African Consumer Trend 2019

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Is Africa the next target for eCommerce? Take a look at Africa Consumer trend

This is an article on consumer trend. Especially on the consumer trend for Africa. The remarkable success of Alibaba, Tencent and other eCommerce platforms in transforming lives and economic wellbeing of a nation was remarkable. Today, we are going to look at Africa since I believe Africa will play a significant role in the future of the global economy.

A BCG 2018 survey of consumers in 12 African countries reveals an extraordinarily high level of consumer optimism.

Eighty-six per cent of survey participants, most of them living on a monthly household income of less than $500, felt positive about the future. This compares with only 48% of consumers expressing optimism in developed economies.

Average incomes in Africa remain low – 3.5 times lower than in Asia – partially explaining the premium that Africans put on product quality as defined in terms of durability.

The focus on quality is particularly strong among consumers in Ethiopia, Ghana, South Africa and Nigeria.

Quality-consciousness, meanwhile, translates into high levels of brand awareness among consumers in Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

Africans tend to favour well-established brands, especially in the electronics sector. The fact that the young Chinese cellphone maker Tecno has been able to overtake brands like Samsung and Nokia and clinch the largest mobile phone market share in Africa, however, shows that Africans’ brand loyalties aren’t set in stone.

“Of the 10 countries whose GDP is expected to grow fastest in 2019, five are in Africa, according to the International Monetary Fund.”

IMF on the fastest GDP growth

Africans are still four times more likely to use traditional retail channels, including general stores and kiosks, than modern channels such as chain stores and speciality retailers. South Africa, which has the best-developed network of modern retail chains, forms an exception in this regard.

In Nigeria, consumers prefer speciality retailers for electronics purchases, mainly due to the after-sales services they offer. Consumers in Uganda, Morocco and Tanzania tend to stick with general stores also for technology products.

Multinational retailers trying to break into the African market thus won’t succeed with a one-size-fits-all strategy but will need to take country-by-country preferences into account.

What does this means to eCommerce prospect in Africa?

eCommerce in Africa is still in its infancy. Among the urban consumers surveyed, more than 40% reported having access to the internet, usually through their smartphones. Internet use is most widespread among millennials and in higher-income households, and social media are becoming an increasingly important channel for influencing off-line purchasing behaviour.

Indigenous e-commerce sites, especially Jumia, are growing in popularity, suggesting that this newest retail format could potentially take off quickly on the continent.

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Author: Muhamad Aarif

A notorious book addict by night and an oil and gas executive by day. As Mark Twain said, "The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them." So, read, read, and read some more.

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