40 Percent Digitization and A Look at Kenyan Businesses During the Pandemic

New research commissioned by Glovo shows small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) are worried about their future growth prospects.


A study done by e-commerce platform Glovo has shown that retailers and restaurants in Kenya are facing major difficulties due to the cost-of-living crisis, increasing inflation, and concerns about a recession.

In response, 86% of businesses are altering their strategies more frequently to reach a wider audience, and 77% are diversifying their offerings.

The assessment, which involved over 3,200 small and medium-sized food, grocery, and restaurant businesses in nine markets in Europe and Africa, found that 34% of SMEs have trouble attracting new customers, with 25% of UK businesses sharing the same concern.

Factors contributing to SMEs’ need for additional support and solutions include changing consumer behavior, high inflation, declining consumer spending, and broader economic risks.

Growth is still on the agenda for 2023 as the research also reveals that, despite the current economic turmoil, 62% of the businesses are in survival mode. However, 92% are optimistic they will achieve significant growth in the next 12 months.

The role of a technology partner is set to grow, and understanding the market and customers’ needs (at 90%) was rated as the most critical factor to help businesses remain relevant. Further,79% of businesses believe a technology partner will help them stay competitive as the cost of living soars worldwide.


Caroline Mutuku, General Manager Kenya at Glovo, said: “ As we move forward post-pandemic and the lessons we acquired during that time, it is paramount that we continue to leverage on the current digitization of all sectors, for SMEs more than ever have to be open to technology, the future is here with us and it will get better with time, digitization is crucial to growth of SMEs, about 40% of businesses digitized during the COVID pandemic. Post-pandemic, 68% of businesses continue to operate digitally with 30% of them starting working with delivery partners during the pandemic.”