How do you become a true ecommerce company in Nigeria? You fix the marginal cost paralysis associated with logistics and delivery. Jumia Prime is possibly going to make Jumia one. So, if people have paid the subscription through Jumia Prime which offers largely free shipping, the implication is that the disincentive to shop online will be gone. I have maintained that you are not a true ecommerce business if your operation cannot become nationwide as you manage your logistics challenges, pushing you to only operate in selected cities. Unlike the operators in U.S., Canada and Europe which are supported by their national postal services, Nigerian ecommerce players have to build up the logistics. Those western entities, powered by the postal services, are largely nationwide operators on day 1 while Nigerian ones have to move city by city because they have to deal with logistics.
According to her, among major achievements recorded include the nationwide expansion of its last mile delivery hubs to accommodate 33 new ones. Others include the integration of 25 new logistics partners to its network of partners and the addition of 4 major local languages to assist customers to place orders by phone.
“These are deliberate efforts towards expanding the reach of e-commerce in rural cities where prepayment had been the only payment option, thereby expanding the footprint of payment on delivery to these cities. We have also observed that some of our customers prefer to interact with our customer service agents in their various native languages. In response, we have integrated the 4 major local languages – Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo, and Pidgin,” she added.
In yet another strategic move towards improving customers’ delivery experience and helping them save money on shipping, Jumia also introduced for the first time ever in the Nigerian e-commerce sector, Jumia Prime package which is a paid subscription package that enables customers to shop on Jumia with zero shipping fees for a preset duration.
If Jumia can fix the logistics challenges through these newly on-boarded 25 logistics partners, running on its Prime service, the firm will see even people in villagers using its service. Making that possible without increasing the effective cost of the goods (product cost and shipping cost) will be a game changer in the sector. Yes, if Jumia can do all those and still keep the price of the products at parity with what the supermarket or open market around the corner offers, it becomes a real option in the lives of Nigerian shoppers. No matter what happens, this company is throwing many things in this sector.