Tag: multi-vendor marketplace software

E-Commerce Marketplaces in Africa

E-Commerce Marketplaces in Africa and the Secret Behind their Success

A large continent with as many as 54 countries, business in Africa, is a tough nut to crack. But then, what’s a business without challenges, right? Africa with its fast-growing population and markets is becoming a hot and important opportunity for businesses which a lot of eCommerce store owners are grabbing it now.

Africa has outstanding potential as a growth market for business which is underestimated and misunderstood often a bit due to lack of infrastructure, illiteracy, poverty etc. But a lot of eCommerce marketplaces are taking up it as a challenge and are bringing about the transformation which seemed impossible earlier.

African eCommerce Statistics

Countries like South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Morocco, Senegal, Ghana all have large domestic marketplaces today which are growing fast incredibly well. The 2018 United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) B2C E-commerce Index which measures an economy’s preparedness to support online shopping based on four indicators: bank or mobile money account penetration, internet usage, availability of internet servers and the reliability of postal services ranked 151 countries globally, including 44 African nations. The results of which were as such;
(Image Source: Statista, eCommerce South Africa)

  • Mauritius top-ranked the index and has the second highest proportion of shoppers on the continent.
  • Libya, ranked 13th in Africa for e-commerce readiness, having the highest proportion of online shoppers on the continent among people aged 15 and older.
  • Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya estimated for nearly half of Africa’s estimated 21 million online shoppers.

eCommerce South Africa, User in millions
(Image Source: Statista, eCommerce South Africa, User in millions)

Since 2014, overall, the number of online shoppers across the continent has grown around 18% which is higher than the global average. Africa’s consumer e-commerce market valued at $5.7 billion in 2017 is less than 0.5% of the continent’s GDP, far below the global average of 4%.

eCommerce Craze in Countries

In Nigeria, with a population of 195 million people, has the most ecommerce sites and 40% of Africa’s ecommerce ventures have headquarters in Nigeria. It has an internet penetration of 70% and 26% of the population were recorded to have bought something online via phone in the past month as of 3rd quarter 2017.

South Africa on the other hand with a population of 57.4 million and 65% internet penetration, recorded 18% of mobile shoppers in the past month as of 3rd quarter 2017. South Africans are found to spend mostly in the fast food category of online shopping, while groceries are still purchased in-store than online.

Kenya with a population of 51 million and an impressive 82.6% internet penetration is home to M-Pesa, the mobile wallet provider started by mobile telecom provider Safaricom. More than 45% of Kenyan adults use M-Pesa according to Emergent Payments. 85% of Kenyans have adopted electronic means of payment, including bank accounts, mobile phone prepaid cards or other payment products. You won’t believe, about 75.5 % of mobile shoppers were recorded in the past month as of 3rd quarter 2017 in Kenya.

Ghana, having a population of 29.46 million and internet penetration of 45%, has taken eCommerce so seriously that it has a website dedicated specifically to ecommerce for SMEs.

Growth of Local eCommerce Platforms

Although Amazon, the eCommerce giant, showed no interest in the African market, a lot of local eCommerce platforms have emerged in the past few years to such extent that about 90% of investment is going those eCommerce start-ups in five African countries. One among such that has gained the limelight is Jumia.

“Jumia” – the Amazon of Africa:

(Image Reference: https://www.jumia.com.ng/)

A Nigeria-based group, Jumia which was founded in 2012 by the Berlin-based Rocket Internet, is Africa’s best-funded ecommerce start-up with more than 3,000 employees. It operates in 14 countries in Africa and the Middle East, with each country having its own site.

Jumia has solved the logistics barrier in Africa to a great extent with more than 500 motorbikes and trucks delivering their online products to customers in the country’s eight largest cities. Jumia accepts COD, which, again, is the preferred payment method for most Africans and has raised $150 million in 2014 alone.



Konga.com, founded in 2012 in Nigeria that does not operate outside of Nigeria, opened Seller HQ, a third-party marketplace in 2014, now has about 1 million customers and receives over 300,000 unique visits daily. Its own logistics network — KOS Deliveries has a fleet of over 200 vehicles (vans, trucks, and motorbikes) and pick-up points and distribution centres in every part of Nigeria.

