After record mobile device sales in 2017, Jumia Kenya set for 2018 Mobile Week

After setting a record during last year by selling over 250,000 mobile devices – which translates to an increase of 25 per cent compared to 2016 – online retailer Jumia Kenya is set for another Mobile Week sale from next week.

This month’s week-long promo is set to run from March 19 to 25 with various mobile device brands on offer. These include Tecno, Infinix, itel, Gionee, Samsung, Nokia, iPhone as well as a new feature phone brand from the US, Kaios, which will use the sale to make its debut in the country. Other brands expected to be available at discounted prices during Mobile Week are Oppo, Fero, Vivo and Xiaomi.

(TOP: Anjanesh Chaubey, Jumia Head of Mobiles – left -; Samuel, Tecno Sales Manager – middle – and Jumia MD Sam Chappate admire features of a new Tecno model during the launch of the fourth Mobile White Paper).

As a build-up to the Mobile Week, Jumia Kenya yesterday released it 2018 Mobile White Paper for Kenya which has insights into trends regarding mobile and connectivity in Kenya and sub-Saharan Africa. The 2018 report, the fourth released by Jumia, also examines how the smartphone industry plays a key role in the country’s socio-economic development.

While releasing the report, Sam Chappatte said that mobile device sales on the platform have increased by over 50 per cent with 95 per cent of the devices sold being smartphones, which in turn led to increased internet access via mobile phones in Kenya.

“We have three main reasons driving mobile internet growth in Kenya. One is cheaper internet-enabled devices or smartphones, the second is cheap data prices while the third reason is the country’s improved ICT infrastructure,” noted Chappatte, adding that majority of those purchasing mobile devices via Jumia opt for those with more features, mainly the Chinese brands.

When it comes to cost of devices, Chappatte’s views are further highlighted in the 2018 whitepaper.

The report states that high mobile penetration in Kenya has been driven by the arrival of aggressive entrants, such as Hong Kong-based Transsion Holdings which offers quality devices at affordable prices through its three brands – that Tecno, Itel and Infinix.

“Transsion continues to hold the top spot during the Q4 2017 in a report released by International Data Corporation (IDC) as the biggest smartphone and feature phone vendor in Kenya with a staggering 58% and 63% market share respectively (by volume). Whilst Tecno and infinix dominate the smartphone segment, Tecno and Itel dominate the feature phone segment,” states the report, adding that Samsung has a 17% market share (by volume) driven by it’s economically priced J-series.

Still on device costs, the report notes that despite major reduction in prices over the last few years, prices stabilised on the Jumia platform in 2017 (compared to 2016), with the average being US $90 (Kshs 9,000). Smartphones accounted for 97% of all phones sold (3% feature phones), with 68% of sales taking place in Nairobi.

Kenya currently has 43 million internet users, according to the latest stats by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA). However, the figure does not give a breakdown of those accessing from laptops or mobile devices as well as people with multiple devices all connected to the internet.

Which brings us to the question of what people are using to access the Jumia portal, being an online platform?

This has also been answered in the report as for the first ever, Jumia has seen more orders coming from mobile devices (mobile web and app) than desktop in 2018.

“The majority of traffic to the website continues to come from mobile devices (mobile web + app), but historically conversion rates were lower than on desktops. This reflects the growing importance of the smartphone, and trust in the Jumia brand as customers less often feel the need to have a bigger screen to make their purchase decision,” states the report.

Meanwhile, even before the sale proper opens, you can still use your your mobile device to peep through the Jumia platform to see some of the discounted devices that will be on offer next week.


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