More Kenyans Have Embraced Online Shopping- Study

Kenyans have become more positive towards online shopping, a new study has revealed. They have also become more careful with their spending and want a new means to track their money digitally.

Standard Chartered conducted the study, and surveyed 12,000 adults across 12 markets. They were picked from Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mainland China, Malaysia, Pakistan, Singapore, Taiwan, UAE, the UK and the US. The study is the second of a three part series and seeks to establish how COVID-19 has transformed our way of life. It also seeks to establish what changes are here to stay.  The first survey focused on the pandemic’s impact on earnings while the second offers new insights into the way the global health crisis is changing consumer spending habits.

79 percent of the Kenyans surveyed said they preferred doing their shopping in person prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, while 21 percent were okay shopping online. This has however changed drastically, with more that 51 percent now favouring online payments to in-person, card or cash payments for future purchases.

Read: 41 Percent of Kenyans in Urban Areas Have Already Contracted Covid-19 – Study

This increase in preference for online payments is applicable across a range of purchases, from groceries and travel to digital devices. As a result, 64 per cent of people globally and 60 per cent in Kenya now expect their country to go fully cashless. In Kenya, those who believe the country will one day go cashless predicted it to be by 2033.

Standard Chartered Head of Retail Banking, Edith Chumba, said the bank had noted a steady decline in the number of ATM withdrawals.

“Cash withdrawals from ATMs are now half what they were two years ago. Today, 89% of transactions are being conducted digitally with a 62% and 90% penetration for our Retail and Corporate clients respectively. Our digital banking platform with more than 70 digitally accessible services, allows our clients to open an account, transact, buy and sell government securities, invest in some of the most diverse mutual funds across the globe and access an array of insurance products,” added Ms Chumba.

Read also: 60 Percent Of Jobs Affected By Coronavirus Pandemic – Report

91 per cent of Kenyan respondents also said that the economic impact of COVID-19 has made them more likely to track their spending. At least 80 per cent of Kenyans therefore use or are interested in using budgeting tools or tools that block card-spend over specified limits.

When it comes to purchases, users have noted a 58 percent increase in their spend on groceries, 59 percent increase in digital services and 39 percent increase in healthcare expenditure. 80 percent of consumers also said they have spent less on holidays and travel than they did pre-pandemic while 49 percent have spent less on experiences.  83 percent of the consumers also said they have spent less on clothes.

The study also showed that Kenya was leading globally in conscientious spending with 81 per cent of Kenyans now more likely to shop locally, 75 per cent are more likely to shop sustainably and 70 per cent more likely to support smaller businesses.

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Written by Francis Muli

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