Sendy, a logistics solution provider, has launched a digital application to help small e-commerce businesses get their orders to the consumers conveniently and at more affordable rates.
Sendy Fulfilment General Manager, East Africa Chirs Nyaga says this segment of the market is struggling with the cost of moving items as transport charges could sometimes be higher than the price of the good.
If an order is worth Sh100, he says, then delivering it to the consumer makes little economic sense, and the only way out is for the customer to pick it from the premises.
“This is the problem we are now out to solve by providing that last-mile service to these businesses at a cost-effective price,” says Mr Nyaga.
The logistics app, dubbed Sendy Fulfilment, enables sellers to upload their items which are then bought by consumers. The app is available on playstore and appstore.
After the buyer has made an order, the seller will make a request for the consignment to be picked on the app.
Sendy will then dispatch their riders to go and collect the consignment and take to their fulfilment facilities.
Currently, the main fulfilment centre used for storage is located on Waiyaki Way but there are other small centres, which will act as pickup and drop off points, located in the city centre, Westlands, Ngong Road, Rongai. Thika, Mombasa Road, and Eastleigh.
“The items will be in our consignment stores. What we will need is the customer’s name, their phone number, and their delivery location to complete the order,” Mr Nyaga says.
“The seller will be able to track when a new order is made to the last process when it is delivered to the customer as well as the orders completed and their history on a real-time basis.”
The buyer will automatically receive notification through email immediately an order is confirmed. They can then click on the sent link to view what exactly is happening to their orders. For instance, they can see the order has been placed, delivery prepared and a rider has arrived to collect the order as well as change delivery location.
The customer has a choice, Mr Nyaga notes, to request for delivery either at their doorstep, where they work or at Sendy managed stations near them.
“They will then be able to track the rider digitally. The buyer, after the delivery, can rate the experience or leave some comments,” he explains.
Launched last month, more than 100 such sellers have registered on the app with more than 100 deliveries being carried out daily.
Mr Nyaga anticipates deliveries will exponentially rise to at least 110,000 daily in Nairobi.
“We are charging the sellers 13 percent of the value of their items. This will cover the storage, picking, packing all the way to delivery,” he says.
Right now, he points out that they are concentrating on Nairobi, where the biggest chunk of the market currently is, but have also begun venturing into areas such as Ongata Rongai and Thika.
Sendy targets to have rolled out the product to the rest of the country in the first quarter of next year where the small e-commerce businesses also have clients from and most of the time are unable to fulfil their orders or very expensive when they do so.
Mr Nyaga points out that Sendy will provide storage for the items within their consignment facilities then when orders come in, they are packed and delivered to the buyer without any reference to the seller.
He adds that the sellers currently have to pay for storage, and then when the order is received, they still have to figure out how that item will go from their stores to the buyer.
“But with us, what the seller needs to do is just generate the orders. Those with e-commerce sites have the option to integrate the same with Sendy so that they are also able to see the orders,” explains Mr Nyaga.
“It will address a lot of the issues they face so that they can focus on their real business, which is generating orders,” he adds.