World Retail Voice Blog Post
Africa’s e-commerce market is eyeing up the online shopping space
Despite the battle for market share among online retailers, the African continent still has an attractive consumer base waiting to be unlocked. Investors continuously ask if e-commerce is going to be profitable in Africa, given the continent’s socio-economic challenges. “There are 175 million [online shopping] users today and there will be 600 million users in 2025. Internet penetration is 16% today and will be 50% in 2025. There are 57 million people who have smartphones in Africa and there will be 360 million in 2025. There are clear opportunities,” Emilian Popa, CEO, Groupon explained.
Internet connectivity and trust of paying for online goods still hinders the online shopping growth. Yet a game changer for South Africa will be the use of mobile-based payments. Theodore Iacobuzio Vice President, Global Insights believes that mobile payments will take off further within the next 18 to 24 months. “For retailers there are four drivers: supply, demand, innovation and institutions. For a retailer, the number one is demand. When consumers want a product, the retailers will have to deliver,” Iacobuzio stated.