e-Commerce company, Glovo, has launched a new product, Glovo Local, to tap into an area that very few have thought about capturing. This is the Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises’ (SMEs) space. SMEs make up a huge chunk of the local retail sector but most of them have not fully leveraged on e-commerce to improve convenience for both the SMEs and their customers.
Glovo local is a new program for SMEs in the retail and restaurant industries to enable them to digitize their products and services in order to boost their growth. It’s an all-in-one hub where local businesses can pick and choose solutions based on their needs and wants through a single site.
Services available on the new product include digital and operational solutions for their own channels and stores. All this is embedded in an ecosystem of learning and development opportunities with dedicated tutorials and support within their digital journey.
According to Caroline Mutuku, the General Manager of Glovo Kenya, the e-commerce firm aims to catalyse the online growth of SMEs and enable more of them have a digital presence in Kenya.
“Currently, Glovo has registered over 4,000 businesses on the Glovo App, we aim to rise this number in 2023. As we continue to play a vital role in digitalization of businesses across the market, we understand the challenges faced by these businesses as a result of the Covid pandemic are therefore struggling to stay afloat. Once the business owners sign up on Glovo Local, we can help them reach more customers, accelerating their way to growth and sustainable profitability.”
In this age of digital transformation, we have witnessed the growth of several sectors as players in these sectors continue to leverage on technology to improve the experiences of the customers and the vendors, improving convenience for both.
The retail sector, for instance, has been transformed by the growth of e-commerce, making it easier for retailers to get to the consumer faster. The customers have also benefitted as the space has improved convenience. E-commerce has brought about convenience to the different players in the retail sector.
However, in as much as Africa has improved in terms of digital transformation, there’s still a lot of room for improvement. Digital transformation is not a destination but a journey, and Africa has only began its digital transformation journey, which was also fast tracked by the onset of the pandemic.
The launch of Glovo local follows a research commissioned by Glovo in nine markets. In Kenya, it found that in understanding of the market and customers’ needs, 90% of respondents rated this as the most critical factor to help businesses remain relevant.
Further, 79% of businesses believe a technology partner will help them stay competitive as cost-of-living soars worldwide, compared to the pre-epidemic period, the majority of the businesses 86% indicated they are changing strategies more frequently to reach more customers.
The research also shows that 62% of the businesses are in survival mode. However, 92% are optimistic they will achieve significant growth in the next 12 months.
This launch also comes in the wake of Kenya’s adoption of e-commerce as it continues to grow. According to Statista, user penetration is above the regional average, with revenues expected to have a positive annual average growth of 16.4 per cent by 2025. With revenue of $1.1 billion and a share of 76.1 per cent, e-commerce generated the highest digital revenues in 2020.
More broadly, there are several factors that fuel e-commerce growth in Kenya. Kenya recently adopted a digital economy blueprint meant to further develop the ICT sector and e-commerce activity. UNCTAD estimates the proportion of Kenyans aged 15 and above with a financial, (mobile or bank) account which enables them to transact online was second only to Mauritius, particularly because of the high usage of the mobile money system of M-Pesa. The government’s ambition for universal 4G coverage alongside accelerated smartphone ownership further places Kenya as one of the fastest growing e-commerce markets.