Exciting prospects for E-commerce in Africa

The role that ecommerce plays in international business and commerce continues to grow, both in numbers and in importance, with total worldwide ecommerce sales expected to reach $4.5 trillion by 2021.The fact that ecommerce continues to grow at this rate suggest that online business represents exciting opportunities for entrepreneurs to tap into growing global markets. Despite the battle for market share amongst existing big online retailers, the African continent still has an attractive consumer base waiting to be unlocked. Commenting on whether e-commerce is going to be profitable in Africa, given the continent’s socio-economic challenges, Emilian Popa, CEO of Groupon explained, “There are 175 million online shopping users today and there will be 600 million users in 2025. Internet penetration is 16% today and will be 50% in 2025. There are 57 million people who have smartphones in Africa and there will be 360 million in 2025. There are clear opportunities.” The bottom line is that ecommerce represents an exciting mechanism for Africa’s entrepreneurs to get their unique products and brands out into new and exciting global markets, and to do good business. The planning needs to start now!