Africa Sokoni attracts online shoppers with Progressive Web Application

By Victor Magunamu, Nairobi, Kenya

Kenya-based e-commerce startup AfricaSokoni has launched a Progressive Web Application (PWA), a mobile app looking like website to redefine online shopping, making it as seamless as possible.

Unlike native mobile applications which must be searched and then installed from Google or Apple App store, the PWA can be accessed through AfricaSokoni website, allowing instant transaction to customers.

‘’When browsing on your mobile device either on Android or iOS device, you simply select the option of adding the app from the homepage our website and immediately use it,’’ Africa Sokoni director and co-founder Fred Kirui told Biztech Africa.

He added that users can switch from their phone to a laptop and accomplish the same task easily.

This application also gives users the flexibility to receive push notification at the same time saving them a lot of mobile memory.

The App is connectivity-independent but that does not mean it can work offline. Just like any other web application, internet network connection is needed.  However, when the network is not available or too slow the PWA should still work on a device by utilizing the browser’s storage mechanisms and not reveal blank pages or 400 errors.

The PWA uses Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and added layers of security to the network traffic to make sure that users’ data is completely safe.

The Kenyan online marketplace went live on in January this year with key focus on linking small scale producers of African products to global market.

It for instance source African handcrafts from vendors in Eastern Kenya, offer them free warehouse services and a seamless procedure for getting access to your online store.

 ‘’The platform brings African customers and retailers together online in a swift, hassle-free, flexible and credible shopping experience; without the restriction of distance and customers leaving the comfort zones,’’ Kirui said.

With Africa looking at 500 million internet users by 2020, McKinsey predicts that online shopping could account for up to 10 per cent of retail sales with a value of $75 billion as more Africans gain access to internet.

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