Kenya’s Online Shopping Firm Mr Media Expands as it Launches in Kampala

In the first-of-its-kind model, the platform combines listing of both new and used products and also serves as a platform for job listing as part of a strategy to address the high unemployment rate in Uganda as well as tap into this pool of millions of potential users. 

MR Media, the newest and largest online shopping platform in Kenya, has announced an expansion of its operations in East Africa following the recent successful launch of MR Media Uganda in Kampala.

MR Media CEO, John Karanja, says that the Ugandan operation will follow the Kenyan model which has its main focus on micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). MR Media Uganda, Karanja adds, will also be capitalizing on a diversified product line to gain an edge over competitors.

“Most businesses that we have been supporting in Kenya through our platform are MSMEs engaged in Jua Kali, manufacturing, farming, online trading, phone merchandise, car dealers, property dealers, building contractors, service providers, IT firms, artists, job seekers and employers where they get an opportunity to reach their prospective customers easily and for free,” Karanja told this website.

He adds: “This model has proved very successful in Kenya within the short period we’ve been in operation. We have been able to amass almost a million users and hundreds more continue to enlist by day. This is the main drive that motivated us to launch operations in Uganda because we realized from MR Media Kenya users’ feedback that the MSME sector has been neglected for long and it is not different even in Uganda. So, we asked ourselves, why not spread the love by sharing the same benefits with our Ugandan brothers and sisters?”

MR Media Uganda will allow vendors to list their products on its digital platform for free to reach more customers as more shoppers shift to online shopping owing to its efficiency and convenience.

In the first-of-its-kind model, the platform combines listing of both new and used products and also serves as a platform for job listing as part of a strategy to address the high unemployment rate in Uganda as well as tap into this pool of millions of potential users. 

As such, individuals can post job requests on MR Media, while employers can also post job offers. MR Media also lists tenders where interested businesses can browse through tenders listed by both government and private entities for the provision of goods and services. 

Further, individuals who have household items such as electronics, utensils, furniture and property such as land and buildings may list the products on the online platform for free to reach buyers. 

Mr Karanja explains how individuals seeking to dispose of household items and property at competitive prices, can go about it.

“A vendor may choose to post items from the MR Media Uganda main platform or may opt to open a sub-store called e-store where all the products are displayed from. Customers may shop for items from the vendors’ store and interact with the store owner,” he states. 

The CEO hopes that MR Media Uganda will be a draw for many MSMEs which are cash-strapped and lack budgets for marketing and advertising.

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The platform will also offer income-generating opportunities for agents who can post and sell on behalf of goods owners and earn a commission. 

MR Media targets to reach 1 million customers in Uganda by the end of 2023 even as sets eyes on further expansion to Tanzania, Ethiopia and Nigeria owing to the initial success in Kenya and which Mr Karanja hopes to replicate in Uganda.

“Our primary aim is supporting start-ups that do not have huge budgets and who would otherwise be disadvantaged by the highly prohibitive advertising and marketing costs as they try to reach their respective customer bases. Buyers will also be advantaged in a big way as they can search a variety of items and compare prices from the platform before making their buying decisions,” Mr Karanja says.

MR Media Uganda will also be pioneering on the medical/health space by allowing individuals seeking urgent medical attention to, for instance, source for blood donations and any other urgent campaigns that are not cash related.

At the same time, MR Media Uganda also has a premium membership plan where vendors pay a little fee for their product listings to be featured prominently on prime spots in the website to boost visibility among users visiting the site, thus much faster sales.

MR Media Uganda is also alive to the fact that the online shopping industry has been dogged with growing cases of unscrupulous vendors defrauding buyers by, for example, failing to deliver goods that have been paid for or delivering substandard goods, different from the ones listed.

As a result, Mr Karanja notes that MR Media Uganda has in place robust safety features to address such cases of online fraudsters even as it continually boosts its security features to keep up with the evolving clever tactics being employed by fraudsters.

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“The main challenge in this industry is dealing with fraudsters who would take advantage of buyers and sellers. This is why our platform discourages users from sending money before due process is carried out. We also carry out frequent technology updates to deal with spammers,” the CEO affirms.

Online shopping in Uganda has witnessed unprecedented growth, especially in the last two years following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic which led to restricted movement in the country. Today, as many adapted to the new normal, prefer to shop online for among others, food, clothes, electronics, furniture, cosmetics, real estate and other products, due to its convenience and flexibility.

The increased use of mobile money and increased internet connectivity in Uganda has also contributed to the growth of e-commerce as customers are able to pay for goods and services easily before their products are delivered.

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Contact MR Media Uganda:
Address: Acacia Road, Block 43 
MR Media Uganda Suite
Website: Click here to visit.


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