Kenyan retailers offer home deliveries in bid to control spread of the corona virus

KENYA – In the wake of the outbreak of COVID-19 virus, Kenyan retailers have adopted safer and efficient ways of serving their customers by availing home delivery services.

Spanish delivery company Glovo has announced partnership with Kenyan retail chain, Naivas Supermarket to offer free deliveries for orders above Ksh.1,000 from Saturday 21 March to Sunday 29 March 2020, and a flat rate delivery fee of Ksh.100 on deliveries above Ksh.1,000 from Monday 30 April to Sunday 19 April.

“As an on-demand delivery service, we can provide food, groceries as well as over the counter pharmacy products. We have an obligation to make these essential products as accessible as possible, especially for those citizens in need” said the company’s regional head of marketing Priscilla Muhiu.

This move, according to Glovo, is part of its broader agenda to be an enabler for delivery services in a time when many world economies are facing significant challenges posed by the Corona Virus.

“In order to comply with the Ministry of Health directive to retailers to manage their shopper populations to reduce grouping and crowding, we expect that Kenyans will take to online shopping much faster and more,” said Willy Kimani, Chief Commercial Office of Naivas.

The Naivas-Glovo partnership comes just a few days after Tuskys supermarket also entered into a similar partnership with Sendy, an on-demand logistic platform.

The campaign debut, “Stay in, Shop safe”, will see 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.

To further aid with the prevention of spread of the pandemic, the government has also urged citizens to prioritise cashless transactions.

Local telcos, Safaricom and Airtel have waived fees for transactions south of US$10, and increased the capacity of their mobile wallets.

In this regard, Online marketplace Jumia has stopped the use of cash for payments.

Jumia said it had witnessed brisk activity fuelled by a rising number of shopping requests for essential products bought and delivered directly to homes.

Chief executive Sam Chappatte said all customers must pay via mobile money or bank cards via JumiaPay platform.

“This is according to Central Bank of Kenya guidelines that we deter use of cash as it has been found to be a major vector for Coronavirus infections. You can pay upfront or await delivery to make payments via mobile cashless platforms,” he said.

Mr Chappatte said demand for groceries, ready-made foodstuff as well as home cleaning products had shot up as Kenyans remained indoors as the country grapples with the Coronavirus scourge.

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According to a report by Business daily, E-commerce platform Gobeba has recorded a tripling of orders as more Kenyans shift to online shopping rather than visiting stores in fear of contracting Coronavirus disease.

The platform indicated an increase in groceries, gas and alcohol by 200 percent, 100 percent and 50 percent respectively, an indication that most Kenyans are moving online in pursuit of food stuff and other household items. “Our gas and grocery segment has registered the highest increase with most Kenyans buying these items on our platform. With the rising demand, we are working with various suppliers to meet the rising demand and help Kenyans access household items from the comfort of their homes,” said Peter Ndiang’ui, Gobeba’s co-founder.

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