Now online shopping is beginning to catch on Uganda just like in other African states. Rocket internet-backed companies such as Jumia, Kaymu, Hellofood are spearheading this new trend in Uganda.
The online retail stores are doing one thing right — marketing. Yes, massive marketing and advertising campaigns targeted towards bringing the offline audience online is currently underway. Billboards, flyers, radio and TV Ads aimed at convincing users to click and type-away on their keyboards rather than hassle through long queues and heavy traffic jams to do groceries or shop for electronics are on rampage.
However, the e-commerce companies wrongly assume that online shopping is a no-brainier for everyone. They are not doing enough to educate users of this new virtual world that only exists on their computer browsers. As a result, one the most resounding question from users is “where are you located” which comes naturally for an audience that’s been used to walk-in brick-&-mortar stores like Uchumi, Nakumat and several other supermarkets.
The question encapsulates other concerns that aspiring online shoppers have. They involve customer care, experience, while others are transnational in nature. For instance;
- How are goods delivered? Will they reach? What if they don’t?
- How do I return a faulty product or one I didn’t order for?
- How can I pay for goods?
- Is my money and personal information safe?
- How do I contact you in the event that I need to talk to someone?
These and more such questions which we already answered in the article “how online shopping works in Uganda” don’t cross offline shoppers’ minds. That’s because they have a point of reference in the real world where their concerns will be addressed. And that’s reason enough for some shoppers to stick to brick-and-mortar stores with all their inconveniences than cool and trendy online retail shops. As they say “trust the devil you know than the angel you don’t”.
Online retail stores have to answer the “where you are located” question in a way that is simple and instills confidence in early adopters. While the likes of Jumia, Kaymu, OLX, Hellofood Uganda have physical offices in the real world, they aren’t walk-in shops with products on display where customers can come and transact.
Online stores have customer care channels on social media, their website, email and mobile numbers that shoppers can use to contact them in the event that they need to speak to a real person.