In previous articles we have told you how Africa is the undisputed leader in mobile money. No other region in the world pays for goods and services with their cell phones like Africans. Well here is another statistic we would like to share. Africa has the fastest growing online shopping market. Although internet penetration is still only at 13% (Africa makes up 15% of world population) the number of online stores targeting African countries has been growing exponentially (countries like Egypt, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana and South Africa are leading the way). Indeed if you want to be an internet millionaire look no further than starting an online business in Africa. Wired Magazine said it last year in their article “Want to become and internet Billionaire, move to Africa”,and we agree. Risk is high, but opportunities are higher and it is no surprise that venture capital is pouring into the region. In this article we would like to introduce you to two internet start ups that highlight Africa’s maturity in the online shopping market
These startups are tackling the online shopping market head on. Think of them as the amazon.com of africa. With these sites, users can buy anything from ipads to bicycles, skinny jeans to air conditioners. The real innovation is in the payment methodology. Both sites allow you to make credit card payments through the interswitch payment gateway, but they have also introduced payment on delivery. This is something very unique to African countries and has proved to be a very successful model. This is how it works, you make your purchase online and indicate that you will like to pay for the product when it arrives at your home or business. When the delivery man arrives, you make your payment and collect your product. You also have the option to open up an account with the store (Konga does this, they call it “the wallet”) and any time you make a purchase, they just deduct the payment from your balance. You can refill your account at any local bank or by giving the money to the delivery guy!
Smile and Mobile give Jumia and Konga two thumbs up and they are yet another indication of Africa’s rapid acceleration into the information technology world. We are also looking to take advantage of the incredible opportunities in the region with our own store targeting some of the underserved countries (Jumia is only available in Nigeria, Kenya, Egypt, Morocco and Ivory coast)
Stay Tuned and don’t forget………………Stay Mobile!
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