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Jumia, the Rocket Internet backed West African ecommerce site, has announced the launch of its first smartphone app, available for users in, interestingly, not only West African Nigeria, Morocco and Ivory Coast but also Kenya, extending its reach, and m-commerce, to more parts of Africa.
Jumia, which is akin to Amazon and only about one year old, will see the app – available for Android phones – offer up Jumia’s full 50 000-piece catalog, including international brands. It promises to have simple, intuitive navigation as well as support for secure online payments, and push notifications for new arrivals and sales.
Fueled by mobile growth in Africa, the move into this territory makes sense for Jumia. The Nigerian Communication Commission revealed that 78% of the Nigerian population are mobile subscribers, of which about 40% are smartphone users (based on active internet subscriptions in June 2013). Similarly 69% of Kenya’s population are mobile subscribers, 75% of Ivory Coast’s, and 120% of Morocco’s population – meaning there are more active phone numbers in the country than there are people.
Jeremy Hodara, co-CEO Africa Internet Holding commented that: “M-commerce is not just an additional channel, but might be the entry point to gaining many more customers in a market where landlines are not always 100% stable. The smartphone penetration rate in sub Saharan Africa has increased immensely over the last years and will continue do so. JUMIA seizes this enormous opportunity with the best m-commerce solution on the market.”
Over the last year Jumia has grown to be the fourth most visited Nigerian website, and employs over 1500 people across four countries. It recently created what it calls, “the largest ecommerce campus in West Africa” in Lagos, housing 500 employees.
This move to mobile enables m-commerce for parts of Africa, and further cements Jumia’s position as the Amazon of Africa.
View the Jumia Android App on Google Play here.