In a world that is fast embracing technology, shopping in Kenya is undergoing notable changes, with the most basic spending going electronic, too.
Ms Winfred Gacheri, a former a personal assistant to the managing director CarTrack Company, has taken advantage of this and is operating an online retail store â€” ePepea Online Supermarket.
According to her, being physically present in a supermarket does not add value to the customer. If anything, she says, it often leads to impulse buying.
â€œI looked at shopping and saw no value in a person being present at a supermarket or shopping mall to get what they need, which is how the idea of online shopping was born,â€ Ms Gacheri told Money.
Record of transaction
The online platform provides an opportunity to select the goods one requires. It also calculates the value of the shopping and gives the buyer an option to save a shopping list, besides keeping a record of all transactions.
To shop, one must open an online account, giving the required details to create a profile. As one buys, the total is adjusted on the website. The charges include tax, packing, and postage and carriage.
â€œBy creating an account, you shop faster, get an updated order status, and keep track of the orders you have previously made,â€ Ms Gacheri says.
She makes deliveries in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kakamega, Kisumu, Nakuru, Eldoret, Meru, Mombasa, Nanyuki, and Embu towns.
The ePepea Online Supermarket has an associate programme that is free and enables members to earn revenue by placing a link or links on their website to advertise products and services.
â€œAny sales made to customers who click on those links will earn the affiliate a commission. The standard commission rate is currently three per cent,â€ according to a statement on the website.
Ms Gacheri has configured her website to receive notifications when someone is shopping or when payment is done.
When I receive a notification that a payment has been done, I make arrangements for the delivery,â€ she says.
Ms Gacheri projects that in the next two to five years, she will expand her outfit to offer services to the East African region. She adds that some of her customers from outside the continent want to send shopping to their relatives in Kenya and in the region.
â€œThis is the best decision I have ever made. I can now spend more time with my family and do what I love doing â€” solving other peopleâ€™s problems by linking them and their families,â€ Ms GacheriÂ said.
She has 20 freelance sales people across the country and in a day makes about six to 10 deliveries. Each delivery costs a flat rate of Sh500.
Ms Gacheri says her greatest challenge is traffic jams, especially in Nairobi.
â€œThis causes delays when I need to deliver shopping to a client. Price changes are also a challenge as I need to update my website frequently to keep abreast of the current prices to avoid inconveniencing my customers,â€ she says. says.