Rwanda: Shoppers Turn to Online Platforms Amid Lockdown

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On Saturday, March 21, Rwanda declared a countywide lockdown, only allowing essential services such as hygiene, medicinal and food selling services to remain operational.

The lockdown is part of the efforts to combat the coronavirus, which has wrecked the world with Rwanda reporting 19 confirmed cases, as of Sunday, March 22.

The Government also banned unnecessary movements, prompting many Rwandans to opt for online services including shopping for food items. is an e-commerce that has been delivering grocery, office equipment and day to day necessary products.

The platform has recorded a significant demand in food products and toiletries.

"People are ordering for rice, vegetables, fruits and toiletries in large numbers," said Yvette Uwimpaye,'s Chief Executive Officer.

She said they have enough products to satisfy the market and source for the ones they don't have in their stores from other reliable vendors.

Upon accessing their website, one can easily spot products and their prices, which can be ordered and delivered at a fee of Rwf1,500 in Kigali.

That is slightly different from other online shopping platforms such as DMM.HeHe - which works with local businesses to deliver groceries to clients.

"Fees range from Rwf800 to Rwf2,500 depending on the urgency (requested by the customer) or location, for now, we only deliver in Kigali" said Clarisse Iribagiza, DMM.HeHe's chief executive.

She added that delivery time ranges from 30 minutes for medicine and 1-2 hours for groceries which is flexible as the customer can pick a time slot once checking out.

For payment, Hehe strictly accepts cashless payment methods such as Mobile Money and card payments, something they've done since June 2019.

However, Murukali accepts cash upon delivery on top of cashless payments although they encourage "customers to use cashless payment methods to curb the spread of coronavirus."

Both companies pointed out they are receiving many orders from Kacyiru, Kiyovu and Kibagabaga among others.

Uwimpaye revealed that some customers have raised complaints of hiked prices.

"We have tried not to hike prices for products we have and for those we fetch from elsewhere, we tried to communicate for our customers to understand that the situation is common throughout the market."

Ilibagiza specified that they have not increased shipping fees encouraged their partner businesses not to hike prices.

Both companies say that they equip their drivers with hand sanitizers and protective gears such as gloves to protect them and their clients.

Other companies with delivery services include Vuba Vuba, Twohereze and Rushfoods among others.

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