Public-listed African online retailer Jumia has partnered with Vivo Energy, which runs over 2100 Shell and Engen-branded fuel stations in Africa, to turn Vivo’s stations into pick-up and return points as the firm moves to cut its operational costs.
Jumia, which launched in 2012 in Lagos, Nigeria then spread across major cities in sub-saharan Africa runs its own delivery and pick-up points in Nigeria and Kenya and its various other cities but running them is a cost the firm is keen to avoid. Last year, Jumia made losses of almost $1 billion and had a cashflow deficit of $159.2 million.
The partnership will see Vivo Energy’s retail service stations used as pick up and drop off points for customers, allowing them to collect or return online orders made on Jumia’s digital platform. Additionally, Jumia’s customers will be able to place and pay for Jumia orders at select service stations.
Vivo will also use Jumia as its go-to platform to distribute its non-fuel retail products such as lubricants among others across Africa.
According to Boris Gbahoue, Jumia’s Executive Vice-President of Marketing, said: “We are constantly looking at how we can further adapt our technology to be a part of the local infrastructure and become more accessible to more customers. We are excited to announce this partnership with Vivo Energy, as we are confident that their retail network will enable Jumia to conveniently deliver products to current and new customers, including in remote areas. We will continue to expand our brand partnerships, with an aim to diversify product offerings.”
Vivo Energy is suited for Jumia as it operates and markets its products in countries across North, West, East and Southern Africa. The Group has a network of over 2,100 service stations in 23 countries operating under the Shell and Engen brands and exports lubricants to a number of other African countries. Its retail offering includes fuels, lubricants, card services, shops, restaurants and other non-fuel services.
Jumia will also grow its brand power from the partnership and gain the trust of various customers who visit Vivo Energy fuel stations across Africa.
“Our customers are rightly demanding newer and faster ways of accessing products and services. Vivo Energy and Jumia are both focused on developing innovative ways to make their customers’ experience more convenient and rewarding. We are excited about the partnership and the potential it offers,” said Omar Benson, Vice President, Retail, Quick Service Restaurants, Convenience Retail, and Other non-fuel Retail, at Vivo Energy.
These deal will also reduce Jumia’s dependence on its Jumia Express, save it time and money involved in locating customers in Africa where last-mile delivery is a challenge as mapping is a problem.