Tell us about yourself?
My name is Stephen Obeli Someday. I am an entrepreneur. I am the founder and CEO for Kweli.shop. Kweli.shop is a go to online market place with 100% genuine products such as cooking appliance and renewable energy products among others.
What does your work at Kweli.shop entail?
My work entails giving the team direction and of course being the head of the company, I help with negotiating partnerships here and there. I lead the team when it comes to achieving targets by shareholders.
How different is Kweli.shop from other online retail platforms?
The differences are quite numerous but the first and most important one is that Kweli.shop is a 100% genuine products platform. Unlike other platforms where you will struggle to get genuine products, at Kweli.shop, products are already sorted.
Our pricing model is very simple. All prices are well laid out. If one orders for a product, they can easily receive the product in shortest time possible.
One the other thing that differentiates us from the rest is that we allow our customers to buy and pay later. They can order for a product and pay 20% then the rest can be paid in installments later.
How are you dealing with the problem of counterfeit products?
When it comes to counterfeit, part of the part of the problem comes from the supply chain. Counterfeits are basically made from a different place form the genuine products. So, what we do is managing the supply chain well. We do that by strictly getting genuine products from the official manufacturers or official supplier.
In addition to that, we ensure that all the products sold on the platform have certification of all the quality product regulators. Products that are supposed to have a UNBS stamp, must have one. Same applies to products that must have an SGS stamp. If a product doesn’t have those stamps it means that it is not genuine. So that is what we do to ensure that we have genuine products.
What kind of products does Kweli.shop have?
The categories are quite numerous. We sell phones, cookers, laptops, home appliances such as home theaters and washing machines among others.
How do you cope up with competitions?
We have our customers and we try as much as possible to understand their needs. Their number one need is genuine and quality products. We describe our customers as people who mind about quality. The Ugandan market is very big. Less than 3% of transactions take place online, so, there’s still a huge market to serve out there.
Do you think Uganda is ready for e-commerce?
Uganda is very ready for e-commerce. In about 2017, the revenue generated form e-commerce was about $130m. In 2023, the projected revenue will be $460m. That shows a growth of about 24% a year. The economy doesn’t grow at that rate but e-commerce is. E-commerce has been growing at more than 20% a year.
What do you think are some of the drivers from online consumption?
One of them is need. The cost of search; the cost of you finding a product is much lower when you rely on online retail platforms. For instance, if you want a genuine laptop, it is much more easier doing so online than going out there moving from shop to shop.
Prices are also lower online because online markets are very low and set to attract customers. Our prices are much lower making them competitive.
The number of options online are numerous. We asked customers why they prefer online shopping, they said they can get a variety in a short period of time.
How can online retail be improved in Uganda?
I think online retail shops need to ensure they sell genuine and quality products to help build trust. In Africa we have many people who can access the internet but unfortunately don’t buy as much online.
Online retail shops also need to ensure that the product order is what they get. Not doing so means there won’t e trust between the two.
One of the challenges is mistrust. There isn’t trust between the people and online retail shops. The other challenge is the problem of counterfeits. You have offered a genuine product but then another person near you offers a fake product at much lower price.
The other challenge is the most places are not well mapped. This is a challenge when it comes to goods delivery. The Government polices have also not been supportive of the sector.