Home Business Beko Upbeat In Kenya’s Mobile Commerce Space

Beko Upbeat In Kenya’s Mobile Commerce Space

by Brian Yatich
Mustafa Soylu, CEO of Beko Appliances in Sub Sahara

Beko recently announced its entry into the mobile commerce space with the rollout of a WhatsApp-powered service.

The European-based home appliance brand – with a strong footprint in Africa, had rolled out mobile commerce platform for Kenyan consumers ahead of the last festive season.

Using WhatsApp, consumers across Kenya will be able to shop for a wide range of electronic products via their mobiles and communicate directly with local dealers as well as current and potential Beko customers.

The East African Business Times had a chat with Mustafa Soylu, the Chief Executive of Beko Appliances in Sub Sahara as he shared insights into Beko’s WhatsApp service and commerce in Kenya.

Below extract of the conversation.

What is the outlook of conversational commerce in Kenya in the coming year?

With the increasing countrywide internet coverage and growth of mobile penetration as well as higher speeds like 5G going live in Kenya, we foresee a great opportunity for consumers who are now able to shop conveniently.

These present incredible opportunities for mobile commerce in the country.

Other than the launch of WhatsApp services by Beko, what should we expect from the company in the coming year?

We continuously research to come up with innovative solutions to meet the changing needs of our customers and we will continue doing so. Our mission is to provide a safe, seamless and convenient shopping experience to our customers. We also plan to incorporate credit card facilities through the app in the future.

We have been present in the Kenyan market since 2012 offering a full range of MDAs. Beko is found across major retailers and many independent retailers, having also established itself as a credible partner in providing quality cooking products.

Alongside our efforts to develop innovative solutions for our consumers, we collaborate with Water.org and use our combined expertise and resources to help transform lives in Kenya in order to enable access to safe water in urban slums and rural areas without reliable water sources.

For issues that concern communities, it is important that all relevant stakeholders of a community pitch in and help the ongoing progress toward a greener and healthier future. We believe our partnership with Water.org to empower 10,000 Kenyans is an important first step and a bright move to achieve this goal more quickly.

How do you plan to onboard local agents and customers to ramp up use of your WhatsApp channel.

We will continuously inform and remind our customers and agents of this new development at every opportunity we get while engaging them through multimedia channels. We also have this information on our social media platforms.

How are your services different from the competition?

Through the innovative use of instant messaging, our aim is to diversify our communication strategy to better serve the needs of an increasingly mobile customer base in Kenya.

Using WhatsApp, consumers across Kenya are able to shop a wide range of our products via their mobiles and communicate directly with local dealers as well as current and potential Beko customers.

Consumers also have access to a quick view of the full range of Beko products through an automated catalog on WhatsApp as well as additional information on the products. They can make purchases through the available agents and pay for them using the mobile money platform: M-Pesa. The service also allows users to register warranties, request user manuals, and log service calls.

Our customers have the opportunity to engage us 24/7 and receive their products right at their doorsteps without visiting Beko stores.

Which Key appliances do you see moving transaction volumes and values on WhatsApp and why?

Using WhatsApp, consumers have access to a quick view of the full range of Beko products through an automated catalog on the platform that includes kitchen, laundry, air & homecare appliances, and more. The Key appliances we see moving are all based on seasonality, however, Beko’s Freestanding Cookers and Small Appliances are gaining traction through the platform.

The purchasing process has been simplified enabling increased customer interactions and direct communication with local dealers.

What are the characteristics of your target demographics?

This facility targets all consumers in Kenya that are on WhatsApp – the most widely adopted form of communication in Kenya. We also target emerging or young users who are continuously searching for brands that match their tastes and preferences.

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