Why the 2kg sugar packet is Kenya’s online top seller
For two years running, no other item has outsold a two-kilo pack of sugar online according new data from the 2021 Jumia Africa e-commerce index.
According to the index published on Wednesday, Kenya’s online market place is seeing a switch in orders from electronics to everyday use products commonly tagged as fast moving consumer goods (FMCG).
When online commerce took off in the early 2010s, mobile phones, TV sets and other electronics made for most orders as Kenyans were initiated to online shopping for the very first time.
Even so, electronics which are bought with less routine could not anchor down the switch to e-commerce.
For instance, the average person would require a new smartphone every few years while FMCG’s are in demand technically on a daily basis.
According to Jumia Kenya Chief Executive Officer Sam Chappate, the switch to everyday goods shows e-commerce is spreading its roots in the country as it becomes a main stay.
“Over the last two years, we’ve seen a huge shift in consumer purchasing behaviour. Consumers are turning to e-commerce for convenience, acess to high quality products at great prices, and they are turning to the service as an everyday solution as opposed to a solution you use once or twice a year,” he said.
Other top sellers in Kenya fall in the same category including rice, cooking oil, soap and makeup.
Across the continent, the switch to FMCG is also gathering pace according to the index.
For instance, Egypt’s top selling commodity online moved from a smartphone to bodywash between 2019 and 2020.
In Morocco, a face mask is now the best seller online-based on volumes while a one kilo pack of sugar is the most popular product on Jumia Uganda and a five kilo pack of rice in Jumia Ghana.
Fashion and beauty products now make up 57 per cent of all sales on Jumia across Africa from a lower 44 per cent in 2019.
Electronics and phones meanwhile make up seven and eight per cent of sales by Africa’s largest online market place.
E-commerce remains on a growth trajectory and is set to receive further impetus from continued internet penetration and smartphone penetration.
Today, 56 per cent of traffic on Jumia is generated from its web-app while traffic on mobile sits at a lower 19 per cent.
In Kenya, 83 per cent of consumers are using smartphones to shop online.
Jumia is hoping to leverage the ripple effects of higher internet connectivity and lower data costs to drive e-commerce further up the road.
Further, Jumia is investing on delivery infrastructure to boost consumer convenience and affordability which are both mainstay pillars for online shopping.
Despite the end of most COVID-19 induced restrictions on everyday life, Chappate is betting on e-commerce to stay on the growth curve.
“COVID-19 has led to the acceleration of consumers considering e-commerce as a destination for everyday products. We expect it to stay as it is a better solution and we are exicted to see people beginning to have a taste for it,” he added.