E-commerce in Rwanda is growing quickly but with many challenges. First of all, while Rwandans are gradually opening up to the premise of buying what they want, locally, the widespread concern is still the risk of being defrauded online. Hey - this is Black Africa and a high level of crime is a reality many of us in the Motherland have to contend with.
With myself being a Nigerian-Rwandan dual citizen, for example, there is even some caution in considering my content on our online network. I'm constantly promoting a variety of stores, with the promise of you getting excellent value at affordable prices. To some people, I may just want to get my money and not really care about what happens to you once you've paid.
That couldn't be further from the truth.
From the discriminatory perspective, the majority of Nigerians are not fraudulently-minded, despite popular perception. I've seen and experienced a great deal of online fraud and have become pretty savvy in recognizing and avoiding online crime. Apart from online fraud in Africa, coming from all over Africa, the characteristics of the malpractice are nowhere near the remote possibility of them being evident in our undertakings. Instead, our collective production is on the other end of the vast spectrum of online accountability. In our publications here, there are numerous instances where we mention building a new economic industry not just in Rwanda, but in Africa as a whole. While we're known of and acknowledged by watchdogs and major stakeholders in the retail sector, to the masses we remain a little known about, dark horse as of this time.
That's all about to change. In addition to getting growing coverage by the media, both locally and internationally, our customer/client base is increasingly attesting to our unparalleled value we offer them.
Let's break that down.
From the Rwandan context, we kill several birds with one stone (No offence to animals!). To begin with, a key aspect of our unique value proposition is the provision of high quality goods, whether locally-made or foreign imported, at costs the majority of people here can actually afford. While the stores we host are top notch, we assure you that you will be hard pressed to get equivalent value of their products at the competitive prices they set, with other ecommerce retailers, whether they're international powerhouses like Amazon and Alibaba, or local traders like the popular one that closed down in Rwanda last year.
Waiting for several weeks, up to a couple of months for your product to arrive at your doorstep, is cancelled. Some people buy books from Amazon and pay for it to be delivered to Kigali. I know of instances where they've had to wait for 3 months to get it. That's unacceptable by any ecommerce standard and we strongly oppose that kind of treatment to any of our customers. The buzz we've been creating over the past few months have led to customers outside Africa to want to order from us, too. In that respect, we're teaming up with DHL to effect quick, seamless, hassle-free and secure deliveries for international purchases. Made In Rwanda products are highly sought after worldwide - just ask Kigali Pottery Collections, for example.
The HeHe experience promises none of that... ever!
Not only do we manage our stores' inventory for them, we also provide you, the customer, with a world class delivery network, that can fully be monitored by you, anywhere and at any point of your order fulfilment. So while the infrastructural challenges remain at a regional level, we simply rise above them by leveraging our international supply chain management and logistical areas of expertise and integrating them into the local market. Economists refer to this practice as an example of retail supply glocalization.
With a plethora of such complexities happening in the background, you, our customer, at the forefront, get a simple and effective shopping experience at any of our points of contact. You can shop from HeHe from your desktop, laptop, tablet, phablet or smartphone - and consistently get superior service. Such provision is the hallmark of retail service excellence, which a growing number of media outlets are attributing to us.
Shopping in Rwanda is further being elevated by the commissioning of our brick and mortar shopping outlet we call HeHe Kiosk. A huge amount of Rwandans shop from supermarkets and physical stores. They significantly contribute to the growth of this realm by referrals. Therefore, we've entered the conventional retail sector and are not only serving the needs of the people more affordably, but also sensitizing them about the many benefits of further shopping online with us, through our wide range of exceptional Rwandan stores. In doing so, we're overcoming the challenge of serving a customer base that isn't informed enough about the multiple benefits of patronizing online retail, by enlightening them all about it and supporting them in their migration to our top online platforms. Consequently, we're creating the customers Africa needs to come of her own in competitive retail and the critical mass necessary to propel everybody else to go online and collectively raise the quality of living of middle income and upcoming African households. We're not just positively disrupting the market and modernizing it - we're upgrading it for all other retailers entering into the market. Unlike monopolies the world over, we're not shutting out our competition... we're helping them grow, to keep the African economy diverse, competitive and supportive for all, whether they're consumers, retailers or suppliers.
In light of all the above, one can see why our engagement need not relate to problems of the here and now. Having addressed them with technological solutions of long-term best practices, we're moving on with our contribution to Africa's socio-economic renaissance,... with quiet confidence.
Join us, as we invite you, to