E-commerce sector in Kenya takes a hit from Coronavirus menace

Early last month, Kenya's National carrier, Kenya Airways, suspended flights to China which accounts for the country's 21 percent imports.

A spot check on various e-commerce platforms in Kenya reveals that most players have delisted some products originating from China, Korea, Italy, and other worst-hit nations, with some customers reporting delays in delivery for products ordered as far as February. 

On Jumia Kenya for instance, very few electronics especially mobile phone accessories are on offer compared to a similar period last year, ahead of Tech Week starting tomorrow. 

Terry Machuma, an e-commerce expert told Biztech Africa that the lockdown currently witnessed in huge economies in Europe, Asia, and America will is likely to delay lead time, slow order delivery and exert pressure on pricing as importers pass costs to consumers. 

Online trading depends largely on shipments. The coronavirus menace has hampered flights with traders forced to rely on sea shipments for imports. This is catastrophic for e-commerce,'' Machuka said.

Low activities in the e-commerce sector have however not affected the e-payment. In fact, the virus is a blessing in disguise to the facilitating firms as countries cut on hard currency dependency to limit new infections.

Paypal has proved high demand by generating growth in the number of transactions and sales amid the CoronaVirus pandemic which is ravaging the global economy. 

A new infographic by Kryptoszene shows that the firm generated 13.3 percent more net income than in the previous quarter. 

“The segment of on-line payment services is very competitive nevertheless, survey data shows that PayPal is in a significant lead although still affected by the CoronaVirus pandemic, among other things.” Kryptoszene analyst Raphael Lulay said.

The firm's sales have increased by 406.27 percent and the group's revenue was $17,77 billion up from 15.45 billion according to figures published by the company.

Finances for the fiscal year 2017, PayPal reported earnings of $1.795 billion, with annual revenue of $13.094 billion, an increase of 20.8 percent over the previous fiscal cycle.

Last year the company's transactions totaled $712 billion with 89 percent of survey respondents have used PayPal within the past twelve months compared to Amazon Pay and Apple Pay having been used by 27 percent and 20 percent respectively.

The PayPal stock market value has also suffered from the recent price drops caused by the CoronaVirus pandemic and within the past four weeks, its market value decreased by around 18 percent. 

However, other US tech companies like Mastercard were affected even more by losing  24.47 percent in value.

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