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The advent of virtual shopping 

The advent of virtual shopping 

Getaneh Shambel (ACCA) is the owner of a new online shopping platform that is accessible within the capital. The popular website has made online shopping convenient to hundreds of shoppers. Getaneh reflects with The Reporter’s Samuel Getachew on the many advantages of online shopping, the reception it has received, how it is helping suppliers reach new consumers and his vision for the future. Excerpts:

The Reporter: What is Kedame Gebeya?

Getaneh Shambel: www.kedamegebeya com is an online shopping platform which provides a full multi-channel approach to the online shopping experience in Ethiopia. The site creates access for shoppers to buy consumable grocery items online from major and trusted stores in Addis Ababa. Besides, Kedame Gebeya enables producers, manufacturers and traders to sell their product directly to the end users using Internet. The platform enables shoppers to easily access, compare and shop online for all the products they need and enjoy home to home delivery service. Currently, it has partnered with 10 major and trusted supermarkets and stores in Addis Ababa.

Generally, Kedame Gebeya retains the position as specialist in grocery items delivery in Ethiopia.

How has the reception been like for you so far?

Since our commencement of operation, our page visitors reached more than 312,000. Given that online shopping is at an infant stage and Internet is bubbling in Ethiopia, getting this number of page visitors proved that our brand is getting ground. Our booth displayed on Made in Ethiopia expo, held on March 2018, brought a lot of new customers, page visitors and newsletter subscribers. We have now more than 600 weekly newsletter subscribers. We regularly update any new arrivals and on sale products and news feeds to our customers through the newsletter.

Rare is that any service comes with a guarantee of return in Ethiopia yet…

Kedamegebeya.com has a favorable return policy for its online customers. Online shoppers have the right to return the product purchased online, but terms and conditions will apply. Terms and conditions includes, customers need to take reasonable care of item(s) whilst the products are in their possession (reasonable care includes inspecting an item, but would not extend to damage the items, opening and using the items). Customers could find our detailed terms and conditions in our page.

Who are your customers?

Kedame Gebeya is the affiliate of a well-known page by expats residing in Ethiopia called www.diplomatcorner.net this page is providing segmented service for expat community in Ethiopia since 2015. The service provision for the community includes house hunting service, advertisement of duty free car and used household items for sale. When we launched Kedame Gebeya, we had already the brand built through Diplomat Corner and continuing to serve diplomatic communities, expats and Ethiopian ddiasporas. Most importantly, we are receiving a lot of orders from all range of the societies in Addis Ababa. Especially, those who are spending most of their time in a busy situation and have no time for walk on shopping are taking the lead in our repeated customers’ list.

There are many reasons why customers use our services, including being a hub for 10 major stores in Addis – shop online without going to those actual stores, savings, easy access to a large market without the incontinence of driving around, a return policy with some conditions and on time delivery of our products within Addis.

Infrastructures in Ethiopia are lacking and people put it as a major problem for doing e-commerce in Ethiopia. How does that play in your business?

We agreed that the Internet penetration in Ethiopia is too weak, the logistics is too bad, the bureaucracy is complicated, payment gateway is limited and awareness about online shopping is limited. Perhaps the problems will continue as it is and will challenge the e-commerce business until for indefinite period of time in the future. So what we are doing is focus on solutions. We believe the solution is in our hands, struggle stay in the business and work hard until the better future. As a team, we believe that it is our responsibility to work under such circumstance and enable producers, manufacturers and suppliers in general to sale their products to someone in other parts of the country. We at Kedame Gebeya believe that the recent announcement by the government to transfer the ownership of the telecom company partially for private investors will improve the Internet service in Ethiopia and hope better future for the ecommerce business in Ethiopia.

The problem in online payment system is inevitable in Ethiopia. How is Kedame Gebeya managing the payment system?

That is definitely correct. Currently, we are receiving cash on delivery during the delivery of the products. We are looking for banks or other payment solution providers to manage the direct credit or bank transfers from our customers. We are happy to work with those that are capable to scale up our service and can provide more convenient way of payment to our customers

How is Kedame Gebeya supporting its suppliers?

Our online shopping service is creating additional market access and product marketing for our partnered suppliers. In the conventional trade system, it was only the customer who visit supplier’s premises and shop all they need on day time only. Now our online shopping service enables our partnered suppliers to list their products online, receive order and sale their items 24/7. Suppliers don’t need to wait until the customer to visit their physical store; they are now selling to our online users who are located on the other side of the city. Besides, supermarkets and stores always share any new arrivals and on sale products available on their shelf. We immediately share the news to our weekly newsletter subscribers and increase the sales volume slowly. We have currently more than 600 newsletter subscribers.

On the hand, when our page visitors clicked any digital product listed on our page, it will be automatically registered by Google Analytics and will increase the appearance of the product on search engines. This will be an easy way for manufacturers to market their product in the digital world.

What is next?

We are now working with our partners to enable local producers, manufacturers, SMEs and farmers to sale their product directly to the end users through our platform. As mentioned before, the Internet penetration and poor logistics system in some part of the country is still a big challenge for our work.