Understanding that online shoppers want the most effortless experience possible, Minute5, a Uganda-based e-commerce platform offering a fresh food delivery service sourced directly from local farms and markets, has moved to the AWS (Amazon Web Services) cloud computing platform.
The company had already introduced a successful full mobile functionality with contactless delivery and cashless payment model in response to the Covid pandemic. The latest move further streamlines the customer journey and has won the company more than 150 new customers, with 70 repeat customers, for a total of 540 regular customers.
'The move to AWS allowed us to scale up and put more products into the system, increase our own productivity and increase sales,' said Minute5 founder and CEO Jonathan Paul Katumba. NTF IV, a Dutch government funded project, made the connection with AWS.
Minute5 has focused on building positive customer relationships, with high quality photos and easy website navigation, a strong team running delivery operations, and a dedicated group of trained boda-boda drivers to ensure smooth customer service.
'Everything is done through mobile phones. I get the order and within 10-15 minutes I process it, check the items, and get them delivered,' explained Minute5 purchasing officer Sheikh Edrissa. Customers can pay with bank cards or mobile money.
Katumba's next goal is to expand the business by integrating the company into the supply-chain cycle, thereby boosting small-scale producers, and ensuring customers get the freshest food on their tables.
'In this way we can provide customers a convenient service while also helping local farmers. And since we collect consumption data, we can also advise those farmers on what food to grow in preparation for different food seasons,' explained Katumba, who started the company in 2018 and began working with NTF IV soon after that.
Minute5 is part of the global multi-billion-dollar tech-driven food delivery industry that dramatically increased during the Covid pandemic and shows no indication of slowing down.
According to data presented by StockApps.com, the global online food delivery market is expected to hit $151.5bn in revenue and 1.6bn users in 2021, a 10% jump year-over-year.
Currently 40% of the food sold on Minute5 platform comes from farmers, while the rest is sourced from local markets. As the sourcing percentage shifts, Katumba plans to build an easily accessible urban storage facility for farmers' products, which will also serve as a retail outlet.
The result will help farmers reduce their food wastage and delivery efforts as well as enhance their crop productivity, while affording consumers lower-cost fresher produce.
'NTF IV has been the launchpad for the company. We were given training sessions on crisis management, business plans and capacity building, and how to connect to and negotiate with investors,' Katumba said of his success.
Last year Minute5 expanded by hiring more staff in marketing, delivery and graphic design. This year they plan to hire an additional 10 people in tech, sales, marketing and content creation.
The Netherlands Trust Fund (NTF) IV is based on a partnership between the International Trade Centre and the Dutch Centre for the Promotion of Imports from developing countries and funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In Uganda, the project is implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, and the National Information Technology Authority (NITA) of Uganda.