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Why most Kenyans are not shopping online for festivities

By FRED MUKINDA December 22nd, 2016 2 min read

Tech-savvy Kenyans would prefer to do Christmas shopping over the Internet but a larger majority shun online purchases, according to a new survey.

The study revealed that online shopping lags behind because most Kenyans do not trust the sellers and they are also wary of delivery costs.

Moreover, most Internet sites do not support payment modes preferred by a large number of Kenyans.

The survey was carried out by GeoPoll using its mobile phone application, and reached out to 1,251 respondents in Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Ghana and Nigeria.

There is, however, a silver lining for online shopping in Kenya. “The total retail economy is projected to grow rapidly, along with the population as a whole and its spending power per capita,” according to the survey, citing a recent report by KPMG.

It noted: “In seven sub-Saharan countries, e-commerce makes up one to three per cent of Gross Domestic Product, and is predicted to make up 10 per cent of total retail sales in key markets by 2025, with 40 per cent annual growth over the next 10 years.”

South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya are the leading countries in online shopping in sub-Saharan Africa and therefore their participation in the survey was important.


It revealed that in South Africa, a majority (60 per cent) buy items online every few months compared to Kenya (45 per cent) and Nigeria (66 per cent).

Seventy per cent of Kenyans and Nigerians, as well as 60 per cent of South Africans have at one time tried online shopping.

However, most Ghanaians (55 per cent) and Ugandans (51 per cent) have never bought anything online.

Previous studies have also closely tied online shopping to Internet access in a county.

South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya have the highest levels of Internet and smartphone penetration in sub-Saharan Africa according a 2015 Pew Global research survey, which was also cited in the recent study.

GeoPoll survey also revealed that online shopping site Jumia is the most popular in Kenya followed by Kilimall.

Majority of Kenyans, 51 per cent also prefer cash on delivery to pay for good purchased online while mobile money payments ranks second at 42 per cent.