Traders cash in on increased demand for goods online

Tuesday April 28 2020

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Since the lockdown, demand for home delivery has increased in Kigali. PHOTO | CYRIL NDEGEYA 

JEAN-PIERRE AFADHALI
By JEAN-PIERRE AFADHALI
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On demand delivery business has picked up during covid-19 lockdown period as consumers and businesses devise ways of buying and delivery of goods.

However, lack of supply of some products could slow its growth in future.

Some e-commerce players hope the relative young online trade will continue to grow in post covid-19 period as new businesses enter the electronic markets and on demand delivery, while consumers adopt the new shopping style mainly in Kigali due to the lockdown.

Food delivery was listed among essential services while online shopping has been recommended to enforce social distancing and prevent unnecessary movements that could spread the deadly virus across the country.

Jean Leonard Nkurikirabakuru, founder of Ihaha.rw, an online retailer with physical shop for electronic products told Rwanda Today in an interview, that during the first week of the lockdown it was a boom as orders were rising.

“Many people and organisations bought laptops, IT equipment and Internet connectivity devices especially those who had to work from homes and others who wanted to pursue their studies online,” explained Mr Nkurikirabakuru

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Before lockdown only 5 per cent sales were ordered online and delivered while 20 per cent ordered online but closed in the company’s physical shop at Ihaha technologies ltd. Mr Nkurikirabakuru said in the first two weeks after people were encouraged to work from homes online sales reached 70 per cent. Mr N kurikirabakuru believes awareness has now increased and new businesses are entering e-commerce. The firm said the traffic to its platform has increased. “Before we used to be visited by 800 per day but now it is about 2000 daily visitors.”

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