Africa is still a rather small player in terms of global standards in internet retailing; however better access to technology i.e. infrastructure and innovative solutions have resulted in a boost in internet retail sales.
As South Africa is the most developed country in Sub-Saharan Africa, it naturally leads the pack in terms of online sales. We are however seeing other countries use innovative solutions to keep up with the global trend that is online shopping.
They are tailoring their offerings to provide Africanised solutions for the region’s unique stumbling blocks and obstacles. Currently, in Africa, most of the retailing activity is informal and takes place in the street, mainly through markets and street vending. For example, according to Euromonitor International, 90% of retailing in Nigeria is informal and mainly happens at the street markets.
For the more sophisticated shopper, premium and luxury brands are using virtual reality to enable their customers to make informed decisions before making purchases.