Safaricom, a Telecom giant in Kenya is about to launch its E-commerce site named Masoko .
Masoko will take on platforms such as Jumia and Kilimall head-on with the advantage of having Safaricom’s deep pockets, its partners and Lipa na M-Pesa online built into it. According to the information we have, Masoko is meant to be an avenue for local merchants, including supermarkets, and customers to interact and trade in a bid for Safaricom to boost its M-Pesa payments platform (Lipa na M-Pesa)
It’s aiming to cut delivery times from the current 72-96 hours.
Safaricom is looking for ways to build on the success of M-Pesa, its mobile-phone money transfer service that dominates the Kenyan economy and is used by subscribers to pay for everything from utility bills to groceries and gasoline.
Safaricom is looking for growth and planning a future where data and voice may not take care of the margins because of effect facebook and whatapps messengers.
“By leveraging the strength and reach of our network, our customer base, and a number of partnerships with vendors, we hope to create a solution that can power the next phase of growth for the Kenyan economy. We hope to create a universal platform that will connect the smallest of vendors in Kenya to a nationwide market,” said Mr. Ogutu.
Something To Learn
Unlike most ecommerce operators in Africa, Safaricom could find success easily. If you read clearly, Safaricom is looking for the best way to expand the Kenyan economy because that is where its “currency”, MPESA, is very dominant.
Safaricom is launching this ecommerce to help in the growth of MPESA, its very best product: “Masoko will accept all mobile money payments …” The more Safaricom can move more Kenyan commerce to MPESA, the more it benefits because MPESA is in its ecosystem. So, technically, even if it does not make money through ecommerce, Safaricom will make money through more activities in MPESA. Ecommerce is generally hard to make money, but there are many ways of making money in it. You play parallel, using it to grow another product.
Safaricom is going to run the typical double play which is used by leading global ecommerce businesses. These companies always have complementary services to ecommerce—double play strategy