The challenges of ecommerce in Africa

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Building an ecommerce business in Africa is a markedly different process from other, more developed parts of the world as well as other emerging markets. The business models, operations and marketing solutions that work for Amazon, for example, probably won’t work in Africa which is evolving very differently in terms of infrastructure and economic growth. Sim Shagaya, founder and chief executive of DealDey and Konga in Nigeria, has first hand experience building a successful ecommerce business model in a country with limited infrastructure and no real history of structured and formal retail. DealDey has grown into a successful ecommerce, group-buying hybrid site that delivers merchandise to consumers throughout Nigeria, featuring 350 000 subscriptions, and 20% month on month growth. Shagaya is now taking on a full ecommerce spin-off site, which he hopes will be the “Amazon of Africa”, selling Lagos’s consumer class everything from mobile and electronics, through to beauty, office and baby products and groceries.

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