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The rise of ecommerce in Africa: Why Amazon joined the party

FurtherAfricaHome e-CommerceThe rise of ecommerce in Africa: Why Amazon joined the partyThe Exchange by The Exchange May 4, 2021 Reading Time: 4 mins readCompanies in Ethiopia aspire to introduce online shopping portalsDuring the mid-1990s, the internet revolution gained momentum, with many businesses recognizing that they needed to adopt internet solutions if they were to stay relevant. New companies offering services that were outside what had been the conventional norm became leaders in the global economy. With young tech enthusiasts adopting disruptive ideas, the supply of goods and services was no longer limited to locality. This led to the popularity of online stores, and the birth of companies such as Amazon.Amazon birthedFrom the humble beginnings of his rented home garage, Jeff Bezos started his online book store, eventually adding more products to the catalogue. To date, Amazon can arguably be said to be one of the leading e-commerce companies in the world, with a recorded market share of over 35% in the United States of America alone.Africa on the moveAlthough Africa was viewed as lagging in development for the longest time, there has been a paradigm shift in the African economy. Africa has been named the 2nd fastest growing regional economy, albeit development not moving at the same pace across the different African countries. Some of the factors contributing to the region’s economic growth include a growing middle class with disposable income, political stability and technological advancements.E-commerce and AfricaAs the e-commerce phenomenon is on the rise worldwide, Africa has not been left out of the revolution. Although online business sales have previously amounted to a smaller percentage in Africa, trends are changing, and there is significant potential growth for e-commerce on the African continent. The significant increase in e-commerce can be attributed to the prevalence of smartphone use and improved internet access across the continent. South Africa and Nigeria lead the continent in the use of online shopping, with 50% of internet users in the two countries buying goods online.The Covid-19 pandemic has also resulted in many African households adapting to online business as most goods and services could only be accessed through online sales during the lockdown period. One company that has testified to a sharp increase in online business is Fresh in a Box, a Zimbabwean company that does door to door deliveries of fresh produce and other groceries through orders made online. Therefore, this is an opportune time for e-commerce companies to grow their business on the African continent and get a share of the pie.

Source: Further Africa

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