KENYA – In the wake of the outbreak of COVID-19 virus, Kenyan retailers have adopted safer and efficient ways of serving their customers with supermarket chain operator Eastmatt supermarket rolling out a ‘pick and go’ service which allows customers to order shopping through SMS.

The ‘pick and go’ model reduces the need to physically visit the supermarkets hence minimises contact and risk of exposure to the coronavirus.

According to the retailer, the new service targets customers overlooked by e-commerce business models, “Some customers have very basic phones that cannot access the internet, therefore, our SMS Pick and Go service provides a lot of convenience to the users,” Eastmatt said in a statement.

After selecting goods, the supermarket sends the customer a quotation for payment via an Mpesa Till Number and thereafter customers can pick their orders within one hour, reports the star.

“We took a look at the modern trade market and realised a gap as many businesses have had to embrace e-commerce to stay afloat during the pandemic period,” said Eastmatt marketing and business development manager, Yvonne Ndung’e.

Ndung’e said that while internet penetration has spread significantly, its use within the country is still very low and many of the clients are unable to benefit from all it has to offer.

Eastmatt customers within the CBD and those living within a one-kilometre radius of the supermarket in the Nairobi suburbs and upcountry areas will get free deliveries.

“We are happy to be the pioneers of the free deliveries, as we play our part in checking the spread of the coronavirus and the response to the pilot has been very positive, with many of our customers lauding the efficiency and convenience it brings,” Ndung’e said.

The launch follows Tuskys Supermarket partnership with Sendy, an on-demand logistic platform, to offer door to door delivers to customers to curtail the spread of the Corona virus in the country.

Through a campaign debut, “Stay in, Shop safe”, Tuskys customers make purchases of groceries from the comfort of their homes by sending their shopping list to the respective retailer’s branch telephone, sms, whatsapp contact or email through which further details on billing and delivery will be provided.