Africa, the future for e-commerce industry


This is according to DHL’s Shop the World report which revealed that emerging markets offers the highest growth potential for the e-commerce industry.

“Although global e-retailer Amazon celebrated its 20th anniversary in July, e-commerce companies in Africa are only now beginning to mark and/or accelerate their presence in the marketplace,” said Sumesh Rahavendra, head of marketing for DHL Express sub- Saharan Africa.  

“An example is Nigerian online retailer, Jumia, which despite being founded only two years ago, is quickly gaining market share within the country which reiterates the region’s potential.”


(WATCH VIDEO: Potential of Nigeria’s ecommerce industry on GDP )

He added that a report released by McKinsey & Company indicated that e-commerce could account for 10 per cent of retail sales in Africa’s largest economies by 2025. In the United States, online retail already accounts for nine per cent of total retail sales.

“Globally, it took over 2 000 years for a formal monetary system to evolve and over 600 years for a formal banking system to be implemented. It’s taken over 50 years for credit and debit cards to be introduced and still not every person has a bank account. With all these milestones that have taken place in the evolution of commerce, it goes to show that how we shop (e-commerce), is still in its infancy,” he explained.

The lack of technology in Africa remains a challenge in terms of connectivity however Rahavendra noted that the number of retailers in the region has grown significantly due to advances in this area.

(WATCH VIDEO: Trends and perspectives on ecommerce in Africa) 

According to the International Communications Union, around 16 per cent of the African population have internet access, up from 10 per cent in 2010.

Also, the 2014 Mobile Media Consumption report by InMobi predicted that 83 per cent of consumers from across 14 African countries including Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa, have plans to conduct mobile commerce in the next 12 months.

(READ MORE: S.Africa’s eCommerce industry on the upswing)

“As technology continues to evolve in the respective African countries, as will the levels of online shopping. It is of our opinion that many African businesses will start to skip the traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ formal retail environment, and instead move straight into online shopping space due to the rise in mobile and internet services within Africa,” concluded Rahavendra.