Since the mobile boom, and the subsequent smartphone and broadband penetration began in Africa just over a decade ago, a new wave of businesses have surfaced on the continent. From e-payment services to blogger-millionaires, Africa has welcomed a new group of money making ventures, all leveraging the internet to provide essential services for local consumption.
Among the many new businesses now present on the continent, the ecommerce sector has seen the most growth. With pan-African ventures like Jumia, Konga, and Naspers-owned OLX, cropping up and offering a diverse array of retail and marketplace services, the sector has become a real growth driver across Africa’s leading markets.
However one of Nigeria’s newest ecommerce players, Kampke.com, is keen to challenge the growing status quo. Led by budding entrepreneur and founder of Le Blues Ventures, David Alenkhe, Kampke is already attracting customers from Tanzania, East Africa, despite officially kicking off less than a year ago.
Ventures Africa had the opportunity to sit with David, the soft-spoken young businessman, who offered insights on the company’s rapid rise to and plans to manage competition in one of Africa’s most hotly contested ecommerce market.
How attractive do you think Nigeria’s ecommerce space is?
Recent survey reports that the Nigeria’s e-commerce space records about N1.3 billion ($7.3 million) monthly transactions. If we add this to rising internet access and disposable income levels of the Nigerian population, then we see how insanely attractive it is.
Did this inform the decision the launch Kampke.com?
Yes it did!
During this short period of operation, what have you found the most fascinating about this sector?
For us, the most fascinating thing would be the growing consumer patronage, and demand for our product offering in Nigeria and other African cities. For instance, recently we had Reuben From Tanzania wanting to buy one of our traditional clothing to wear to his wedding. This is interesting, because it validates to us that there is a “need” in the market to fill, and for us as a company this presents opportunity as well as growth.
So far you have stayed within the confines of fashion. Do you consider this sector the most attractive for ecommerce?
We stayed within the confines of fashion because we found a need to fill within this area given that Nigerians are fashionable people, and the convenience of multi-channel shopping for fashion goods, offers an irresistible value proposition.
Any plans for a portfolio diversification?
How would you rate consumer patronage since Kampke’s launch?
Aside from being patronized repeatedly by customers of pre-existing market players like Konga and Jumia. We would say very fascinating!
In less than a year, we have delivered Kampke boxes to over 25 states across Nigeria, and we benefit from a growing number of repeat sales and organic customer referrals. And with our free nationwide delivery, pay on delivery option, and pick up stores, we believe our consumer patronage is growing faster than ever.
Do you think the Nigerian ecommerce sector can maintain the rapid growth experienced in the past 5yrs?
Consumer patronage for e-commerce services continues to rise along with other factors like the growing demand for mass marketed products, and the rise of consumer spending, with reduced cost and ease of accessing the internet, then we are confident that rapid growth would continue well beyond five years.
With top players such as Jumia and Konga already holding a sizeable chunk of the market, how is Kampke differentiation itself to corner a profitable-returning niche?
To the consumer, Kampke’s differentiation is clear, aside from shopping online and having it delivered for free, the consumer can walk into any of our pick up stores, interact with our online catalogue via in-store tablets (as we do not display physical products), proceed to order items, and walk out with purchased items – all happening within a few minutes.
Our ultimate aim is to unify the online and offline channels to create a seamless shopping experience for the consumer. This approach allows us to better educate the consumer on the benefits of e-commerce, and also it gives our online presence a face; creating trust, something the Nigerian consumer appreciates.
How do you see Kampke and the African e-commerce sector at large in the next decade?
As a result of our multi-channel approach to e-commerce, we see ourselves having a unique impact in the Nigerian market. And with the sector growing around 25 percent yearly in Nigeria, we see e-commerce as the next major driver of socio-economic growth in Africa.