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Kenya Embraces Online Shopping, Breaks Holiday Sales Records

Although Kenya is the home of the Silicon Savannah, it is known to be historically skeptical of online shopping. This year, however, the tide has turned thanks to Holiday Sales.

In the US, the day after Thanksgiving has been the busiest shopping day of the year. It is known as Black Friday, and for decades has been a cornerstone of the American shopping calendar. When the internet came along, the rest of the world discovered Black Friday and went a step further to create a Cyber Monday in 2005. These two Holiday Sales were irrelevant to Kenyans for close to a decade.

In 2015, they’ve not only caught on; they’ve exploded. Rupu is celebrating the great success of these two days. They offered massive discounts – up to 90% – on a wide selection of products and it paid off in a major way.

“Black Friday was, by far, our biggest shopping day in our 5 year history. To put it in perspective, we moved 2 weeks worth of stock in 24 hours and had ten times our delivery volume for the following few days just to make sure all the orders went out on time.” Alex Scholz, Head of eCommerce at Rupu.

Cyber Monday was also largely successful for Rupu with their second highest single day sales, with electronics accounting for more orders than the other categories combined. Cedric Nzomo, Head of Marketing, explains that this change in Kenyans shopping online is not purely discount driven.

“It is also about the customer’s shopping experience.” Cedric explains. “It needs to be simple and seamless. The team at Rupu prepared for this. We double checked everything, upgraded the site to handle the increased traffic and as a result hundreds of happy customers enjoyed a real Black Friday shopping experience.”

“We had the fortune of receiving primarily positive engagement around the sales and avoided backlash on failing to deliver by planning ahead and putting the customer first.”

This customer focus combined with quality offers is the foundation of Rupu’s new positioning and it is resonating well with their client base, reinvigorating the online shopping space in Kenya.

Photo Courtesy of alphaf1.com

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