Pandemic driving e-commerce growth in sub-Saharan Africa: VISA


NAIROBI, Kenya, August 22 – The lockdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic has seen new e-commerce users increase by 5% in sub-Saharan Africa in 2020, compared to the active base of the previous year.

This is according to a VISA report which attributes this to a preference for e-commerce, to fill the void left by the closure of face-to-face retail, which has been implemented in many parts of the world, including the area, to fight viral disease.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed customers to use e-commerce and digital payment. The economic shocks that followed COVID-19 reduced purchasing power around the world, including in sub-Saharan Africa, but the closure of physical stores provided a growth opportunity for digital payments and e-commerce itself ” , notes the report.

The report “Electronic Commerce Developments in Sub-Saharan Africa” ​​also notes that the economic shocks that followed COVID-19 reduced purchasing power around the world, including in the region, but the closure of physical stores provided an opportunity. growth for digital. payments and e-commerce itself.

As such, VISA predicts that e-commerce sales will reach $ 7 trillion globally by 2024, Asia-Pacific, especially China, India and Southeast Asia, being the main driving force of the market at 56% of the world market. volume.

Countries in the Middle East and North Africa region have the greatest growth potential over the next 5 years.

The sub-Saharan Africa region, however, lags behind the Middle East and North Africa region, but still has great potential, having experienced 42% year-on-year growth in the region. 2019 to 2020.

The growth of the industry is different by many factors, including cross-border transactions which account for more than half of all e-commerce transaction volumes in sub-Saharan Africa.

According to the report, this reflects the global trend of cross-border business-to-consumer (B2C) online buyer transactions.

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However, a portion of these cross-border volumes in sub-Saharan Africa come from consumers accessing the rising stars of African national e-commerce beyond local borders, such as Jumia (Nigeria), Kilimall (Kenya) and Takealot (South Africa).

While the national e-commerce offering in Sub-Saharan Africa is only just beginning, it presents an exciting opportunity for the region to develop its own great successes in the e-commerce market and increase the continent’s connection to the rest of the world.


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