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Egypt's consumer mindset shifts from offline to online market

Jumia's Managing Director talks about the changing consumer mindset and e-commerce in Egypt.
JUMIA Egypt | 25.07.2013

The e-commerce industry has come a long shot during the past years; it has attracted millions of dollars from international and local businessmen and investors who are keen on exploiting the potentials of the Egyptian market. The industry that is defined as the purchasing and selling of services and goods online, have been the source of jobs for many Egyptians who have found a chance make a living from working for online shopping websites. In order to understand more about e-commerce and its potentials in a country like Egypt we interviewed Mattia Perroni, Managing Director of Jumia; a well-known e-commerce website in the country.

Moreover, we asked Mr. Perroni about the past events in Egypt and how they have affected the growth rate of the website. He admitted that he was a bit scared of the political situation; nevertheless his fears proved to be groundless as the sales have spiked up due to the fact that Egyptians were scared to go out during those tense days so they decided to shop online. Jumia Egypt logistics department never stopped working for one day and they continued to deliver products all over Egypt with the required hard work and commitment.

Mr. Perroni assumes that Jumia Egypt has more than 50% of the e-commerce market in Egypt, as their main focus is on that field while other ventures are divided between e-commerce and market place. And he adds “The most curious thing about the Egyptian purchasing behavior is what I like to call “Emotional intelligence”: if you dissatisfy an Egyptian, you have lost him forever; on the other hand if you satisfy all his needs in the fastest manner, then you have a very loyal customer. This is actually why we are investing so much in internalizing all the core activities of our business: own photo studio, own customer service, own fleet delivery, own warehouse etc etc. Speaking about products, Fashion is definitely a trend which is significantly growing and on which we have a huge competitive advantage looking at other players.”

Furthermore, When Mr. Perroni is asked about the future of e-marketing in Egypt, he says that when you look at the data about e-marketing in Egypt (+50% last year) you would find it clear that the country is going digital more and more. He adds that the main difference between network marketing and Jumia’s model is that they do not pay anybody to incentivize the customer; they only spend money to show the website to as many people as possible. Once a user lands on Jumia, he is just a visitor who will discover how innovative and reliable our service is. It is their choice to buy or not.

At last but not least when Mr. Perronie is asked about the challenges that Jumia faces in Egypt, he says “The way we fight it is simply by letting people try our website and let the word of mouth do the job for us. By saying this I do not mean that 100% of the customers will have the best experience ever but I can guarantee you that in case something goes wrong you will be refunded in less than a week by our return team, for free. We truly think that after sales is the most important department in order to gain our customers’ trust”.

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