Smartphones driving e-commerce uptake in Kenya

Written By: Benson Rioba

Globally 1.7 billion adults remain unbanked yet two-thirds of them own a mobile phone

About 80 percent of the internet traffic in Kenya is via the smart phone as the handsets become cheaper and are accessible to many Kenyans.

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A report on mobile phones by e-commerce firm Jumia, says the price of smartphones has reduced by more than half over the last decade from an average of 18,600 shilling to 8,600 shillings currently, easing its acquisition.

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Kenya’s ICT sector has been experiencing growth over the last decade with the sector expanding from 10 percent to 22 percent in 2017 and contributing 1.6 percent to the country’s total GDP.

Jumia Kenya Managing Director Sam Chappatte attributes the growth to increased penetration of smart phones in the country and a reduction in the cost of data.

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With increased innovation and a variety of smart phones hitting the local market, the prices of smartphones are projected to further decline from the current average of 8,000 shillings.

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The smartphone penetration has shored up e-commerce with transactions worth over 300 billion shillings done through the phones annually last year driven by more than 300 loan apps.

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Chappatte says since 70 percent of transactions on Jumia are via mobile phones, the e-commerce firm has scheduled a mobile phone sale later this month offering smartphones from leading brands at a discount.


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