Reasons Jumia Will Kill Masoko
Safaricom’s hyped Masoko platform has not lived up to its promise. So far, reviews from consumers portray a mediocre service. It is not Jumia’s big threat as we hoped. Consumers and merchants continue to favor Jumia as the go-to e-commerce platform. The telco’s magic wand seems ineffective in the e-commerce space. Recently, Bob Collymore admitted Masoko’s failure to live up to expectations. As a technology solutions provider and having implemented e-commerce platforms, this phenomenon pricks my curiosity and calls for further analysis.
What is Jumia doing right? Why can’t Masoko eat Jumia’s lunch? Here, I explore reasons Jumia is winning at the expense of Masoko.
Registering on Masoko as a vendor is hectic
At its launch, Masoko introduced a complicated registration process for merchants. Merchant registration requirements include a business registration certificate, KRA pin and KEBS clearance. While the process intends to guarantee quality, it locks out many merchants. In contrast, Jumia’s merchant onboarding is simple and fast. More sellers join the platform giving the platform a variety of goods. In ecommerce, vendors are as important as consumers. Ignoring vendors’ plight will kill Masoko.
Opaque Masoko Logistics
Masoko merchants have complained about the platform’s lack of transparent logistics. Details of order status are scanty. Jumia gives vendors a view on order processing. Is it at the warehouse? Has Jumia dispatched it? They can track where their product is at any time. This transparent engagement will retain Jumia sellers and attract more at the expense of Masoko.
Masoko Sellers get less margins
Unlike Jumia which has different product commission rates, Masoko applies a flat rate of 10% for every sale. Moreover, sellers must have an Mpesa till number to receive payments. Payments on Jumia have no transaction charges applied. In contrast, before a Masoko seller receives money into their account, till number transaction charges apply. This will push many sellers out of the platform.
Insufficient Vendor Support on Masoko
Jumia has a robust vendor support program. Dedicated staff attend to sellers physically at their drop-off points and through email and chat. It also holds weekly trainings and regular focus groups for vendors. Masoko has paid little attention to vendor support. Unlike Jumia, they are rigid to merchant needs or suggestions. This is yet another reason Jumia will trample Masoko.
Failed Deliveries on Masoko
Masoko’s Facebook page shows many customers complaining about failed deliveries. For a new entrant, it is a dangerous trend. Jumia has its share of unfulfilled deliveries but Masoko’s is phenomenal. They are losing trust with consumers. Stock-outs are also common on the platform. With Jumia’s higher delivery success rate, Masoko does not stand a chance.
Higher Prices on Masoko
Jumia has more competitive prices than Masoko. At Jumia, a large pool of sellers encourages price competition, guaranteeing consumers cheaper prices. Masoko has fewer merchants, limiting price competition. Consequently, consumers will continue to favor Jumia at Masoko’s expense.
Masoko’s Website User Experience
Jumia’s website outshines Masoko’s in functionality, capacity, and user experience. Masoko’s product filters are ineffective, an element Hostlybee maintains is imperative for an ecommerce platform. Users also experience slow load times on the site. Consumers find it hard to search for products on the site. Jumia excels at categorizing and filtering products.
Masoko is a Replication
Masoko lacks a unique selling point. Besides the backing of a well-known brand, there is nothing much to talk about. It uses the same model as Jumia and other global platforms. Currently, Jumia is implementing the model better. Furthermore, Jumia has the advantage of an early market entrant. Masoko is playing catch up.
Jumia is far ahead of Masoko. It is not perfect, but it understands the ecommerce space better. By keeping both sellers and consumers happy, it achieves marketplace balance. Should the current trend continue, Jumia will edge out Masoko. One area we expected Masoko to excel in is technology implementation. Reliable website hosting is mandatory and overall website design must be unrivalled.
Hostlybee is an interested party in Masoko’s journey, and that of other ecommerce platforms. Their failures and success give us crucial lessons to roll out better technological services for the market.