Agreed. No one has figured out eCommerce in Kenya so there isn’t any ‘real’ competition at best. You just pick the provider that has the least pains.
Amazon’s best bet would be to come and start afresh. $1B Africa wide market valuation is pennies to Amazon. Nothing Jumia has is worth the negative PR Amazon would inherit if it bought them. Better to start a fresh.
We lack an address system so deliveries are tricky. There is a way this could be solved:
Amazon could partner with schools and utilize the schoolbus network to understand home deliveries before launching their own.
This would work because:
- School buses are trusted in neighborhoods so access isn’t an issue.
- They know the best routes so deliveries would be speedier
- Different schools help them understand different family economics so helps build market profiles
- No worries about your purchase being delivered as it would come with your child after school
- In case of a return it can be done via the same network simplifying everything - no return fees or haggling
- More deliveries can be done while students are in class or over the holiday period
- Added revenue for the drivers moonlighting as shippers
Amazon could even foot the bill for the transport costs of all schools in the first year while laying the groundwork for this network and it wouldn’t even be a blip on their budget. If people are willing to trust school vans with their kids, they can trust amazon to deliver their products via the same network
Amazon’s bigger issue here would be vendor management. Too many dodgy vendors with suspect items. They might need to do a speculative analysis based on what Kenyans buy the most and import in bulk. One cargo ship would be enough to set up the experiment while they vet vendors.
How many of these markets have a payment infrastructure that matches (rivals) Kenya? They could be in all countries for what it’s worth but less revenue collection is rendered hassle free for the customer none of that really matters
And credit cards aren’t much of a solution, unless they want the money going straight to their offshore bank accounts and are willing to give major incentives to customers for using them ala uber