Konga even has its own payment system — KongaPay — that works with all banks in Nigeria. In 2018, Konga was acquired by a local hardware and information-technology services company, Zinox.

Success Secrets

  • The African population is fast growing and urbanizing. It may reach 1.7 billion by 2030.
  • Africa is witnessing an industrial revolution.
  • The infrastructure gap is nearing closure. Africa’s annual investment in infrastructure has doubled to around $80 billion a year which represents a big opportunity for investors and entrepreneurs.
  • New broadband connections and mobile data traffic are increasing which shows a good scope for mCommerce.

For an eCommerce marketplace to be a success in Africa is not as easy as other continents but is not impossible either. With a well-developed multi-vendor marketplace software, your strategies and market study, you can figure out excellent growth opportunities in Africa.

Online eCommerce Marketplace software

Seven Upcoming Industries for Multi-vendor eCommerce Marketplace in Middle East

The multi-vendor eCommerce marketplace landscape in the Middle East is undergoing a tremendous change. The total number of online sales in the region is expected to touch $49bn in 2021, with mobile phones becoming the most preferred source to shop online.

In the past few years, the Middle East has come in the limelight due to multiple positive developments such as younger working demographic, advanced infrastructure and high connectivity rates. Therefore, the aforementioned statistics are not surprising at all.

And, guess what? Cash on Delivery dominates the payment method for online purchases in the region. Countries like Saudi Arabia are set to become the topmost online retailer by 2020 in the B2C eCommerce market by surpassing the current trendsetter – UAE.

You may also like to read: Reasons Why You Should Have a Multi-Vendor App for Your Ecommerce Marketplace Like Amazon

Therefore, when we think of the multi-seller eCommerce platforms in the Middle East, there are many. And all of them belong to diverse industries which invariably shows that there is potential waiting to be tapped fully.

Adding to that, here are seven upcoming industries for multi-vendor eCommerce marketplace in the Middle East that are already receiving a fabulous response by consumers:

1) Laundry

This particular industry is thriving in the Middle East all thanks to the increasing urban population in the region. According to the UN Development Programme, 60% of the population is below the age of 30 and with textile and tourism booming in the Middle East, there is really no dearth of disposable income.

Laundry eCommerce solution

That’s why you have so many online and mobile laundry eCommerce shops like Smart Washr, Safleen, CleanLine and Ghasili that allow their customers to book their laundry through Android and iOS mobile apps. Simple!

2) Car rental and office leasing

The tourism industry in the Middle East is on a high. The region is not only witnessing an increasing number of people traveling to other parts of the world but also more and more people are traveling countries like Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt and Iran.

This upward trend has also led to a boost to car rental services in the region, which is expected to grow at a CAGR of more than 9% by 2025. Similarly, with so many startups seeing the light of the day, office rentals have become equally popular.

Dubai’s RentSher Middle East is the region’s first online platform for services and product renting, specifically targeting office leasing.

3) Restaurants

Any business related to food is a hard one to crack. Apparently Middle East has found the perfect way to do so.

According to a 2017 KPMG report on the Food & Beverage industry in the Middle East, 87% of food operators are listed on delivery apps with 60% of UAE customers using an app to order food compared to just 18% of US consumers. Such acceptance in F&B marketplace isn’t just restricted to home food deliveries, restaurants are also tasting the eCommerce flavor.

on-demand restaurant mobile app

Saudi Arabia’s first online restaurant reservation portal ‘YoTable.com’ has changed the way the way people choose to eat in the region, including splitting the restaurant options according to the national cuisines for faster decisions. The online marketplace will soon expand to other cities in the Middle East.

4) Bookstores and eLearning

A recent survey by the Arab Reading Index states people in the UAE spend 50+ hours reading while an average reader in the rest of the region spends an average of 16 hours! The number of hours vary considerably. However, it doesn’t mean there is no requirement of online book shopping.

Jarir Bookstore, a thriving eCommerce business based out of Riyadh, was initially a physical retail shop selling office supplies, books and educational aids. But by looking at the increasing demand of the millennials, it expanded its services online by adjusting to the disrupting technologies and changing consumer buying patterns.

