COVID- 19 Lockdown: Bolt Ventures Into Delivery Services In Kenya As Business Dwindles

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Bolt has announced it is entering into delivery services in Nairobi, Kenya. This is coming after the dwindling demand for ride-hailing services caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the company, the new vertical launched on Tuesday, will be aimed at providing merchants and vendors with their business delivery needs.

Speaking during the launch, Bolt’s Country Manager in Kenya, Ola Akinnusi, said the company launched the service to leverage its experience and network of drivers during this stay at home period.

“We launched Bolt Business Delivery to leverage our experience in operations and logistics and make use of our technology and the large network of drivers we have across Kenya during a time when a lot of people are forced to stay at home,” Akinnusi said. 

Growing demand for delivery services

The coronavirus pandemic has had a major effect on how businesses operate. Many businesses in hard-hit sectors like transportation have had to improvise on alternative sources of income.

Although businesses like airlines and ride-hailing in the transport sector were seriously affected during the lockdown, delivery service received a huge boost.

The increasing need for people to continue transactions even while stuck at home made delivery service the middle man for everybody. Bolt has recognized this and is evolving to tap into the market.

Bolt’s Business Delivery Service

Bolt Business Delivery allows courier businesses to onboard on the Bolt platform. The platform allows vendors to place orders online, for their products to be delivered to their customers at affordable rates within hours or the same day.

To use the service, vendors can upload deliveries in batches via CSV or enter them manually using a simple form. After adding order, vendors will receive a price estimate.

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“The service can be used by all kinds of businesses, to facilitate all kinds of delivery ranging from delivery of essentials like groceries to household items, LPG, pharmaceutical products — any business that needs a delivery service that can cover the last mile, manage item returns and handle multiple drop-offs.”

The orders can be set for immediate or scheduled pick up to be collected within 48 hours. Once the request for delivery has been confirmed, Bolt will dispatch a courier to collect the order at the specified time.

Vendors can manage and track the progress of the delivery through real-time tracking features. Also, they will receive a live status update on the web app while the end-customer will get an SMS notification that their delivery is on the way. The company will also send the estimated time of arrival and the courier’s contact details.

Currently, delivery service is very essential to the many entrepreneurs especially those who run their businesses on social media like Twitter and Facebook.

Although lockdown has been lifted in Bolt’s major markets and the ride-hailing market is picking up again, a lot of businesses are still working remotely. With the end of the pandemic still unknown, Bolt may be considering launching its delivery service in Africa’s most populous country.

(Technext)

Yetunde Adegoke

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