A new player has joined the online retail industry in Kenya to tap the growing numbers of shoppers turning to the internet to buy various items.
Hashmart Kenya, which specializes in electronics, is positioning itself to give established players in this segment a run for their money. The company is owned by a consortium of local investors led by Mansoor Hussein, a veteran retailer and wholesaler of electronic products in the offline market.
Hashmart, which was started in 2017 but just been officially launched, has focused on niche premium brands which include electronics and accessories as well as lifestyle collections.
Mr Hussein, who is also Hashmart’s managing director, says its product range is selected to meet local customers’ tastes. “We are very deliberate in our sourcing of products for both quality, relevance and affordability for the Kenyan market,” he said.
Among its products are leading smartphones brands, computers, networking products (IT), home appliances, home entertainment and wearables such as watches and sunglasses.
The company’s niche strategy received a major boost recently when it landed a deal to exclusively sale Star X digital smart television brands in Kenya. Star X is one of the fastest growing TV brands in the world, with huge demand in Asia and Europe.
The e-commerce industry is growing in Kenya, as internet penetration deepens and cost of data drops. More and more Kenyans are shopping online, attracted by lower prices and home or office deliveries. This expanding market is attracting more online retailers to compete against main players such as Jumia, Kilimall and Safaricom’s Masoko.
Mr Hussein says Hashmart, which has a heavy presence in Nairobi, is putting in place systems to expand to other major towns. It has also integrated various payment methods including M-Pesa, PayPal and credit cards.
“Hashmart has been attracting more shoppers since it was established due to a unique combination of superior product quality, durability and commitment to customer service,” he said.
He said the retailer offers same delivery within Nairobi with weekly and monthly promotional offers of up to 50% discount.