Holcim sees 700% sales increase through digital apps in Africa in 2020

Middle East & Africa

Despite the unparalleled health crisis facing many retail markets in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America, Holcim recorded a 4% strong volume increase of cement bag sales during the second half course of 2020 compared to the previous year. Digital solutions have been instrumental in this success, as they are helping to satisfy the strong housing demand that is being driven by a growing middle class, while maintaining social distance and guaranteeing safety standards.

Digital solutions for a booming middle class

The retail business represents more than 60% of total cement volumes sold at Holcim. In the Middle East Africa region, where the middle class is booming, the adoption of the Holcim Lead Retail mobile app, a customer application to place orders, track deliveries, and check balances in real-time, has surged over the last year -- from five countries in 2019 to thirteen countries today, reaching a 700% increase from 2019. With Uganda in the forefront of digitalization, over 90% of all sales are completed via the app. Egypt and Nigeria, where the app was launched in late May 2020, experienced in-app ordering rates above 80% of total bag sales.

Miljan Gutovic, Head of Middle East & Africa at Holcim: “The adoption of digital ordering is skyrocketing in the MEA region, where individual homebuilding is very important. In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, we are glad to see how our innovative digital solutions can also make a contribution from a public health perspective.” 

 

Innovation is the only way forward

To further drive digital, easy-to-use solutions, Holcim actively tests mobile payment, microcredit, wallet and last-mile delivery solutions. Lafarge Zambia’s partnerships with Afridelivery and Tigmoo, two local e-commerce and last-mile delivery companies, allow homeowners and contractors to order cement on their mobile phones and have their orders delivered directly to their premises in less than two hours. 

Philipp Leutiger, Chief Digital Officer: “Holcim MAQER, Holcim’s open innovation platform, has helped our customers respond to the challenges of shutdowns and social distancing while creating growth opportunities for the future.” 

As an essential sector to keep society running, Holcim looks forward to playing its part in driving the recovery while also navigating towards the post-pandemic normal.

Author: Felicia Noreskar

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