Jumia opens ‘essentials’ e-commerce platform in South Africa

By Kacey Culliney contact

- Last updated on GMT

Jumia is implementing 'contactless' deliveries - leaving deliveries on doorsteps to maintain a safe distance between employees and customers (Image: Jumia)
Jumia is implementing 'contactless' deliveries - leaving deliveries on doorsteps to maintain a safe distance between employees and customers (Image: Jumia)

Related tags: COVID-19, coronavirus, e-commerce, South africa, retail, Personal care

African e-commerce major Jumia has re-worked its online portal in South Africa to offer essential items during the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, working alongside Reckitt Benckiser and Proctor & Gamble on the project.

Jumia has operated in South Africa since 2012 through its fashion website Zando and already had an e-commerce platform in existence since last year, but the retail major had now tailored this platform to offer only essential items, defined by South African government guidelines​.

‘Steady supply’ of hygiene and sanitary products

Colour cosmetics and fragrances were not defined ‘essential’ by the South African government during the coronavirus lockdown, but personal hygiene products like skin care, hair care and deodorants, as well as sanitary items, were.

Jumia said the launch of its online portal would provide “a steady supply of hygiene and sanitary products such as diapers, soap bars, disinfectants, and liquid hand was at affordable prices”. ​It would also enable brands and vendors of these essential products to “reach consumers at a time where distribution in retail is challenging”, ​it said.

Jumia had spent around two weeks onboarding suppliers and redesigning the website.

‘Strictly adhering’ to South Africa’s essential items list

Speaking to CosmeticsDesign-Europe, Graham Brown, CEO of Jumia and Zando South Africa, said: “Due to the necessary regulations implemented during lockdown in South Africa, we have made the pivot towards listing only essential goods and provide an important service to consumers.”

“…We are strictly adhering to the definitions of essential goods listed by the South African government and will only make these products available to purchase,” ​Brown said.

Jumia had also taken measures to ensure consumers, delivery agents and partners remained safe during the COVID-19 outbreak, he said, ensuring ‘contactless’ deliveries for prepaid packages – leaving deliveries on doorsteps and maintaining a safe distance between employees and customers.

Important industry partnerships – Reckitt Benckiser, Procter & Gamble

Jumia had worked alongside several major brands to launch its essentials e-commerce platform, notably Procter & Gamble and Reckitt Benckiser.

Jumia had launched a ‘Stay Safe’ campaign with Reckitt Benckiser, for example, across all nine countries the retailer operated in and was offering free nationwide deliveries, subsidised by the consumer goods major. The partnership also ensured a steady supply of hygiene and sanitary products, Jumia said, and the retailer would be taking zero commission on products at this time.

Brown said: “We will leverage on Zando infrastructure to contribute to making essential products accessible and affordable to all consumers in South Africa. We want to thank Reckitt Benckiser, Proctor & Gamble, as well as the other brands and vendors who have spontaneously partnered with us in this effort and we welcome all other providers to join us.”

Sacha Poignonnec, co-CEO of Jumia, added: “In times of crisis, it is our mission to innovate together with our partners.”

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