However, Kenya’s VituMob.com, aims to use technology to open up US e-tail stores to all Kenyans. Vitumob allows them to go to the world’s leading websites, select products, purchase with M-Pesa or Credit Card and have those products delivered to their doorsteps-all hindrances cleared.
Speaking to TechMoran, Sam Imende, Project Manager VituMob said, ” Across the globe, people now can shop online, find anything they can imagine, pay for it seamlessly and have it delivered to their door. In East Africa, we do not have this prestige apart from buying from local online stores which though retail their goods expensively. There are so many things that we know we just cannot have without calling a friend or relative who lives in the west or Europe.”
VituMob works simply. Users visit www.vitumob.com and add the extension to their Chrome browser and in a few minutes the VituMob button and blue checkout bar will appear at the top of their browser. Then they can begin shopping simply by clicking on any of the VituMob supported websites (Amazon.com, Macys.com, etc.); Choose the products they want to purchase and add them to their shopping cart.
“After adding the goods into your shopping cart,click the blue checkout bar to check-out or continue shopping. View your shopping cart and conveniently complete your purchase with M-pesa or Credit Card. Once you place the order, you will receive an email confirmation, status updates and delivery of your order within 2 to 4 weeks,” explained Imende.
According to Imende the transactions are shocking even though Vitumob is just in its beta launch.
“We have been a little shocked by the initial response,” says Imende. ” In our first month of consumer testing, with less than KSh 15k of marketing expenditure, we did over KSh 1m of sales. In the first six weeks, 54% of our customers have re-ordered. And we have not really started marketing the product yet.”
Within six months,Vitumob expects to be the go to place for everyone living in Kenya to be able to buy just anything online from any US store of their choice, everyday, and have them delivered to their door. The firm has its own delivery team and is now delivering to Nairobi and Mombasa alone but plans to expand the delivery zones to the rest of the country in the new year.
VituMob is riding on the education and awareness of e-cormmerce by firms like Rocket Internet’s Jumia, Naspers’ backed classifieds site OLX and another of other me-too online retailers such as OLS.co.ke which has since rebranded to Sumi.co.ke. and another dubbed Kilimall promising users drone deliveries but just seen as an ill-crafted PR stunt.
Vitumob are not the first or only ones shopping for others from US stores, the only difference they say they have is users don’t have to visit site to site to shop but Vitumob allows them to shop directly from their browsers and pay using M-Pesa on Vitumob.