Jumia hopes to cash-in on growing mobile penetration

Africa’s leading online retailer, Jumia, is gearing for a massive explosion in demand as the mobile market in Africa continues to grow rapidly.

The online retailer reckon that with mobile subscriptions on the continent increasing by almost thirty times in the space of eleven years from less than 25 million in 2001 to over 720 million in 2012, demand for online shopping is anticipated to increase significantly.

Jumia has recognised the need to cater to this growing market, and has now seen over 100,000 downloads of its Google Play Favourite Android app.

We want to provide the best and most convenient service for Jumia customers, and our app is a great way of doing this. We’ve had thousands of satisfied customers so far, and expect many more in the coming months and years,” said Nicholas Martin, CEO for Jumia Nigeria.

The mobile internet sector in Africa is developing rapidly with smartphones becoming much more affordable and growing in popularity.

Many activities that would be carried out on a laptop or PC in Western countries, such as online banking or shopping, are done on mobile phones in Africa.

In fact, according to a report published in June 2014 by the Swedish technology company Ericsson, 70 per cent of internet users in the countries evaluated use mobile phones to go online, compared with just six per cent who use a desktop computer.

This is because mobile phones are now available cheaply across the continent, with low-specification internet-capable phones available for as little as $20.

Jumia has taken advantage of this with a mobile app that allows an increasing number of Africans to access the e-commerce platform wherever they are. The app was launched one year ago to take advantage of the continent’s growing mobile internet penetration.

The app offers all the functionality of the Jumia website, keeping in mind the fact that for many users this will be their main way of interacting with the service, and prides itself on usability. To this end, users can browse and filter the complete list of products, read product descriptions and reviews, and order and pay securely through the app, with no need for a PC at any point.

The app has now been selected to be featured in the Our Favourites section of the Google Play store, which reflects its usefulness, quality and popularity. It has already been downloaded over 100,000 times, a clear indication of the demand for mobile applications in Africa, and is complemented by a recently-launched Windows 8 app so that as many Africans as possible can benefit from the service.


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