Sky.Garden, an online retailer, has recently undergone a significant transformation following a KES 250 million acquisition by Lipa Later Group. This investment has enabled Sky.Garden to enhance its platform, introducing new features and aiming to connect with 100,000 merchants in the upcoming year.
The global market for social commerce is projected to grow substantially, reaching $1.2 trillion by 2025, primarily driven by Gen Z and Millennials. This growth represents a shift in e-commerce, with a notable trend towards shopping via social media applications. In this context, Sky.Garden has evolved from a traditional e-commerce platform to a comprehensive e-commerce ecosystem, offering various services beyond just online retail.
Sky.Garden’s ecosystem is designed to support local businesses with tools such as payment solutions, logistics, marketing, and business insights. It offers a diverse range of products and services, catering to both entrepreneurs and consumers. Juliet Wanjiru, the Head of E-commerce at Sky.Garden, marked the relaunch as a significant evolution in the company’s journey, focusing on expanding offerings for merchants and customers.
The platform has introduced innovative products like Sky.Tickets, Sky.Logistics, Sky.Commerce, and Sky.Wallet, diversifying its merchant categories and enhancing the online marketplace. Particularly, Sky.Wallet provides financial support to merchants, including features like transaction monitoring, bill payments, and banking services. Sky.Logistics commits to same-day delivery, ensuring customer satisfaction.
Sky.Garden has also introduced ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’, in collaboration with LipaLater, to offer flexible payment options to consumers. This initiative is a first in Kenya, aiming to make quality products more accessible at affordable prices.
Additionally, Sky.Garden is venturing into social commerce with the launch of Sky.Commerce. This platform integrates social interactions with e-commerce, allowing for a more interactive shopping experience. Merchants can benefit from reduced online interactions and continuous sales opportunities.
The company emphasizes the importance of trust and security in online marketplaces, striving to maintain a transparent and secure platform. Lipa Later Group CEO Eric Muli highlighted the investment’s dual impact on empowering businesses and customers. He emphasized the importance of local ownership and operation in understanding community needs and contributing to national prosperity.
The relaunch of Sky.Garden is timely, aligning with the rapid growth of e-commerce in Kenya and across Africa. Factors such as increased internet penetration and affordable data costs are driving this expansion. With predictions of significant internet growth in Africa by 2030, the e-commerce market in the region is poised for substantial growth, largely enabled by mobile broadband connectivity.