eCommerce in Africa is booming but that doesn’t leave out any struggles which include uncertainty around receiving orders satisfactorily. There are currently 65.4 million eCommerce users in Africa and the Middle East, with an additional 20 million users expected to be shopping online by 2021.
When it comes to eCommerce sales in Africa, three of the continents biggest economies are dominating. West African country, Nigeria, has the most eCommerce sites. 40 percent of Africa’s eCommerce ventures have headquarters in Nigeria. However, the West African country has an internet penetration of only 48 percent.
Kenya, with a 79 percent internet penetration has Africa’s biggest mobile wallet provider, M-Pesa. The availability of a secure payment system encourages internet access and online buying. South Africa, with a population of 55.5 million has a 54 percent internet penetration. It has a substantial middle class and is perhaps the country with the best cross-border potential.
With all this success, some companies have failed to keep the lights on. In December 2018, Nigerian eCommerce platform DealDey closed shop after 7 years of service. The company shut down after just 2 years of being acquired by Rinigier Africa Deals Group (RADG) for an estimated value of $5 million. Other companies that shut down in Nigeria include OLX, Kwese Satelite, Zoto, Efritin.
These devastating news should not dampen the mood for any entrepreneurs looking to join the retail space, here are 6 of Africa’s trail-blazing eCommerce site.
Nigeria-based, Jumia Group was founded in 2012 and has more than 3,000 employees. Jumia is Africa’s best-funded eCommerce startup operating in 14 countries in Africa and the Middle East, with each country having its own site. Apart from servicing the needs of consumers and businesses, Jumia has been upskilling and aiding employment for many Africans who are qualified in areas such as Engineering, IT and online marketing and web development.
South Africa’s Takealot was established in 2002. It has a broad catalogue and a variety of products including books, games, computers and beauty. In April 2017, Takealot scored a significant investment of over USD $69 million from Naspers, one of Africa’s biggest digital companies. This came after the online retailer received USD $100 million investment from investment firm Tiger Global Management in 2014. Naspers boasts a 53,5% stake in Takealot, while Tiger Global owns about 34%.
Zando launched in 2012 in South Africa. The online fashion eCommerce platform is funded by Germany-based Rocket Internet. Zando is a subsidiary to parent company, The Jumia Group, which operates as a fashion retailer and across numerous other vertical in various other African countries. Zando’s payment options include cash-on-delivery payment, EFT bank deposit, eBucks and Instant EFT with i-pay to name a few.
Mall for Africa
MallforAfrica is Africa’s global eCommerce solution. They provide Africans with a platform through which to purchase items directly from international online retailers – companies that, otherwise, would be inaccessible to the African population. MallforAfrica is focused on a number of African counties including Nigeria, Ghana, and Kenya. We plan on expanding to other African countries.
Konga is a Nigeria eCommerce platform founded in 2012. Often dubbed “The Amazon of Africa”, the platform combines both a business of linking with third-party suppliers and clean distribution activity. In 2015, Konga joined forces with Nigerian banks to launch KongaPay, an online payment method to tackle the issue of trust in Africa when it came to online payments.
Kenya’s largest online shopping mall, Kilimall is relatively new in the eCommerce space but has remarkably managed to create an inter-continental mark since its launch in 2014. The site, now established in other countries such as Nigeria and Uganda. It has a retail customer base that continues to boom.
Kilimall is known for providing electronics such as phones, computers and gadgets, stocking top brands such Samsung, Huawei, Lenovo, and Phillips. The site also offers other products such as home appliances, clothes, books, health and beauty products, and more attractive choice for consumers.