E-commerce is big everywhere today. Some of the world’s richest companies by revenue are e-commerce companies. Think Alibaba, think Amazon, think Jumia. Africa’s first unicorn company, with a valuation of over $1 billion. It seems the only way to go now is online. Shopping starts online before moving to a proper store today. Many Kenyan boutiques have started that way, becoming such success online that they have opened not one but several stores with the support of a social media following.
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The promise of technology is to make life easier. This translates to better communication, better easily accessible education and information, and last but not least shopping. Amazon is now worth over $1 trillion dollars from selling almost anything you can think of online. Similar platforms like eBay and craigslist also make a huge profit from online sales. In the African region, the Nigerian super e-commerce company has made a large footprint in Kenya. As one of their best-growing economy, it is a clear indicator that Kenyans love the convenience of digital too.
Another testament can be proven through Uber, Little Cab and the recently launched Uber Eats which will even bring breakfast to your door. But, enough about these other online businesses. Mzizzi is bringing the African future for the online entrepreneur to your handset. The website process an easy step by step registration, and mobile friendly ‘in-cart’ processes to help you shop from your phone.
The company is the brainchild of Dayvee Ngugi and James Munyeria of Paytree. James explains his desire to start the online service was based out of his own experience. He started his own online grocery store ‘Nature’s Basket’ to sell fruits to make it convenient instead of making rounds in the market. Instead, it was a challenge he was not prepared for. The entrepreneur says ‘I set up everything. But the issue was integration with payments, and also delivery was a headache.’ The cost of hiring the boda-boda guys for delivery was so expensive; he eventually abandoned the project.
Creating a Solution
This loss pushed him to seek a solution which turned into another venture. The idea was to make processes easier for eager online entrepreneurs who did not have the technical know-how or funding to set up a proper e-commerce site that was complete with payments integration and delivery logistics. This would make processes seamless for small businesses. Mzizzi will allow merchants to set up and start selling their goods immediately online. It has a wide category list that allows an entrepreneur to select their business of choice and set up shop.
It also gets the headache of deliveries out of the way. The Mzizzi team will handle products’ delivery as the entrepreneur focuses on the product itself. As its offering multiple payment methods for the customers, it should be more convenient to make payments via your phone as soon as you shop. More than that, the fast deliveries include overnight shipping and late-night deliveries for their customers within Nairobi. According to the founder James, Kenyans love to shop at odd hours of the night.
In addition to their complimentary services for e-commerce hopefuls, Mzizzi also offers immediate withdrawals for merchants. There is also a buyer-merchant protection feature that allows the merchant to receive payment only after confirmation of the product by the customer. They also protect merchants from customers who reject products after they have been delivered, enduring delivery costs.
Dayvee explains that they are not out to compete with the big wigs like Jumia, but instead, they want to offer small businesses an avenue for them to make sales without them being eaten alive by the competition. Ultimately, to have more control over their marketing and visibility efforts as well.
The platform is offered through a free version, that allows Mzizzi to earn a commission on every sale. Mzizzi plus is their premium alternative that will let merchants create their own domain which will be linked to their shops.