Potential Major E-Commerce Disruptions Underway,thoughts?

So i saw Techweez post this article

a while ago and it got me thinking…Damn,So they are actually going to leverage their existing MPESA agents to make parcel deliveries now,this is the closest one can actually get to door to door delivery for every Masoko shopper…think about it like this,make an order on their website or app,pay for it via mpesa,have it delivered to the nearest MPESA agent to your place and BAM…Posta,Jumia and DHL disrupted locally…Its a win for MPESA Agents as they can earn a commission on parcels delivered now…Customers win because they can now collect their parcels from a nearby MPESA agent who can also be a shop owner and all…I am interested to know how the logistics for this process will work out and what opportunities this will present in evolving and growing Masoko as an E-Commerce platform…I would love to hear your thoughts on this

In practice how many Mpesa agents have the capacity in terms of staffing and storage to effectively get into the logistics business?

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i believe there is quite a number who can handle quite an amount of parcels,plus if they see their cut and revenue in it,it gives them the opportunity to build that capacity and expand…or focus on quality of service…

I think that was a killer move if at all it comes to happen. If there is a cut, they will work and work well to deliver.

yeeeeh bana,its a really killer move,i see the potential for it to transform how commerce is conducted…you can buy a product online and collect it later from your MPESA Agent…MPESA Agents will have another revenue stream and more work as potential couriers who can make a cut for every parcel they receive and deliver…of course there will be a few logistical issues to sort out but that can be addressed on a technical and operational level…

This doesn’t really answer anything. So let’s try and be a little more objective.

First off the mama mbogas and local dukas are out of contention for both lacking secure storage and the financial muscle to cover insurance, staffing, book and record keeping.

For bigger players with sufficient capacity, it either eats into their own business (think supermarkets) or the margins have to be large enough to make it viable.

IMO this feels like a marketing gimmick. Why not partner up with Posta? They have a countrywide presence plus expertise in logistics. And it would be cheaper of Safaricom to negotiate a margin as compared with the thousands of individual Mpesa agents.

i feel that there is no need to partner with Posta because Posta is not innovating fast enough…Very few kenyans have time to go to their nearest post office for their parcels,it beats logic when it can be delivered to an agent near your estate for an extra fee for the convenience.We cant rule out the dedicated mpesas as they can handle storage of smaller parcels…Safaricom can take care of insurance and parcel logistics like book keeping and all with their own app and financial muscle as they already have and are doing with MPESA…it could be a marketing gimmick but who knows…I would love for Posta to get the deal and succeed but they need more reforms and to address their logistics esp for urban areas…

The challenge is that they only use the post offices in major towns (jumia). If they also incorporated small towns it would be better. This has actually made purchases on jumia an impossible task as you have to pay 1000 for shipping and 500 or more for transport to that post office. (Outside Nairobi)

This is a ridiculous statement. In this specific case, why do Posta need to innovate? Safaricom require a service which Posta are well suited to offer.

So not the friendly neighbourhood Mpesa agent?

This is simply not viable. Safaricom would be doing 90% of the work plus taking all the risk. I’d wager that the margins available to agents would be very low.

This is a big deal that was waiting to be leveraged. In every business, a platform gets many uses because of the hold a company has on them. It will just be an extra revenue opportunity for Mpesa agents. Remember there are super agents in every estate who have a lot of space in their stores that can benefit from this.
What happens is that you don’t need to be home for a delivery to happen. You just need to be notified that you can pick up your delivery on your way home.

Challenge would be for large items. I definitely don’t want to be told to collect my fridge from an Mpesa store.

i agree with you Martin,thats exactly what i think…its a big deal on that front…besides for large item purchases i dont expect most online shopper buy such items and expect delivery to their MPESA agent…but who knows,the modalities for this product will be very interesting to learn and observe.

Speaking realistically the ideal market is small, high value items like mobile phones, laptops and electronics.

That said I remain a sceptic about the capacity of agents to get into this market and the seeming reinvention of the wheel just for the sake of “innovation” and “disruption”.

6 months down the line, where are we with this? I assume the greatest hurdle is the logistics bit but then again Sendy is more or less a safaricom company so they could actually hack this. Or did Bob Collymore’s demise + succession put things to a spin/pause?