Haraqisha, Swahili word for hurry up, is a new online grocery and supermarket shopping marketplace set to disrupt Kenya’s ecommerce trends, saving Kenyans more the time they spend in traffic everyday.
“Haraqisha wants to spare you the trips you make to get your daily groceries. Rather than fight traffic to the store, why not let the store come to you? Haraqisha has partnered with neighborhood stores to list and present their merchandise via a mobile app. These are the same stores that you visit to buy your bread, milk, butter and other daily necessities,” says Andrew Muia, the app developer.
Within the app, you can locate the stores that are closest to you and browse their merchandise from the comfort of your home or office. When you put in an order, it is relayed to the store and the store prepares your order either for pickup or delivery.
Unlike typical online orders whereby deliveries are made within 1‐3 days at best, Haraqisha has partnered with couriers who operate close to the stores so that deliveries can be made within two hours. What’s more, when your order goes out for delivery, you can track the progress of the courier in real time, so you don’t have to guess when the delivery will arrive.
For those shoppers who would rather pick up their orders, perhaps on the way home from the office, a notification is sent when the order is ready for pickup. You can then pass by the store, show your electronic receipt and take possession of your already packaged order. This means no more going up and down the isles gathering items individually, or waiting for your turn at the checkout counter, or getting to the checkout counter and finding that there are no recyclable bags to pack your items.
For good reason, many people in Kenya are hesitant to pay for goods online, particularly if they have not shopped with the vendor previously. For this reason, Haraqisha collects payment for orders and subsequently transfers the payments to the store owner only after the customer has taken delivery of the goods. Alternatively, customers can elect to pay at the store when they pick up their order.
Technology excels at repetitive tasks, so after your first order, you can further save time on subsequent orders by simply repeating or editing the previous order. Aside from the convenience of shopping from the comfort of your home or office, the deals that are on offer in nearby stores will also be available at your fingertips. Gone are the days when you need to trek to the store to find out what items are on sale.
Besides making it a breeze to shop for your daily necessities, the Haraqisha apps helps you answer some very simple questions. For example, if you are looking for a product, the Haraqisha app will help you find the closest store that has it. Or, if you are looking for a deal on a product, the Haraqisha app will show you which stores have it on sale. When shopping for high value items such as TVs and the like, it would be reasonable to travel across town for a good deal. However, for daily consumables such as cooking oil, flour, bread, etc., hunting for deals makes sense only if the stores are within walking distance. Haraqisha excels at showing you what’s on sale down the street or around the corner.
For many people living in Nairobi, getting a taxi has become a simple matter of opening a ride‐hailing app and requesting a taxi to come to you. Haraqisha intends to do the same for your shopping. Simply tap the app, and let your shopping come to you. But if you prefer, you can also tap the app and Haraqisha will get you a ride to the store, or a courier to pick up your order from the store.
The Haraqisha app is currently available for download from the Android app store. While the official launch is slated for March, users can currently access local deals as well as browse available merchandise at various stores in Nairobi.