Ecommerce Landscape in Africa and the Middle East: Drivers, Market Players, and Telcos’ Role

Ecommerce Landscape in Africa and the Middle East: Drivers, Market Players, and Telcos’ Role

Summary

Ecommerce markets in Africa and Middle Eat (AME) are expanding on the back of improved connectivity, locally-adapted payment options and innovative last-mile delivery solutions. Ecommerce activities in the AME can be categorized in various forms although the most common one looks at the business-consumer flow. From this perspective, B2C ecommerce has become the most common type. It is estimated that ecommerce (B2C) transactions in the three largest ecommerce markets in AME - Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the UAE - generated a combined US$30.9 billion in 2018.

The proliferation of mobile internet and smartphone devices in the AME will be one of the primary growth drivers for ecommerce activities. Due to in relatively poor transportation infrastructure and inaccurate postal addresses, many businesses in the AME often find it challenging to deliver physical merchandise to consumers. Several ecommerce players have developed their own courier companies or partnered/purchased with courier companies to circumvent this challenge.

Ecommerce for telecom operators in AME is in its infancy but playing a more important role in the ecommerce value chain. Telecom operators in AME are relatively new to the ecommerce arena. Telcos are growing their ecommerce skills and knowledge capabilities by positioning themselves as ecommerce enablers. Additionally, some telcos have supported ecommerce business growth with online eshop/marketplace builders.

The report Ecommerce Landscape in Africa and the Middle East: Drivers, Market Players, and Telcos’ Role, looks at the ecommerce market landscape in Africa and the Middle East, examining the main growth drivers and players operating in it. Special attention is placed on understanding the role that telcos play in the ecommerce value chain. This report also includes a brief definition and categorization of the main types of ecommerce, as well as market insights for the largest markets in the region. Finally, we include two case studies on key ecommerce players to illustrate the findings of the report, providing insights of ecommerce offerings in the region.

The report provides an in-depth analysis of the following -

  • Section 1: Definition and ecommerce market context in Africa and the Middle East; provides a general overview, looking at key market insights and growth trends and providing an overview of the main ecommerce players in the region. This section also analyzes in detail the main growth drivers and examines the role that telecom operators play in the ecommerce value chain
  • Section 2: Case studies; includes three case studies on key ecommerce players: illustrates the findings of the report, providing insights around ecommerce offering in the region. The case studies also give an overview of the type of ecommerce solutions, use cases, and value propositions telcos have rolled out
  • Section 3: Key findings and recommendations; the insider concludes with a number of key findings and a set of recommendations for the ecommerce stakeholders, including telecom service providers
Companies mentioned: Ahiaonline, Airbnb, Anghami, Apple, Awok, Badoo, Bet9ja, Bidorbuy, Bitaksi, Careem, Carrefour, Deliveroo, Ebay, El Grocer, Emirates, Expedia, FarEye, Gloo.ng, Google, Hellofood, Jumia Food, Kalahari, Kilimall, Konga.com, Little, LuLu, Makro, Masoko, Mr. Delivery, Namshi, Noon.com, OrderIn, Pick n Pay, Safaricom, Skyscanner, Snapp, Souq, Souq Supermarket, Takealot.com, Taw9eel, Tinder, Travel.co.za, Tutorama, Uber, Uber Eats, Wadi, Wing.ae, Zain, Zomato

Scope
  • The ecommerce market in the AME is relatively heterogeneous, with significant differences in development between MENA and SSA.
  • GlobalData estimates the three largest B2C ecommerce markets in AME are located in the MENA region and generated US$30.9 billion in 2018.
  • The proliferation of mobile internet and smartphone devices in the AME will be one of the primary growth drivers for ecommerce activities.
  • Due to in relatively poor transportation infrastructure and inaccurate postal addresses, many businesses in the AME often find it challenging to deliver physical merchandise to consumers. Several ecommerce players have developed their own courier companies or partnered/purchased with courier companies to circumvent this challenge.
Reasons to buy
  • This Insider Report provides a comprehensive examination of the main trends taking place in Africa and the Middle Eastern ecommerce market, helping executives fully understand market dynamics, determine what works and what doesn’t, formulate effective product development plans, and optimize resource allocation and return on investment.
  • The report includes examples on strategies adopted by ecommerce players that illustrate the findings of the report; this will help the reader understand both the challenges confronted in the real world and the strategies employed to overcome those challenges.
  • With more than ten exhibits, the report is designed for an executive-level audience, to help to understand the ecommerce market, analyzing key trends, and strategies.


Executive summary
Section 1: Definitions & ecommerce market context in Africa and the Middle East (AME)
Ecommerce definition
Ecommerce market drivers in AME
Improved connectivity
Locally adapted payment options
Innovative last-mile delivery solutions
Key ecommerce players in AME
Telco’s role in the ecommerce value chain
Section 2: Case studies
Safaricom Kenya
Zain Iraq
Section 3: Key findings and recommendations
Appendix
Acronyms and definitions
Companies mentioned
Related research
List of Figures
EXHIBIT 1: Definition of Ecommerce
EXHIBIT 2: Global Ecommerce Market Insights
EXHIBIT 3: Competitive Ecommerce Market Drivers In AME
EXHIBIT 4: Residential Broadband Lines Penetration of Households, 2018 vs. 2023
EXHIBIT 5: Mobile Internet Subscriptions Penetration of the Population, 2018 vs. 2023
EXHIBIT 6: Smartphone Penetration of the Population, 2018 vs. 2023
EXHIBIT 7: Credit Card And Debit Card Penetration in Selected Markets in the AME, 2018
EXHIBIT 8: Mobile Money Users as a Percentage Of Unique Mobile Users in the AME, 2018
EXHIBIT 9: Last-Mile Delivery Plays a Key Role in the AME Customer Purchasing Journey
EXHIBIT 10: Leading Ecommerce Platforms in AME
EXHIBIT 11: Sample of Telco ICT Proposition for Ecommerce Players Mapped Against the Ecommerce Customer Journey
EXHIBIT 12: Safaricom’s M-commerce Platform
EXHIBIT 13: Zain Iraq Ecommerce Value Proposition

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