Rocket Internet-backed Jumia Rwanda, an online shopping site has ditched its business to consumer (B2C) online retail and later its ‘Amazon’ model in Rwanda for a pure consumer to consumer (C2C) classifieds site.
The firm gave up the e-tail model a few months back and instead of closing shop totally it decided to trade as a pure marketplace like general classifieds site OLX to connect more buyers and sellers in the country. Those other classifieds sites like Jumia House are still online.
One advantage with running a classifieds site is that the firm will not spend much time and money vetting traders to use its platform. Though classifieds platforms attract fraudsters, the urban Rwanda community is not new to these and therefore Jumia might not struggle finding sellers and buyers.
Unlike the online store where Jumia was supposed to vet vendors or businesses to sell on its site, the new C2C model allows the firm to only loosely monitor online transactions and as a third party. The model will grow the market and Jumia might decided to relaunch its Amazon for Africa there but right now its efforts will put into Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria, Ghana and francophone West Africa.
The firm also recently gave up its property classifieds verticals in Angola, Ghana and Nigeria for general classifieds site Afribaba which was run by Frontier Digital Ventures. With Afribaba, the firm is showing that it has a growing appetite for the C2C market which it has long left for Naspers’ OLX to dominate. But now that OLX is heavily monetising and becoming expensive and strict on vetting, there is a little space for other players to provide an alternative.
Like any other business, Jumia has every right to pivot to what makes sense to its investors which include MTN, AXA and Rocket Internet. There is a likelihood that the firm will keep its B2C model in advanced markets in Africa and float its C2C model in markets which are young but promising like Rwanda.