Kenyan media personality Julie Gichuru and her husband Anthony, a top city businessman have together launched MiMi.co.ke, a fashion portal to end woes of men and women who being busy in their 9 to 5 jobs or businesses have no time to waste but still want to clad elegantly.
Fashion lovers visit Mimi.co.ke and without need for technical knowledge select latest fashion brands, drop into their shopping cart and pay by mobile money or Pesapal. Then relax at the comfort and safety of their houses or offices as MiMi delivers their order.
TechMoran talked to them and this is what they promised;
What is Mimi.co.ke?
Mimi.co.ke is an online shop currently offering fashion merchandise but with a vision to offer a range of products to consumers who do not have the time or energy to shop in conventional shops. With Kenya at the fore of technological innovation Mimi.co.ke envisions a big role for retailers, wholesalers and suppliers of products and services via the internet.
Who are its founders-age,education, prior experience in tech etc
The founders of Mimi.co.ke are entrepreneur Anthony Gichuru and his wife media personality Julie Gichuru. The platform was developed by Verviant, an IT consulting company which offers world class services in design, software and mobile. Verviant has offices in Nairobi, Kenya and in the United States of America. They are also known for their work on the online payment system, Pesapal. This is a key factor for the Mimi shop as it gives shoppers numerous payment options including Mpesa and Airtel Money along with other mobile subscriber payment options and credit cards.
What problem does it solve?
Mimi.co.ke enables shoppers to browse and shop at their own time and place of choice. In a hectic world this option eases one’s time pressures and provides and avenue for shopping while relaxing. It also ensures the delivery is made to a location of the shoppers choice. This is an added convenience. In just one week of trading Mimi.co.ke has already had incredible response with returning customers. This proves that there is a serious gap in the market that e-commerce serves.
How does it work?
It is very simple, to shop at Mimi.co.ke you just select the item you want and the size required and press buy. When one has finished shopping the system takes you through a checkout procedure where you register your account and details such as delivery location, date and time. Finally you get payment options and once payment is made the process is complete. Once you have registered you simply need to log in to shop on your next visit.
How do you get your pieces for sale?
Some pieces are imported while others are sourced locally. Mimi.co.ke has a vision to work with local designers and artisans and already we have stock from artisans in Mombasa. Kiko Romeo is working on a line for Mimi.co.ke that will be launched on the website soon. We will be looking to partner with talented designers to develop a range of collections for MIMI.
Why online when there are thousands of shops to use?
The high cost of rental properties in Kenya means that customers would have to pay much more for their merchandise. The business plan was therefore centered around the growing culture of online trade and commerce that is already fast developing. Additionally, going online offers increased accessibility to markets than a shop in a mall.
How many users/buyers?
This has been an amazing first week for Mimi.co.ke and over the past 7 days of operations MIMI SHOP has not only registered a good response but has had returning customers. The satisfaction of a customer is vital and the MIMI team is both excited and delighted at the response to this online shopping concept that many would have said would not work in Africa.
How is Mimi.co.ke unique from the competition?
For one, Mimi.co.ke is online. Secondly, we have a range of clothes to suit various tastes. Thirdly, we are reasonably priced, particularly considering the brands we stock and the quality of the merchandise. Also, we are interested in the wider regional market and as such have worked out our operations around a reliable delivery system. Finally, the MIMI team is passionate and innovative but also focused on the basics. If you get the basics right everything else will fall into place.
Any partnership with like suppliers?
Mimi.co.ke has strong partnerships with a number of international suppliers and we are growing partnerships with local suppliers too.
Where do you want to be in the next two years?
Mimi.co.ke will be the premier location for online shopping in East Africa. Not just limited to fashion but across a wide spectrum of products and merchandise. Whether retail or wholesale Mimi.co.ke will be the place to go.