The African continent in recent years has been set on an exponential growth platform, driven by the digital revolution and the adoption of newer technologies. This growth in the African digital market has brought with it change in the way that entities, both local and foreign conduct their business. Route-to-market strategies are therefore becoming increasingly critical for companies looking to enter and succeed in the African market.

A major contributor to Africa's growth is the increasing widespread adoption of mobile technology. As per the Speciale Mobile Association (GSMA), a global organisation which monitors the mobile ecosystem, the Sub-Saharan African mobile economy is set to contribute $184 billion to the region's GDP by 2024. Mobile technology’s revolutionary approach to the business model has infiltrated the African market through increasing mobile phone subscribers. This new access to technology is affecting the way that Africans live, work and conduct business, allowing them to catch up to the rest of the world.

African E-commerce Industry:

The digital revolution in Africa has opened the door for new route-to-market strategies which exploit technology’s advantages in order to fully reach the market consumers more effectively. A prominent method which has not become known as E-Commerce, a market which has seen particular growth in the region. According to a report made by ResearchAndMarkets, the African E-Commerce market is projected to see a compounded annual growth rate of 25% before the end of 2025. All these positive aspects of the market are exactly what draws companies to this platform and promotes them to engage, in the hopes of a high return.

Digital Marketing in the African Domain:

Route-to-market strategy is a notable method which companies adopt in order to determine which distribution channels will be the most effective to deliver a product to the intended target market. This is where digital marketing comes into play. With the growing adoption of social media in Africa, social media has become an essential tool to master in order for companies to build and maintain brand awareness, converse with customers and ultimately push sales. Businesses therefore are compelled to educate themselves on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn in order to compete with similar companies and stand out on the market.

With the rise of digital marketing, came the rise of digital payments. The need for safe, secure and encrypted platforms to safely perform online payments is imperative to support the upcoming E-Commerce industry and therefore presents new opportunities for technological companies who wish to expand into Africa. Local digital payment platforms such as M-Pesa, Paystack, and Flutterwave have eased the transaction process for companies in Africa, allowing for more market access to international standard easier for companies to transact with customers in Africa. These platforms offer secure, fast, and convenient payment options for customers, which can help drive sales and improve customer satisfaction.

It is no secret that the continent has unique challenges such as lack of infrastructure, unreliable logistics and disruptive market conditions and that any business new comer would have to work hard to conquer the digital landscape in Africa. However, with the digital revolution at the forefront of many entrepreneurs minds, the opportunities that lie in the region are ripe for taking and that with the right means and understanding of effective route-to-market strategies and the African market, E-Commerce stands to hack into the notably rich opportunity pool which Africa holds.

Using a Route-to-Market Strategy for Success:  

  • Growing the Economic Environment

    Sub-Saharan Africa is realising a growth siege of 4% expected annual real GDP growth in 2025. While traditional markets hold their importance and hold on the market, transition into the E-Commerce field is a whole new ball game. With urbanisation and development being the main drivers of technological e-trade, Africa is set on a promising trajectory. Realising a growth in middle class, households can expect a growth in disposable income by an additional 4% as per the compound annual growth rate (CAGR). With this extra bit of money in trade key industries including packaged food, non-alcoholic beverages, and alcoholic drinks can expect to see a rise in sales. This consistent growth rate and improving economic environment are also brought on by the African Free Trade Continent Agreement which works on the reduction of tariffs and standardising trade policies among its member countries. The ultimate goal of this trade agreement is promoting the ease of trade between African countries.

    Establishing a clear route-to-market is imperative to stay relevant in the market, and with this phenomenon being new to the African region, early establishment and stake could offer benefits in the future. As Africa holds the reputation of being a cultural melting pot with a myriad of local attitudes, it is imperative for companies to respect the local market when promoting their products. A unique marketing approach will therefore need to be established for each region a company enters. No 2 countries on the continent are alike and that needs to be respected at all costs.

    • The Digital Connection

    The African digital revolution has taken a stance in turning local challenges into innovative solutions and opportunities. With mobile subscriptions reaching an all time high, local connectivity is acting as a middleman between the African locals and the rest of the market. Enabling mobile purchases through online secure payment systems.  The lack of development and established legacies in Africa present unchartered territory rich with opportunity for innovation. New social media platforms bring entrepreneurs and businesses closer to their target market, introducing a new playground of interaction to engage and promote products.

    In conclusion, Africa presents a range of opportunities for E-Commerce success. Enterprise Africa has taken its knowledge and time to understand the African business market and have drawn from it an effective and efficient business model which brings together innovative products with interested consumers. The digital revolution and growth in mobile connectivity have offered many Africans access to the worldwide market, and Enterprise Africa is proud to be a strong middleman between the two. While this E-Commerce platform recognises the idiosyncratic nature of each market in which we engage, our local route-to-market strategy has been developed to respect and uphold all personal beliefs and practices. Stemming out of South Africa, this trading sit offers access to local partnerships through ease of delivery, abundant online options and quality products. With the right approach, companies can capitalise on the growth Africa is experiencing and access a world of options, through their mobile applications.

    For more information on the products offered by Enterprise Africa or how to sell on our platform, contact us