West Africa: e-tailers advocate ecommerce development

Wednesday 5 November 2014 14:30 CET | News

West African e-tailers have been exploring the mobile medium to boost ecommerce development by offering customers a wide array of purchase and sales options.

West Africa offers the highest growth potential for the ecommerce industry, according to Sumesh Rahavendra, head of marketing for the logistics company DHL Express sub-Sahara Africa, reports.

Jumia, a Nigerian ecommerce platform, offers a selection of electronics, fashion, home appliances and children’s items, and allows for a variety of payment options including cash-on-delivery, an important feature in a region where many people do not have bank accounts.

Other West African online commerce sites that have raised their profiles recently include Ghana’s, billed as a classified ad site, Sierra Leone retail and consumer site GoShop, Nigerian classified ad site OLX and Konga.

The portion of GDP (gross domestic product) derived from online commerce in Africa could increase to at least 5% or 6% by 2025, matching that of leading economies such as Sweden, Taiwan and the UK, according to the consultancy company McKinsey & Co. report, “Lions Go Digital.” The report used the term “iGDP” for gross domestic product derived from internet commerce.

According to the same reports, should the internet achieve the scale and impact as the spread of mobile phones in Africa, iGDP could account for as much as 10%, (USD 300 billion), of total GDP, while producing a leap forward in economic and social development.

The continued growth of ecommerce depends, however, on a variety of factors including government tax policies and cross-border customs regulations, the availability of adequate and secure payment solutions, shipping and handling standards and internet access costs, according to the “Online Shopping in Emerging Markets” report issued by Jana, a mobile platform technology provider.

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Keywords: West Africa, e-tailers, ecommerce, Development, online sales, online purchase, digital commerce
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Countries: World
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