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Jumia launches Nigeria's first e-commerce bot

Jumia launches Nigeria's first e-commerce bot

Jumia has launched Nigeria's first e-commerce bot, which allows shoppers to order goods and book hotels and flights simply by having an online conversation with the bot.

Jumia Bot, which is powered and hosted by Facebook Messenger, offers Nigeria's 18 million Facebook users the ability to access their own personal Jumia shopping assistant.

Customers are asked what they are looking for, with Jumia Bot then using their answers to uncover the best offers.

Once a user's criteria is selected, Jumia Bot will remember and use the research for his or her next order.

The bot was developed in a collaboration between the Facebook and Jumia tech teams, and uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) and natural learning processes to learn user preferences and make personalised recommendations.

AI-powered chatbots in e-commerce are on the rise globally, as such businesses transition to more automated business processes and systems when it comes to supporting customer service with the ultimate goal of fostering better shopping experiences and streamlining interactions.

Globally, platforms like WeChat, Shopify Messenger, BotCommerce and Letsclap are in use across a large number of e-commerce stores, but there has yet to be sizeable uptake in Africa yet as e-commerce companies battle with the costs of developing highly efficient AI-enabled bots.

Jumia is a leader in Africa in this respect as a result of its partnership with Facebook.

"Jumia Bot has a very simple yet important objective: to help our customers get to personalised deals on Jumia. We are pleased to unveil this new dimension of e-shopping for the Nigerian customer, and excited about helping to pioneer the next wave of local content and tech tools within our ecosystem," said Jumia Nigeria CEO Juliet Anammah.

"When we launched Bot for Businesses on Messenger, our goal was to help companies make meaningful connections with their customers in order to meet their business goals," said Emeka Afigbo, head of platform partnerships for the Middle East and Africa at Facebook. "We are excited to be part of the story in providing technology solutions to one of Africa's leading e-commerce websites."

The shopper's post-order experience is also integrated into Jumia Bot, with shoppers as a result able to track their orders and contact the customer service team for follow-up questions.

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