Emerging markets research firm, Jana recently released insights on the e-commerce preferences of African consumers in Nigeria, Kenya & South Africa. Surveying 600 consumers in each country, the company asked respondents questions ranging from their favorite online store to their favorite payment mechanism.
The African e-commerce industry is ripe for significant growth in the next few years and is already home to a number of local and international players.
Several trends have already emerged in the past year as key drivers of the industry and we enumerate them in our recent e-commerce insight brief: 5 trends driving e-commerce in Africa. At present, South Africa is the continent’s largest e-commerce market with players like Rocket Internet’s Zando, MIH Internet Africa’s Kalahari and Tiger Global backed Takealot.com ranking high. Research by World Wide Worx indicates that online retail in South Africa is currently growing by about 30% year over year.
Nigeria is projected to soon overtake South Africa’s e-commerce market given its massive population and impressive Internet usage numbers. Recently, its Government announced that it is targeting 80% broadband Internet coverage in the country in the next 5 years; an incredibly ambitious goal that could be a game changer on the continent if it comes to fruition. Read more about the country’s plans for its ICT sector here.
Meanwhile, Rocket Internet’s Jumia has quickly risen in Kenya to become one of the country’s top 100 online destinations soon after its launch earlier this year. However, the website still has some catching up to do in strengthening its brand recognition among online shoppers in Kenya.
Undoubtedly, these are early days in the continent’s leading e-commerce markets but it is interesting to see the insights gleaned from some of the continent’s online shoppers.
Some of the responses indicate that work needs to be done on educating African consumers on what online shopping really entails. Some respondents when asked for their favorite website for purchasing goods online for instance mentioned Google. In addition, given that there is minimal usage of some banking products such as credit cards in countries like Nigeria, the large percentage of users indicating a preference for “credit cards” as a means of payments highlights the need for mass awareness on the difference between various kinds of financial products.
Across all three markets, delivery time featured highly as an obstacle for buying products online. In addition, convenience featured highly as the biggest advantage for shopping online.
Check out the insights below.