What I dreamt Masoko by Safaricom would become

What I dreamt Masoko by Safaricom would become

Safaricom Masoko Whenever there’s the need to talk about adapting products or services to the Kenyan market, the best example of a company that knows how to do that remains Safaricom. And probably that’s why it is one of Africa’s most valuable brands. Many people agree that the company properly understands Kenyans from products they offer, to customer support.

Recently Kenyan Wall Street shared Bob Collymore saying, “Some of the biggest lessons we have learnt in the last year are a result of the failure of products and services such as MPesa 1-tap and Masoko to take off as planned”. Which in essence is admitting that the two products were failures.

I feel like MPesa 1-tap was destined for failure. First it made no sense to have a card/sticker/band for payments when you then needed your phone to enter your MPesa Pin. It was cool yes, but no. Secondly, the roll out was just poorly done.

Anyway this is about Masoko not 1-tap. One year ago I wrote this post about 10 things people needed to know about Masoko. The platform was yet to roll out and people were getting excited about a new entrant to the Kenyan e-commerce space. Not more than a month later, I complained about the platform lacking basic features.

At that time, I expected Safaricom to do something very different. Something we hadn’t seen with Jumia or Kilimall, or anyone else. I expected a wider range of products, faster delivery etc. Yaani, I wanted this to be a unique Safaricom-esque approach to ecommerce. It hasn’t.

Safaricom instead conformed. They did everything like every other ecommerce platform we’ve seen. From not meeting delivery timelines, poor customer support, to problems with the website itself. A year later, there’s still nothing that makes Masoko stand out. There’s no incentive that would lure me to use Masoko for shopping.

Here’s what I thought Safaricom would do different: Delivery from Safaricom Shops

One of the biggest problems with ecommerce sites in Kenya I believe is delivery. If I want something, I should be able to get it very fast after ordering. Only Sky.garden and Gadzone.co.ke have delivered something I’ve ordered within the stipulated time frame – less than 3 hours. And these are pretty unheard of websites. But they can only do 3 hrs or less because I live in Nairobi.

This is what I thought Safaricom would do: roll out Masoko and then […]

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