CEO of Jumia Egypt Hesham Safwat said that the initial indicators for the website’s Black Friday offers are positive, as the visitors awaiting the launch of the campaign reached 50,000 per second.
During the first hour of the campaign, the site saw more than 1.5 million visits. The sales in the first five minutes were equal to the sales made during the entire period of the campaign in 2014.
Safwat told Daily News Egypt that there are over 100,000 merchants on the website for the campaign, offering over 550,000 different products.
According to current indicators, mobile phones and tablets are receiving the highest demand, followed by clothing and cosmetics, and then children’s products, especially diapers.
As for some consumers’ complaints that the discount rate on the site is not real, he said that last year, there were some exhibitors who were increasing the prices before the campaign began, making the discounts less real.
“But we are just an online mall,” he explained. “There are three types of offers: us choosing the offers, specifications, and discount rate, 500 offers from selected merchants, and offers made by merchants themselves.”
According to Safwat, visitors are expected to reach 18 million by the end of the campaign. He noted that the company invested about EGP 70m in the campaign, which is the largest investment made by the company in Egypt until now.
Moreover, Safwat said he believes that Black Friday offers and similar campaigns enlarge the market and encourage exhibitors to benefit from electronic platforms, next to stimulating buyers to use e-commerce.
As for the readiness to deliver customer purchases, Safwat said that the company added two new warehouses, increasing its total to five, next to eight main distribution hubs for delivery, eight points to receive products from merchants, and 100 points to receive orders. This allows clients to receive the purchased items from these points instead of waiting for delivery, which now takes between two and 14 days.
According to Safwat, the Black Friday offers can boost Jumia’s growth by four-fold compared to last year.
He noted that the company has also signed an agreement with MasterCard to offer discounts on credit card payments, with more plans in the pipeline to activate electronic payments.
As for the competition, Safwat said that the market can accommodate more players, as e-commerce still accounts for only 3% of Egypt’s total internal trade.
Jumia Electronic Trading is in the process of developing a service to pay for purchases through Fawry, which is expected to launch by the end of the current year.
The company agreed with a number of banks to provide new products specifically for e-commerce customers, allowing the customer to pay for purchases made through Jumia via ATMs or prepaid cards obtained from the banks.
In recent years, e-commerce has seen significant growth both in terms of volume of sales and the number of suppliers in this field. AT Kearney Global Consulting predicted the growth of e-commerce activity in the Middle East to more than $20bn by 2020, with the presence of 200 million youth using digital technologies.