A while back Tusksy Supermarket announced a deal with Jumia supermarkets, with the plan of ramping up its e-commerce offering. “As per the agreement, Jumia originates the customers online and we make the order fulfilment within 2-3 hours of the customers making the order”, says the retailer’s CEO Dan Githua. Mr. Githua hinted at plans to ramp up the company’s e-commerce operations “Our goals is in the next 5 months to have volumes equivalent to those of a physical store”, he added. The retailer allows customers to purchase 2,000 items online which represents just 1% of the total 200,000 assortment of goods available. “We shall continue to add more items with time and give customers more choice”.
A major challenge for retailers moving towards online operations revolves around bulk breaking, where they have to fulfill orders for goods for as little as Kshs. 2,000. To mitigate the challenge, Tuskys has for the last six months implemented a home delivery platform which is already live in Tuskys Gigiri. The platform allows a customer to make a call or email an order to the store for subsequent delivery. Mr Githua says this is also playing the role of helping the retailer gather experience on how to deliver. “It’s a learning experience and we feel we are ahead of the curve in moving towards e-commerce”.
In preparation for its e-commerce operations, Tuskys is also working and improving its big data operations, mainly driven by its royalty program. “We have a large number of customers in our royalty program and we know them, what they purchase, and the size of their baskets and other aspects of their behavior”, he says “this data runs for over 10 years and I see exciting opportunities when we go big on e-commerce”.
On Payments, Tuskys CFO Mr. Gitahi says that the retailer was a late comer to the mobile money payment space bit has since ascended to the top “ We took time partnering with telcos but we have seen the number of payments via mobile grow from 3% to 15% during checkouts”, he says. The retailer currently offsets merchant’s chargers for customers meaning they do not attract additional charges for buying goods at any of their locations. Other plans include a partnership with a player offering interoperability of loyalty points making it easy for points accumulated from banks, coffee houses and even fuel stations to get redeemed at any Tusksy supermarket. In the long run, Tuskys plans to go cashless in the stores and eliminate lines by making it easy for customers to checkout.