eCommerce in Africa

by Daniella DeLea

African eCommerce has seen staggering growth in the past several years.  With its young population and increasing internet penetration, Africa may be an excellent choice to consider in your export plans.  Mobile eCommerce currently dominates the online marketplace.  There are 281 million online shoppers in Africa, with the average order approximately $65 USD.  The current most popular products include the categories of fashion, electronics, and media.  

Marketplaces in Africa cater to many countries and regions.  The most popular include Jumia, Takealot, Bidorbuy, Zando and Souq.  Jumia has had over half a billion active visitors.  African consumers are cost-savvy and do their research.  Africa’s middle class continues to grow and their shopping habits have shifted to internet sales purchases. Other popular sites include Kilimall (Kenya’s largest online shopping mall), and Konga (which has an integrated online payment system with local banks).  

Payment is always something to be mindful of when considering selling in Africa.  The majority of the population still uses cash, and COD (cash on delivery) is a common payment method.  Mobile payment from one’s bank is another method, but credit cards are much less common.  Logistics and regulatory environment can vary from country to country, which are also aspects that you must consider if exporting to Africa.