Africa is experiencing a fast-growing middle class; especially in countries like Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, and Tanzania just to mention a few. This growing middle class comes with a big appetite for consumer goods such as electronics, home appliances and gadgetry that have some of the world’s biggest brands.
Unfortunately, the majority of big brands for consumer products don’t ship their products directly to countries in Africa. Therefore, you find consumers (willing and able to purchase these global brands product) being locked out of consuming that product because they cannot readily buy the product.
In the old days, such consumers had to wait until they hear a family or a friend is traveling to Western Countries like the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. among others, and request them to purchase these products for them. However, that has since changed with the proliferation of smartphones and internet.
There are numerous sites operating across Africa that enable consumers to buy goods from Western e-commerce sites like eBay and Amazon. The site facilitates the payment and the shipment of the goods from these Western countries-based e-commerce sites to the consumers in African countries.
The number of sites that enable African consumers to purchase goods from off-shore e-commerce sites includes Box, Savostore, Kentexcargo, Vitumob, and MallforAfrica among others. However, MallforAfrica stands out from the rest of the sites, and it can be said to be the market leader.
Some mighty VCs back MallforAfrica and the site has secured exclusive deals with global e-commerce sites like GAP, Macy’, and BestBuy among others. Deals that made it the leading site for African consumers to purchase goods from off-shore e-commerce sites.
One of Africa’s leading e-commerce site, Jumia (a Rocket Internet-backed company) has announced it will be getting into the business of linking African consumers with off-shore online malls. A move that will bring Jumia into direct competition against the likes of MallforAfrica who have been in that business for a while now.
Jumia says this move will enable it to provide its customers with a broader assortment of goods that are genuine and affordable. Jumia intends to achieve that via Jumia Global, its new subsidiary that will be dealing with that front.
Jumia Global is currently open to Kenyan importers wishing to buy goods from Western e-commerce sites.
The shoppers go to the main Jumia main site (Jumia.co.ke) and shops for goods. In the shopping catalog, Jumia has included items it does not stock but can be sourced from other global e-commerce sites such as Amazon.
The items Jumia will have to fly in from either the U.S. or Europe have an airplane logo beside them, and in the T&Cs, the consumer is expected to make full payment of the product a month before the delivery. Once a customer makes the order and pays for it, Jumia Global will then ship that particular item from any of the global e-commerce stores that stocks the good(s).
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