What would you prefer? Walk into a store, shop for your favorite items, pick them up, walk over to the cashier, make the payment, and happily go home with your goods in hand, or:
Sit, relax at home or in the office, open up your laptop, go to jumia.co.ke, place an order, and wait for 21 days before you get your items delivered to you.
Personally I prefer the first option.
My first experience with online shopping
It was August 2012 and I had received the much awaited transfer to purchase the then latest smartphone, Samsung Galaxy S3. Being excited and unwilling to walk out of the house, considering too that if I had to go to a store and buy the phone then I had to first line up at the bank to make a withdrawal, I decided to buy the phone using Safaricom’s online shop. After confirming the order but pending payment, Safaricom sent me a message that my phone would be delivered to their nearest care centre (Nakuru at that time) in three days.
Three days? Stop kidding. Don’t these guys have the phones ready at a local shop? They could just give me a code, I present the code at the shop, pick the phone and done. That would take less than an hour – and it takes just a simple data base management system to implement that.
I couldn’t withstand waiting for three days so I looked at the time. It was only 2.30pm. I hurriedly got off my comfortable couch, went straight to the bank, withdrew the cash and headed to the care centre and bought a phone. Within two hours I had a brand new Galaxy S3 in my hands. Great.
My Samsung Galaxy S3 is now dying
Three years down the line the Samsung Galaxy S3 I cherished so much has expired, and it is time to upgrade. Three days ago the phone’s ear peace decided to fade. Although at lunch time I received a call that was very clear, making calls thereafter was a pain in the ***. I went to Nailab to see if I could get an extra phone to use before I can buy a new one (I am not sure if I want the Samsung Galaxy S6 for reasons I will discuss in a separate post) but information I got was a better deal, that I buy the Infinix hot x507 available at Jumia Kenya for only Shs 7,000.
Infinix hot x507 is a phone that’s better than Samsung Galaxy S3 in many respects. It has better RAM (available RAM), same storage capacity, bigger screen (5 inches against’ S3’s 4.8 inches) but of inferior quality, almost same processor unit (1.3 GHz quad core against S3’s 1.4 GHz quad core), better front facing camera but slightly lesser rear camera (I am not a fan of photography anyway), better OS (Infinix hot x507 is powered by Android KitKat whereas S3 can’t run past Android 4.3 Jelly Bean) and a better body build that feels more premium in the hand.
The price difference is what is worth to write home about. If you were to buy a brand new Samsung Galaxy S3 today, you will need to part with Shs 41,000. However, for similar and probably better specs, that cash will get you five brand new Infinix hot X507 and you’ll still keep some change.
Jumia Kenya is worse than Safaricom’s online shop
Who wouldn’t want to buy Infinix hot x507 at the lowest price point for smartphone of its caliber? That’s why after meeting with Kachwanya at Nailab I rushed home to make that crucial purchase at Jumia.co.ke. With excitement I accessed Jumia’s shopping portal and followed prompt after prompt without reading much of the instructions and information on every screen and in less than a minute I had placed my order. Happy, I went to sleep hoping that by 10 AM I will have a brand new Infinix hot x507 delivered at my door step.
I woke up at 11 AM. No one had knocked at the door. I quickly checked the phone and there was no missed call. No text message either. Not from my friends, not from Jumia Kenya. I picked up that damn phone and made a call to Jumia.
“Hi, I placed an order last night for Infinix hot x507 but no one has bothered to it deliver to me”, I politely enquired.
“Your order number please?” She asked.
“I don’t know. Please check with my phone number”. She checked.
“Sir, your order will take at least 10 days to be processed. But kindly be informed that it may take up to 21 days”.
“Can I cancel the order?”
Then there was a brief argument. She informed me that in the order confirmation it was indicated that the delivery will be within the next 1o to 21 days, and that they are working to improve on delivery time.
Who wants to wait for more than 10 days before delivery is done?
Although Jumia Kenya has made it public that they make next day delivery within Nairobi for some items, and strive to achieve a 2 to 7 days delivery for most of the items they sell upon order confirmation, their 10 to 21 days delivery is outrageous to say the least. Online shopping can only be attractive if buyers are assured of same day or utmost next day delivery. This is because most buyers want to have their new purchases in their possession instantaneously. To effectively compete with offline shopping therefore, e-commerce players must ensure they work on delivery time – and that’s not a bargain.
Good news is that not all e-commerce players are that backward when it comes to delivering items ordered from their online shopping portals. Mamamikes.co.ke for instance has assured me that they make same day delivery and if for any reason same day delivery is not logistically possible, they’ll try their best to deliver next day. Rupu.co.ke on the other hand have ready items for same day delivery within Nairobi and up to 48 hours if the item is not ready to deliver. That’s what they told me.
You have any online shopping experience? Let’s here it at the comments section below or at our twitter handle – @Kachwanya.