THE LINK: How to stay afloat in the E-Commerce era



[Applause] welcome to this week's edition of the link and we are discussing tonight online business and we have people who know what they're doing in this area and that is Jimmy and tonight we have MD Jimmy a Uganda roll camera Ron welcome thank you for having me usually we have few minutes so it goes straight away yes you have been so to speak making noise and so people know you exist now if you do stuff on all you do sell online let me ask a basic question of people who like to know who really is buying online and now do catch me I question who buys online is everybody we see a very big cross-section of the guidance across all age groups across all professions and obviously having said that we see that the most common group is always people between the ages of 20 and 40 mm-hm but we see people buying small items large items and as a result we see a huge spread of people buying jamia now Jamia has multiple businesses as a Jimmy a site where people can buy electronics fashion anything you need phones TVs groceries that's Jimmy a site we have this Jimmy a food where people can order for food from about 200 restaurants in Kampala for delivery we have Jimmy a travel where they can book flights and hotels so we see that there is everything for everybody yeah how do you catch the eye I mean you put stuff online how you make sure the right guys get what do you want the deputation to you we we are very data-driven we invest a lot of money in business intelligence we vest a lot of money understanding the customers good customer insight we invest a lot of money in doing products just to do focus groups and as a result we try to customize the Jimmy experience obviously we know what our customers are looking for we look at what is such when they come when Jimmy and we can see which what do they search for now on private times we'll get this information from Google and that the aggregators so we know exactly what customers need what customers are buying and what customers are looking for consequently were able to tell our ads to the specific segment if I know you you're young professional and you live in this area I know most likely you're interested in electronics interested in and maybe baby products interested in a specific kind of fashion so when you go online and you say Jimmy I add that ad is most likely tailored to your dad and we know that you're a target market and we know exactly the kind of products you will need to buy so we invest a lot of time understanding our customers as a result we also invest our time trying to make sure our sort meant of product is available for example in Uganda yeah we have six hundred thousand products available and Jimmy that's more than half a million products there's not a single supermarket a single model anyway in Uganda that can sell six hundred thousand options you're not real good when aggregator so and so this this is not an accident we take our time to understand what customers need what people can pal a bike because as an e-commerce you have to solve a real problem which kind of physical address and such with your physical address yes understand them to reach them where they almost exactly we need to understand what they are looking for because we don't have a loop in their supermarkets someone comes in and says I don't do you have this yeah next time you stock that online we need to make sure that when you come to jamia we have everything that you need okay so let's just go back there that's anything sell online and here I'm picking from your experience as an online business that's anything sell what we do sales well basically and the online world is not too different from the offline world I thought it was it's not not too different no just that one is in the cloud and the other one is the reality is that it's the same people who are buying on Kampala Road who are buying and anymore who also come to jamia now having saved that what you see in this market yeah people initially when they come to jamia start with a small item to try the system but mainly people buying electronics phones TVs there's home appliances now we're seeing now as more and more people trust jamia yeah and more there's a word of mouth going around I think most of our customers come to us through whatever month okay but their colleague they appear their friend their fight so satisfied yes satisfied then they come to us and now we see that initially we were known for selling a lot of phones TVs and appliances like ooh cousin you know now we see that more and more customers are trusting us buying fashion buying groceries buying everything so now we're seeing much more balanced kind of sales happening mantra Mia the people buying everything you said groceries what did you see in me that so groceries oh the green is really so yeah I mean that customers are buying food that items are they can consume in the home home so that could be if some food items it could be toiletries it could be cleaning supplies it could be a lot of things all those are found on Jimmy we have an on-demand service and the Jimmy a food as well where people can get even more fresh produce as well given so the options people have under Mia and this is where I hope that more and more people go buying and selling online is that and the only way we can do that is by having the biggest options the biggest range of options all our customers but if we say we're just two electronics and we'll just do TVs and just do our appliances yet people want fashion people want and you have understood that they want