By Njeri Irungu
Shop owners and micro-retailers have embraced the use of technology in operating their businesses, which is improving performance, as has been observed by the non-profit international development organization TechnoServe.
TechnoServe notes that micro-retailers are using digital solutions provided by Retail Pay, Tanda, and Market Force, in key areas including financial management, inventory management, and financial services, which in turn is improving the performance of these businesses.
“Digitization of processes is making it possible for micro-retailers to improve supply chains, financial linkages, and inventory management all of which are necessary to efficiently serve their customers,” said TechnoServe Regional Program Manager Alice Waweru. She added that capturing of data and processing it also presents an opportunity for micro-retailers to make better data-driven decisions in their day-to-day operations.
These insights arose from the 6th Stakeholder’s forum hosted by TechnoServe and its partners, including Moody’s Foundation, Elea Foundation for Ethics in Globalization, MasterCard Centre for Inclusive Growth (MCIG), Citi Foundation, and the University of Nairobi.
TechnoServe has additionally found that improving efficiencies coupled with other initiatives such as proper bookkeeping can increase micro retailers’ longevity and increase revenues by up to 45 percent.
The organization is also working on ways to improve micro retailers’ efficiency; including giving technical advice on how these businesses can aggregate to benefit from economies of scale.
Since 2015, the organization has worked with 55,435 micro-retailers on improving their enterprises.Additionally, 23,369 micro-retailers have managed to secure loans valued at $5,277,848 through the assistance of TechnoSeve’s Smart Duka program.
Micro-retailers can additionally fill the gap left by large multinational retailers exiting Kenya and the wider African “There is a great opportunity for micro-retail shop owners as large multinational retail outlets exit the Africa retail market space but to efficiently fill this gap duka owners must use technology to improve processes,” said Ms. Waweru.
By Njeri Irungu