Survey: E-Commerce in Africa awaits improvements

  • Africa has had the most rapid Internet growth rate in the world in the past five years. Still, Internet penetration rates remain low compared to other global regions. Mobile is the main means of Internet connections in Africa, according to the report, as fixed connections make up less than 10% of the total Internet subscriptions in many countries throughout the continent, such as South Africa and Tunisia.

As Internet connectivity has grown, consumers are beginning to see the advantages of online shopping. Surveys cited in the publication show that convenience is one of the enticements for buying online, for instance, in Nigeria and Kenya, but the fact remains that few Internet users in Africa have made an online purchase.
The report points to two main barriers to wider acceptance of B2C E-Commerce in Africa: delivery infrastructure and secure payment methods. Several countries lack even an organized physical address system, and cash on delivery is the main payment method that the developing local online merchants, Takealot, Jumia and Konga among them, must deal with.

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