the rapid expansion of Internet and mobile phone technology in the region has fuelled the growth of e-business. PHOTO / Internet

Shoppers have can sample services offered by e-commerce businesses following the launch of a virtual exhibition that brings together players in the sector. The online exhibition is the highlight of the e-Commas Week, the first of its kind in the region, and is open to businesses with online presence, facilitate online retail or electronic payments and use online portal to advance business connections and transactions.

It has been organized by IT events management firm, Eyeballs Marketing, which also organises the annual Social Media Awards (SOMA) and Digital Fair.

Speaking during the unveiling of the portal for the exhibition (www.ecommas.co.ke), Eyeballs Marketing Chief Executive Officer Martin Muli said the rapid expansion of Internet and mobile phone technology in the region has fuelled the growth of e-business, leading to reduction of costs, improved productivity and greater customer access.

“The E-Commas Week is designed to focus on the most important trends and developments in global and local e-commerce. We want Kenyans to take advantage of the room available for improvement on the e-commerce space for economic development,” said Muli.

He said the virtual exhibition, which kicks off a series of forums aimed at growing e-commerce, will help identify barriers to growth and develop solutions, collect market intelligence through customer interaction. “We have lined up several forums mainly targeting shoppers at the bottom of the pyramid, which will culminate into an offline e-commerce expo and summit scheduled for August,” explained Muli.

The forums also include E-Commas Awards aimed at recognizing and appreciating the best in e-commerce. Exhibitors are drawn from e-payment solutions providers, customer experience and relations management solutions, digital marketing, online shopping malls, online classifieds, loyalty programs and consultants.

The growth of e-commerce in the country has been given more impetus by the involvement of logistics companies such as DHL and G4S in the transaction mix which has enhanced the safety and reliability of the online platforms. Players in the sector are Visa Inc, Paypal, Olx Kenya, Jumia, rupu, kaymu, MiMi, electro hub, Kilimall, Pigiame, junkmail, Kenyads and Locanto.

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CAK) estimates the value of e-commerce in the country at Ksh4.3 billion compared to South Africa’s  Ksh54 billion  while in Egypt and Morocco is about Ksh17 billion and Ksh9.6 billion, respectively. This shows Kenya still has a lot of room for improvement and development in the sector.

A report by ratings agency, Moody’s Analytics, released recently also shows that rapid penetration of e-payments such as credit, debit and prepaid cards has reduced friction in the overall economy leading to increased spending on goods and services.

The study which was commissioned by global payments technology company, Visa Inc., indicates increased use of electronic payments added Ksh7.1 billion to Kenya’s gross domestic product (GDP) during a five year period ending 2015.


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