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The digital trends shaping your business

ENTERPRISE
By Wainaina Wambu | September 15th 2021

As more businesses shift online, the future points towards a digital-first economy.

For over a year now, the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated technological changes.

Business leaders will need to make decisive strategic decisions that can make or break a firm in a fast-paced digital environment.

They also have a huge responsibility on their shoulders to ensure that their businesses prosper in a space where digital technologies are critical to their brand.

In these digital spaces, they can capture new customers and also increase revenue growth.

Businesses must adapt to the new way of doing things and craft an online presence or perish.

“The digital economy is expanding largely in Kenya. Covid-19 has accelerated the growth since Kenyans, especially youth, have now recognized the potential to earn a living in digital platforms,” noted Dr Ehud Gachugu, the Project Director, Ajira Digital and Employment Programme under the Kenya Private Sector Alliance.

Enterprise explores the digital trends that may shape the direction of your business looking at key areas such as E-commerce, logistics and internet penetration. 

E-commerce

Businesses in the online marketplace are expected to generate revenue amounting to Sh164 billion ($2,342 million) by 2021.

And in the next four years, Kenya is projected to make in Sh254 billion ($1,509 million) from E-commerce owing to the uptake in technology, ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru recently said.

However, the sector keeps facing challenges.

90 per cent of e-commerce businesses fail within the first 120 days according to an American think tank.

According to Platform Livelihoods, a digital experiences report, those who have the digital skills necessary to survive in the online marketplace succeed, but still struggle to measure return on investment with online marketing. The nascent sector is still regarded with scepticism by many.

“Most sellers take up online selling as a way to stay engaged and productive as they look for other employment, while others use it as supplementary income with the potential for expansion,” the report says.

Logistics

During the pandemic, logistics and warehousing businesses have emerged as some of the biggest “winners.”

As businesses rapidly move online those who operate logistics networks to deliver the goods and services for these businesses can only reap big.

As a recently released report dubbed Platform Livelihoods notes parcel delivery in Kenya has historically been a risky, fragmented, and frustrating process for clients. Digital or app-based platform delivery services including Sendy, Gobeba and Pick-up Mtaani were developed to mitigate some of these risks, track drivers and ensure timely deliveries. 

“The platforms work as aggregators, facilitating supply and demand by ensuring driver availability, making them attractive to clients,” said the report that explores the quality of Kenyan youth’s digital experiences in logistics, e-commerce, farming, and the creative sectors.

The report, however, notes that much remains to be done to ensure “sustainable, dignified, and fulfilling livelihoods for its drivers, especially around social protection, benefits, and rightful policies for drivers.”

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