset in the US while Sony won’t allow cross platform play while they’re the #1 Console manufacturer in the world. The moment this changes they’ll be more accommodating.

Mobile money would have been free and cross platform years ago if both: the competition provided solid service to their customers - invest in network reach & performance - & customers didn’t let their impatience and frustration transform small network outages - which happen on every network - into an unbearable ‘inconvenience’ in their minds.

Copycat market remember. They might just poach the entire divisions of e-commerce back end - site admin, business intelligence, sales - from competitors and form their own department, then use alibaba’s as a blueprint for a clone model that they’ll tout as revolutionary, rope in a few ‘influencers’ for ads and try win some awards.

What would make their API & e-Conmerce store dead before it even arrives is if WhatsApp integrated peer-to-peer money into the app. While there might be a small, maybe even insignificant charge per top up or transaction - it would be cheaper than MPESA charges - their goal would be to allow users to buy products/services from businesses who pay to advertise on the app - so ensuring users have as few charges as possible is in their best interests.

Peer-to-Peer would eliminate the need for putting up your goods on a third party store that charges you 30% (some up to 45%) to host your shop for goods which consumers want to physically see anyway. Might as well have your own shop.

MPESA isn’t the advantage people think it is - or once was - now that the charges are there for everyone to see. Transacting 10,000 a day (the average for young people i’ve met in business) costs you at least KES 85 (110 if you’re withdrawing). Considering most use it to pay for physical goods, it will become very costly if relied upon for e-conmerce.

Delivery within Nairobi costs 250 (G4S) up to 500 with a cheap boda and that’s after you’ve paid via MPESA + ya kutoa = 195 for a max total of 700. Why not pay the bus fare at off peak - 100 - go inspect the merchandise then pay cash from the ATM - 33/-;

I see a lot more people doing that these days in the stalls around town.


#12

From the government too. Do you know that safcom is paid KES 2 Billion per year to maintain the CCTV network they set up in Nairobi and Coast? How much do you think they’ll ask for when they are told to make it countrywide?

And speaking of sorcery, does anyone notice anything weird about this screenshot? I posted a screenshot instead of the actual link to (hopefully) avoid internet trolls who could register as TechWeez members to roast me like a turkey on Thanksgiving weekend.

hehe… I thought this was a typo. I was so glad to see it again​:grin::joy:


#13

Yeah, Google has changed the focus of the homepage on mobile from Google Now to a newsfeed. I don’t know whether that’s a good thing.


#14

For the price sensitive buyer like me Masoko is a no go zone unless they’ll offer discounts and prices that are cheaper than wat i find in the streets that i’ll tap in and i also see a situation where Chinese mobile companies might use it to tap into the east African markets


#15

You totally didn’t get the context. Anyways, what’s with these frequent error 500 messages? Are you doing something under the hood of the forum site? I’m getting “500 internal server error” quite frequently when I try to submit a post. Also I get this message (screenshot) daily sometimes severally. Is the problem on my end?


#16

Nowadays i get those errors too


#17

I think this masoko will fail, do they intend to be the sellers or are they just a platform like OLX? Kenyans might not take it up just because it’s safaricom remember the little cabs, the big box they didn’t take off as expected, heck even they can’t operate a proper online gadget buying platform, I think before they open this why not make the safaricom shop more usable with all th phones on offer


#18

Doesn’t Kenya have any Anti-Competitive laws in place? I feel like if Safaricom was a US or UK company, they’d have been fined for stifling competition.


#19

We (Techweez) understand that they will allow retailers to sell on the platform.


#20

Spent half the day on a black screen ensuring we are back to functional. Please get back to me if you get any errors going forward.