Is Jumia Kenya copying Amazon?

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Jumia is quietly rolling out brick and mortar stores in Kenya akin to what Amazon.com did two years ago in the US. Amazon.com the largest online retailer shocked the world when they decided to launch a brick and mortar store as its extension of the Amazon experience.

Brick and mortar retail remain a marginal part of Amazon’s business – and that’s not likely to change anytime soon but experts say even on a small scale, a real store has benefits, including boosting brand awareness and exposing people to Amazon’s Prime subscription service.

“Some of our customers do not use our online platform to interact with us, and when it comes to e-commerce there is a process. So, if they walk into the shop our customer service representatives will take them through the process of ordering from our site, educating them on how to go about the process so that the next time they are able to order by themselves.” Wawira concluded.

This looks like the strategy that Jumia is quietly and cautiously implementing and the company already has three stores open in Nairobi – Jumia Kenya CBD, Jumia Kenya Kampus Towers and Jumia Kenya Adams Arcade. The company is also on the verge of opening more stores in other major Kenyan cities including, Mombasa, Kisumu and Eldolert, this was revealed by Josephine Wawira, PR Associate, Jumia Group, during a phone interview with CIO East Africa.

In responding to whether Jumia’s new model was inspired by Amazon, Wawira explained that, “People may refer to us as the Alibaba or the Amazon of Africa, but you have to understand we are a brand with a different operational model,”

According to Wawira, other than customers being able to collect their packages, the stores are expected to help the company connect with its customers and to help move them from offline to online.

“Some of our customers do not use our online platform to interact with us, and when it comes to e-commerce there is a process. So, if they walk into the shop our customer service representatives will take them through the process of ordering from our site, educating them on how to go about the process so that the next time they are able to order by themselves.” Wawira concluded.

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