“Africa B2C E-Commerce Market 2016” is the title of the new report published by secondary market research firm yStats.com, based in Germany. According to their research, online retail growth across Africa is driven by the spread of mobile Internet and the factor of convenience, valued by local online shoppers. On the other hand, underdeveloped logistics infrastructure, lack of a physical address system and low financial inclusion rates are among the main obstacles for B2C E-Commerce in this region.
Over the past five years, Africa has shown the most robust growth of Internet users, compared to other global regions. According to the yStats.com report, Internet usage across this emerging region is growing rapidly off the low base, as in many countries Internet penetration remains in low double-digit figures. Mobile technology is the main driver of Internet connectivity in African countries, with over 90% of subscriptions in countries such as South Africa, Kenya and Tunisia.
As the Internet becomes more accessible, a growing number of Internet users become acquainted with the advantages of shopping online. Multiple surveys cited in the yStats.com report indicate that convenience is the most important driver for online shoppers in Nigeria and Kenya. Still, in the majority of African countries, the share of Internet users making purchases of goods and services over the Internet remains low, at a one-digit percentage figure.
The main obstacles to a wider adoption of online shopping include lack of an advanced delivery and payment infrastructure. Cash on delivery is the most popular payment method for online shoppers in Nigeria, Egypt, Morocco and other countries of the continent. Some local E-Commerce leaders, identified in the yStats.com report, that have to cope with this challenge include online mass merchant and marketplace operators Takealot, Jumia, Konga, and others. As the online shopping landscape continues to evolve across Africa, more local and international players are expected to join the competition.