that so we are taking the market yes that's their phone that's a thing as jamia is a marketplace is that we don't own these products we work with distributors we work with licensed sellers to make sure one we get the biggest range of products – and the best prices we we want to and we promise our customers that if you find prices cheaper offline we pay you ten times the difference and we mean that we know that we have the best pricing because we don't have a wholesaler we work directly with the distributor work with a legitimate importer so we remove all the rights yes prices are bleep now yes Ron time is running very fast on us if I wanted to sell the product on Jimmy as online platform what does it take I'm sure not not everyone I'm sure they're looking for how do I get on well do you guys we are looking for very good sellers who have legitimate products and who have deep stock so we don't want anybody who sells products are not validated that don't have warranty products that we don't you can't trace a certificate of origin and then obviously as but once you have all those your legitimate seller we send you up we verify your products to make sure they meet our quality controls we validate that you have enough stock to satisfy the customers because now you can come in and say I need the cell phones but I don't have three now if we place you on the platform customers come they have to be there so we need to validate that and then the most important which is where jamia has a big advantage over many of the offline stores is that our products have warranty which is very very important customers have seven days to return the product if they don't like it yeah you've shopped and Rumia usually told me if you don't like your product you can bring it back no questions asked within seven days and on top of that we have insurance for all electronics so you can select you buy a phone or TV you can ensure that again it's damaged again and stuffed yeah so if anything happens that the insurance will cover you all those things were doing it because we know that as an e-commerce company it's a new field we deal with an element of mistrust customers yes so there's a mistrust trust a brand and to be honest if you look at and there's a reason for that people buy a product on compiler and compiler Road and so on and so on so people were skeptical that's why we give them all these protections you can pay cash on delivery receive the product check its its authenticity and then pay you have seven days to return it yeah and on top of that you can buy insurance against we do all these things to make it as safe as possible for people who go online to do business ok role as jamia you are kind of like a model I would say tough the toughness of business now young people may be listening and thinking ok online is the future if you're you are going to share some two things or three what would you tell them they would not be like there will not be you but they are going to use you as an example if I'm doing or being online why should I bear in mind key things I can't miss out if I'm gonna survive well number one people say that online is the future III disagree I think online is now online is now a futures yeah you also right yes so the future is here online is here now I have to admit that being said in Uganda we have barely scratched the surface the opportunity with bayless crash the opportunity of e-commerce and there's very few players in that space now if you look at Europe and North America ecommerce makes up about 16% 16 20 percent of the general economy in Uganda and in many other African markets and ecommerce was less than 1% so the opportunity is there and right now we are seeing that people are willing to adopt ecommerce that early adopters are very happy with buying online customers who buy and remya come back so what does this mean it means that the opportunity is therefore young enterpreneurs to go on and start on my own in company or online business and I want them to see the Internet as a great equalizer you don't need a lot of capital to start a new business you don't need a lot of experience all you need is to be a master of your craft if you do it very well if you're starting up an e-commerce site that's gonna focus on selling ad work at pieces are you gonna help young painters and artists to sell make it incredible make the quality amazing make sure your customers are getting a good experience because at the end of the day any online company has one thing we sell good experiences yes because we check out with us is the experience has to be great is that custom and because that's what we're solving yes Jamia we offer good experience we have a very good prices and but all those things lead up to a good experience okay so any startup or tail any young enterpreneur who wants to get an online space I said number one make sure where is the opportunity yes and what what is look at a problem first what problem do I want to solve if you find a problem and you can find a solution that's digital solution then you have a good step don't wanna medicated the lessons many people say when they explained to us you stopped but they indicate to me that you need to go Ron thank you so much we had like six discussion questions I've just only done four I was discussing with some people online and I was saying you need enough time I told them ask the powers-that-be to give me more time that was wrong , the MD of Jamia Uganda we couldn't finish the commercial because of time but thank you for joining us tonight

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