Digital Transformation - Cross-Border eCommerce in Africa

Africa’s thriving eCommerce markets

Africa’s eCommerce scene has been showing strong growth and potential over the previous years. With a total number of 22 million, 76.7 million and 13 million respectively, the most thriving markets on the continent are South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya.

Key developments driving cross-border eCommerce in Africa include the development and diversification of online commerce, the rise of mobile commerce (m-Commerce) and the diversification of payments. Further developments include increased access to the internet and financial services for unbanked and underbanked people, as well as the rise of foreign investment and partnerships between local and international players.

Tech infrastructure

Any retailer considering expanding their business across borders via an e-commerce platform should ensure that their technology infrastructure is equipped to support the success of their business. This includes ensuring that the internet penetration and quality in the respective market is sufficient to deliver on the promises made to customers.

Another important aspect is human capital - companies should examine the human capital within their own organisation and whether they have the right skills to be successful across borders. In addition, companies need to examine the demographic characteristics of the bank and non-bank clients in their intended target market and the opportunities this presents.

Digital technology tools are readily available and play an important role in the success of businesses that choose to expand globally. Digital tools provide important data that companies can use to grow beyond borders.

Accelerating the customer journey

Retailers that embrace digital technologies engage with their customers in a variety of ways. This includes interaction with products, services, channels and platforms. One example is the use of WhatsApp to increase customer engagement. These touchpoints serve as channels that accelerate a buyer's journey by leveraging an engaged flow of information through and from customer data platforms.

Consequently, most online shops today are able to interact with customers at different levels along a value chain that includes multiple touchpoints, from content creation to payments, logistics and customer support.

By incorporating digital platforms, eCommerce companies can offer an omnichannel presence that provides a personalised experience for each customer, from seamless order processing to fast and secure payment processing.

Deploying the right cloud communications technology can lead to significant business outcomes, such as a growing customer base and increased brand loyalty. Other benefits include increased revenue and cost optimisation through automation of repetitive tasks. This can lead to higher customer satisfaction throughout the customer value chain.