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Corporate

Kilimall eyes Africa market with expansion into Uganda and Nigeria

A screen grab of the kilimall website. PHOTO |
A screen grab of the kilimall website. PHOTO | NATION  

Kilimall, an online retail platform that launched operations in Kenya two years ago, has spread its presence to neighbouring Uganda and Nigeria.

The online retailer has opened a Nigeria office, while its Uganda shop started operations in May.
Like their Kenyan counterparts, Ugandan shoppers are increasingly embracing online shopping in tandem with rapid growth of technology.

The shift to online is also boosted by the increased use of smartphones, which are now readily available across Africa at relatively affordable prices as manufacturers engage in a cut-throat competition to push sales.

“Internet use in Uganda has become vast and many people are embracing it for business and shopping unlike in previous years where they used it for Facebook and other social sites,” said Kilimall International regional marketing director Larry Liu in a statement.

“The Ugandan branch is picking already with only a few months into operation. Since May, visits to the Kilimall website in the country have grown to 500 orders per day.”

Kilimall’s range of products include smartphones, electronics, fashion and home and lifestyle brands. 

As of 2014, e-commerce and online shopping in Uganda unlike Kenya was almost non-existent.

Kilimall’s Nigerian subsidiary is expected to be launched this month, eyeing a piece of the biggest online market in West Africa and the continent’s largest economy. “We realised that there is a high demand for various products by Nigerians and went in to fill that gap,” said Mr Liu.

Celebrating their two years of operations in Kenya, the Chinese firm which controls a significant share of the online retail market stepped up its bid for a larger piece of the pie by introducing door-to-door delivery. Its main rivals in Kenya include Jumia and Kaymu.

Kilimall earlier this month announced that it had partnered with Fargo Courier to deliver goods to customers’ doorsteps across Kenya.

smurumba@ke.nationmedia.com

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