Yesterday was Cyber Monday and as I mentioned last week on the article about PayPal, Cyber Monday is a very popular shopping day in US. And now many countries are catching up to benefit from the great discounts offered around the world. Simply put Cyber Monday is the Monday that follows Black Friday’s shopping weekend. It is the digital shopping day of the year and generates the most online transactions of any single day.
So with PayPal urging Kenyans to take advantage of the Cyber Monday, yesterday I tried it. As much as have bought things online using PayPal before, Cyber Monday has never been a big deal to me. I have always look at it as one of those days in US calendar and Kenya needs to have its own distinct shopping day. But then I realized how internet has made the world small and connected. The great thing about this online deals is that most companies are going to continue with them for some time during this holiday season. So Cyber Monday might have ended yesterday but the online discounts are still there. Word on the streets are that many retailers are hoping that online deals this week will be good enough to get people to continue to spend.
It is great to see how things have changed over time. Now it is possible to buy things online from Kenya and many parts of Africa in particular without any problem. I am saying that because two to three years ago the discussion we had about the online transactions was how the global payment companies were making it hard to use credit cards online from Africa. I remember Erik Hersman back in 2010 saying the following on his blog, while discussing lack of trust for Africans by the Global companies
Too true, and there are only two ways that this might change:
First, we in Africa come up with our own payment and business solutions that work here first, and then interact with other global systems.
Second, the global corporates wake up and realize that there is quite a bit of spending power and money to be made in Africa, just like the mobile operators found out in the 90’s.
When you look around now, just as predicted back then by Erik, the two came to pass. Kenya in particular has made stride with mobile payment. It is not yet perfect but the fact is, it is going to get better and better. At the same time PayPal among others are here and asking people to use their service and buy stuff online.
The trust issue was brought about mostly by the con emails from Nigeria. With that in mind it is important to note how Nigerian companies like Konga have changed the online transactions landscape in Africa. Konga introduced Yakata sales concept. This is a localized concept of Black Friday in the Nigerian ecommerce industry. The first edition held in 2013 and was a big success. However, the 2014 sales delivered even more outstanding results. On Friday, Konga.com saw a record breaking 1440% year on year increase in online revenue.
The CEO and founder of Konga.com, Mr. Sim Shagaya disclosed that at its peak, Konga was processing N50 million worth of orders every hour and that Konga sold 500% more items in the two days of Yakata than it did in all of 2012.
As you can see shopping online in Africa has never been better. I still wish many African companies will follow Konga’s lead and and provide the locals with options for great online deals. Meanwhile you can get Cyber Monday deals on the following sites. eBay, New Look , Adidas, American Eagle, Expedia, Nike, ToysRus, Barnes & Noble, ebags, Pick Your Shoe, Shoeline, Guess, Sunglass Hut, Levi’s, Timberland, Forever 21, Asos, Sammy Dress. Look for the Black Friday, Cyber Monday and holiday discounts on those websites and many more. PayPal provides the payment option among others , which explains why they are giving Kenyans options to take part on holiday shopping madness