Africans are becoming more familiar with online shopping

by Trust Matsilele 0

According to a 2014 Phillips Consulting survey, Nigeria’s online shopping sector grew to 78 billion naira in 2012 from 68.4 billion naira in 2011, representing a growth of 25 per cent.

(READ MORE: Is online shopping the next big trend for Nigeria?)

Oliver Facey, vice president of operations for DHL Express Sub Saharan Africa, says that shopping online not only offers consumers access to a greater selection of products with easy to compare prices.

Facey added that online shopping also allows individuals to purchase products that may not yet be available in their own country.

“Although internet penetration in sub-Saharan Africa is still far below the world average of around 30 per cent, the numbers are increasing as Africans become more familiar and comfortable with online shopping,” said Facey.

Facey warns though that while there are many motivators of why to shop online, consumers must be aware of the dos and don’ts of online shopping to avoid possible drawbacks.

Consumers should also be aware of the regulations involved with purchasing from international retailers, in order to avoid incurring additional expenses, thereby making the product less of an attractive buy.

Facey offers advice to consumer on what to consider when buying from international e-retailers.

(READ MORE: S.Africa retail online shopping growth on the rise)

“Consumers are often caught off-guard when their shipments arrive from international retailers with unexpected additional charges. It is therefore imperative for consumers to be aware that they may have to pay customs duty for their online purchases, depending on the country that they are buying the goods from,” added Facey

“Online shopping is definitely the way to go, from a convenience and cost saving point of view, so once consumers become familiar with their local regulations, they can really reap the rewards. We have seen a steady increase over the past couple of weeks as consumers took advantage of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals available online.”