Should you do your monthly house shopping on Masoko?

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I am lazy and selective at the same time. I dislike going to the supermarket to do my monthly shopping as I find it to be not the best use of my time. The same applies to trips to the barber but unfortunately, I don’t have a way out just yet. Still, I am not comfortable sending someone to shop for me either. He/She will probably get the “wrong” brands. What ends up happening is that I have to force myself to visit the supermarket every 7–8 weeks. That is why when I saw an ad on Instagram ran Masoko I thought it was a match made in heaven.

In this post, I will share my experience doing grocery shopping on Masoko. I will use the five key phases of a customer journey map to break this down. The first is awareness, then onboarding, followed by first-time userepeat use, and lastly advocacy.

A customer journey map is a visual representation of the process a customer or prospect goes through to achieve a goal with your product. With the help of a customer journey map, you can get a sense of your customers’ motivations — their needs and pain points.

Typically, customers will go through these steps as they interact with your product or service.

  • Awareness — how do customers learn about you and your product/service. This is the step where they see a potential problem it solves for them
  • Onboarding — now that a customer knows about your service, how do they find additional information and confirm that it is a good fit
  • First-time use — the customer has bought in and is now using your product for the first time
  • Repeat use — the customer loved the service/product and comes back another
  • Advocacy — the customer loved it so much that they recommended it to their friends

First, what is Masoko?

For a while, we have been hearing about Safaricom’s plan to delve into e-commerce. They finally did it and named the platform Masoko. It is similar to JumiaKilimallSky.Garden and a multitude of similar platforms hoping to make online shopping mainstream on this side of the continent. Safaricom is Kenya’s largest telco and also has the biggest mobile money platform. It is a known and trusted brand making Masoko a serious player in the nascent industry that is e-commerce.

Awareness

Who hasn’t seen an ad by Masoko? The ads are everywhere! From billboards to online ads, you are almost guaranteed to see one. Whether you are scrolling down your Instagram feed or cruising down Waiyaki way, you will see an ad. I already knew about Masoko, but I only took notice when I saw the advertisement shared above. It spoke to a problem I faced and as a result, I decided to explore more.

Onboarding

Now that I was aware Masoko could solve a problem I faced, I moved to their site to find out more. As I mentioned earlier, because I am selective, I needed to confirm the brands they sell. I wasn’t disappointed as they seem to stock almost all the brands I usually buy.

The site also looks like most e-commerce websites, so I didn’t struggle to browse around. One thing I noted was that it felt like it took so long for pages to load. At that point, I suspected my internet was slow.

First-time Use

Now that I was sufficiently comfortable and convinced I could get what I was looking it was time to do it. This stage involved a couple of activities.

  • Search for different items and add them to my cart
  • Check out — provide the necessary information for Masoko to get the items to me
  • Payment — pay for the said items
  • Delivery — have the items delivered to my house

This is where things started falling apart.

Search and loading up my cart

I was looking for specific brands, and for some reason, almost all of them were not on the landing page of the food and drinks section. Additionally, the related product feature is not available on the Masoko platform yet. As an example, the 5kg Daawat rice is on the landing page. I was looking at getting 2kgs, so I clicked the 5kg hoping the 2kg will be listed as a related item. This wasn’t the case. As a result, I had to search for each product.

The process of searching was reasonably straight forward with the autosuggest feature working quite well.

However, the site was slow. At first, I thought it was my connection so I decided to head over to Jumia and do a similar search. Masoko is significantly slower and can be annoying when you are adding a lot of items to your cart.

It took me about 30 to 40 minutes to add everything to my cart. I didn’t face any significant obstacles. However, I had to search manually for each item.

Check out

Once I had everything I needed, it was time to check out. This is an area I feel needs a lot of improvement by the team at Masoko. On check out, I was forced to create an account. The angle by Masoko was that it would allow me to track my order. While this a good idea, it is not the best implementation. To deliver my shopping, Masoko only needs the following information:

  • Personal details — my name
  • Contact details — my phone number and/or email
  • Address — the physical address that the shopping will be delivered to

Everything else is unnecessary at this point and is a potential barrier. The account can be created in the background, and the user can change the password at their own time after they have completed the transaction.

Seeing that I didn’t have a choice and I had already spent way too much time adding items to my cart I decided to create an account.

I chose to use my Google account to create an account to save me the time it would take to fill the form. It failed on the first try but worked when I tried it for the second time. On successfully creating my account, I had to provide my phone number as Google didn’t share that information.

I knew I wasn’t done just yet seeing that at no point had I been asked for my address. This was the next step. The weirdest part when adding my address was the mandatory national identification field. When I inquired why this was needed, I was informed by the Masoko team that it is necessary so that I can make purchases such as alcoholic drinks. If you have used Uber Eats, you know there is a more elegant way to do this. When an Uber Eats rider drops a package that can only be bought by someone over 18, you have to present your ID and sign against it. Pretty neat!

The check out process took way longer than I estimated and asked for a lot of unnecessary information.

Payment

Being a Safaricom product, I was worried paying would be limited to Mpesa only. Fortunately, this was not the case. I usually prefer to pay using my Visa card but being the first time I was using Masoko I wasn’t confident about security, so I opted for Mpesa.

I got a confirmation message on the page and via email.

Delivery

I did my shopping on Tuesday night. It was delivered the following week on Monday. This was even though Masoko had indicated it would be delivered on Friday.

I think this is the part Masoko haven’t thought it through at all. The lady who cleans my house was coming on Saturday just after the promised delivery date. I ended up having to dash to the supermarket to get what she needed.

The extended delay in completing my delivery negated all the conveniences I had thought of when I chose to shop online. It would have been easier and faster for me to go to the supermarket in person and get my shopping.

Repeat Use

As you can imagine, this is not happening. Once bitten twice shy.

Advocacy

If I recommend Masoko to you know, I don’t like you that much.

Verdict

Don’t use Masoko to do your monthly shopping. It is faster and more efficient to go to the supermarket in person. Alternatively, you can try naivas.com. I have heard good things about them and will be trying Naivas next.

Masoko hasn’t invested enough on the digital platform nor the other parts that need to be in place to deliver superior customer experience. The site could do with a good number of improvements and they need to figure out how to do timely deliveries.

Have you used Masoko? How was your experience? Drop me a comment below or ping me on Twitter (KiruiK).


Kennedy Kirui is a Nairobi-based product designer, sprint master, and UX researcher. He currently heads the team at Tanasuk Africa (also DBA iHub Software Consulting) a design thinking and software consultancy company.

Kirui likes playing around with products and identifying areas for improvement.

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