African B2C E-Commerce market to increase by 40% over the next ten years

Press Release   •   Dec 16, 2013 17:01 GMT

The African B2C E-Commerce market recorded sales of less than EUR 1 billion in 2012, but annual growth of approximately 40% has been forecast for the next ten years.

The main obstacles to overcome on the way to B2C E-Commerce boom are poor logistics in rural areas, low banking penetration and limited consumer awareness.

The growing Internet penetration, the spread of mobile technology and improvement of payment and delivery infrastructure are factors that can boost E-Commerce in Africa.

E-Commerce has a high potential in Africa as the growing middle class seeks more convenient shopping and better price quality, driving local and international Internet merchants to operate in the region.

M-Commerce and mobile payment especially have a high potential on the continent, where mobile phones are more widespread than computers, a significant proportion of the population has no banking relationship and the most common type of Internet access is through a mobile device.

Moreover, over 10% of active Internet users in Africa shopped on mobile in 2013. In mobile shopper penetration, Nigeria, Egypt and Morocco are ahead of South Africa.

Over a half of Internet users in South Africa who go online at least weekly make purchases over the Internet. South Africa also is home to some of the largest merchants on the continent, such as online merchant of books and electronics Kalahari and online fashion retailer Zando.

However, other countries with high potential might overtake the leader in the future. Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria and Kenya follow South Africa in terms of online shopper penetration, but some of them lead in terms of Internet penetration and mobile usage.

The pace of growth is slower in some other African nations. B2C E-Commerce is emerging in Algeria, with several players launching online shops and regulators taking notice.

Internet penetration is very low in Ethiopia due to a telecommunications monopoly and the resulting low accessibility of ICT services. Further only a small one-digit share of Ethiopians with Internet access shop online.

The number of Internet subscribers in Senegal grows steadily, reaching over 1 million in 2013. Of the Internet users residing in urban areas in Senegal, 4% bought products or services online. In Uganda, M-Commerce has a high potential due to popularity of mobile Internet and payment.

For more information on the African B2C E-Commerce market, see the latest research: African B2C E-Commerce Market

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