Many argue that Uganda is not ready for online shopping due to lack of sufficient infrastructure to support E commerce. They cite reasons like lack of a critical mass of internet users to support e-commerce, lack of integrated payment systems, poor roads and transportation network that hampers delivery and most of all a lack of an address system that makes finding people and places difficult.
Be that as it may, many start ups over the years have ventured into the field unsuccessfully like Grabit.ug, Meka.ug and many others. There are many start ups that are braving the rather rugged terrain to tackle e-commerce head on thanks to Rocket Internet; the Internet giant and venture capitalist who is funding various e-commerce start ups across Africa and the world. In Uganda, the Africa Internet Holding/Rocket Internet Group Umbrella holds start ups like Kaymu, Lamudi and Hellofood
The latest to open shop is Jumia an online shopping portal that offers a wide selection of products including but not limited to electronics, fashion items, home appliances and many more. Jumia prematurely launched it’s shopping portal only to close it a few weeks later noting that they are making it better and then coming back soon. Well, they have finally opened for business and don’t seem like they are going anywhere.
A quick look at the site reveals a simple and well designed portal that is easy to navigate. The categories are well placed on the left side of the site with top selling items in each category listed as you scroll down. There is also a search bar to help you find something faster in case you are lost. The site is also mobile friendly making browsing on a mobile fun too. You can also download the Jumia App from the Google PlayStore which is a plus since you don’t have to sit on a PC to shop.
To shop on Jumia, one needs to create an account with which they can add items to the cart, create wishlists and check the status of their orders. Jumia boasts of a large collection of the top fashion and electronics brands around giving you a wide variety to shop from. They promise free shipping nationwide in a duration of 7 to 14 days depending on your location with Payment on Delivery as the current and only payment option available.
Jumia is also on Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus with a Customer Hotline (+256(0)703028258) in case you need to speak with them. They currently operate in 8 countries in Africa which are Egypt, Ivory Coast, Morocco, Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda.