[Interview] Sam Chappatte, Managing Director, Jumia Kenya
Sam Chappatte is the Managing Director, Jumia Kenya, an online shopping website operating in 14 African countries.
Would you please introduce your company?
Jumia, formerly known as Africa Internet Group (AIG) is an online shopping website operating in 14 African countries. Our headquarters are in Lagos, Nigeria and we’re basically the leading online shopping destinations. Consumers can purchase all their mobile phones, tablets, computers and laptops, women's fashion, men's fashion and more online and have them delivered to them.
What would you say gives your company a competitive edge?
The first thing is that we offer a different range of products. We’re a one-stop shop for people so that when people think about online shopping, the first thing that comes to their mind is Jumia. Two years ago we had 30,000 products, today we have 4 million and that will keep growing. Secondly is the best price, which is really important because at the end of the day customers want to make the best use for their money. The best reason to ensure we have the best price is to ensure we have lots of vendors because when we have lots of vendors, they compete themselves. That's the most sustainable way of having the best price. The third thing is customer and vendor experience, making sure we keep our promises, and also ensuring there is a quick funds process for both our vendors and customers.
Who are your clients?
We target clients from all sector, young and old who have an interest in online shopping
What are the ambitions of the company going forward?
Our ambition is to become a loved and useful brand in Kenya. We want to be the most loved shopping destination in Kenya.
How has the market responded to your services?
The response has been positive. We have become the most loved shopping destination although it has taken time. We have to build trust among our customers, build a good customer experience. We are growing very fast because more and more customers are now interested in buying things online.
One of the biggest challenges of e-commerce is vendors selling fake products. What are you doing to ensure this does not happen?
We are very strict about fake products selling on Jumia. We address this in so many different ways, first, not everyone can sell on Jumia, to be on Jumia you must be a business. There is a quality control that we do when you start. The second thing we do is that we train our vendors and also quality check when customers order products. We sample and check products of new vendors in particular and also products of vendors that have bad sales scores. At Jumia, we also take customer feedback very seriously. When customers have a problem, we have actually gone to the extent of delisting vendors or products meaning the vendors can never sale on Jumia again.
If customers have a problem with any product they bought on Jumia within three months, they are also covered under the Jumia Guarantee. We will refund you or replace it without asking any questions.
You recently announced plans to increase your vendor base by 50% from the current 10,000 to 15,000 by 2019. How do you plan to do this?
We don’t do a lot of vendor marketing today but vendors visit our website and sign up. We have 100 vendors signing up on our website every day. From now, we are going to do a lot of vendor marketing and have more people join the ‘’Jumia Millionaires Club’’.
Jumia Black Friday also kicked off this month. What should your consumers expect?
Consumers should expect surprises, the best products with the best prices, and different products in different categories every day. We’re running this year’s campaign under the tagline ‘’Every Friday is Black Friday’’. We will be repeating some of the deals we have had in previous campaigns like Maize flour for Ksh.20, and lots of other prices we will be announcing in the coming days.
What is the latest news from your company?
The latest news from Jumia is basically Black Friday which is usually our focus at this time of the year. Apart from that, going offline is a very big thing for us. We will continue to experiment with new ways to make it easy for customers to connect with Jumia and for us to build good relationships with these customers.
In the coming month, there are major announcements will be making, accelerating on our different range of products. We are also planning to roll out consumer products that will allow customers to pay in instalments.
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