5) Health and beauty

A 2017 PwC report states health and beauty is one of the major categories when it comes to offering multi-vendor marketplace solutions in the Middle East, constituting 48% of the pie among other categories like electronics, clothing and footwear, and furniture.

Pharmancy mobile app builder

Saudi Arabia’s beauty eCommerce marketplace Golden Scent is already breaking records. It tripled its customer base in 2018 after launching its mobile app. Moreover, it raised its portfolio by 25% after branching out to the mobile medium.

6) Travel and booking

The focus on online travel and booking in the Middle East heightened only a few years ago. The reason for the positive development is the younger, tech-savvy generation that is hooked on to their smartphones and prefer using the device to make any bookings or shop!

online appointment booking solution

More than 50% of the UAE population relies on the internet to purchase travel-related products or to plan their holiday, with Saudi Arabia (35%) coming in second on this list. Almosafer, a Saudi online tourism platform, predicts an increase in resort-based destinations, growth around religious tourism and continued momentum throughout 2019.

7) Baby care

Tapping the potential of niche markets opens up avenues for success – no matter which country or region you belong to. And one such niche market is baby care. Do you know the aforementioned market in the Middle East and Africa was worth $1174.6mn in 2016 and is expected to reach $1605.4mn by 2025?

The reasons why the market has grown exponentially in these regions is because of increased child hygiene awareness and rise in the rate of borth in the evolving countries. Mumzworld is doing an excellent job, selling clothes, toys and food for both babies and moms online in the whole of Middle East, with an inclination towards the markets in countries Saudi Arabia and UAE.


If you want to be a big player in the Middle Easter eCommerce spectrum, you have to adapt to the ever-changing market trends. Pay attention to what your consumers want. Leverage technology to provide the best possible multi-vendor marketplace software solution. It’s an exciting time for eCommerce in the region, make the most of it this year and beyond!

We would love to hear your comments relating to the post. Got some other thoughts? Drop us words through our Contact US page.

Marketplace Updates-2019

Top 7 e-Commerce Marketplace Updates of 2019

The e-commerce industry is emerging with great speed and many businesses are moving from offline to the online marketplace. The competition is rising with every passing day and to stand strong even in the crowd of thousands e-commerce venture must be dynamic in nature. Yes, if you want to be successful in the digital world one must run according to the prevailing trends and technologies. The new generation prefers easy and updated shopping experience and it is important to update yourself as per the market trends.

Recommended blog: 5 Successful eCommerce Marketplace Businesses in Saudi Arabia

Future is unpredictable but few trends that may define the e-commerce marketplace are predicted by market experts. These trends will definitely act as an important factor to make your e-commerce venture successful. The following trends predicted by market experts must be a part of your future decision and will act as an important part in planning investment strategy and overall business plan.

1. Social Media Shopping

The trend of shopping on mobile or web e-commerce website is expected to continue even in 2019. Magento multi-vendor marketplace e-commerce provides a platform for those who are willing to enter in this online industry. Updated with all the latest and useful features this software is expected to introduce some new faces in the shopping industry. Whether it is about sharing the latest tips, reviews of any newly launched product or posting your listings keep your social media accounts active as in 2019 all these details can be accessed through your phone.

2. Expensive Ads

In 2019 get ready to pay more for your online advertising. With the increasing rate of internet users advertising online is expected to experience a price hike. Gone are those days when you can reach worldwide in an expensive way. This trend may be trouble for some but market experts have predicted a tremendous hike in advertising rate in the digital industry.

There are several strategies which you can apply to overcome this trend and reach your target audience:

  • Adjust your financial budget according to the ad space.
  • Start blogging as it is an easy and cost-efficient way to reach a wider audience.
  • Use a multi-channel approach to ensure that you have maximum visibility as compared to others

3. Increased Personalized shopping

The trend of personalized shopping is at its peak. Yes, millennial are now craving for traditional personalized shopping style rather than going for unengaging and impersonal shopping sites. To cope up with this trend multi-vendor marketplace software of Magento helps you to offer your customers an incredible shopping experience. In 2019, as per predictions of market experts e-commerce have to provide personalized offers, discounts and services to impress their customers. Customers are looking for a unique way of shopping so, if you have your own e-commerce marketplace or selling on any other platform make efforts to leave a long-lasting impression on your customers by adding a customized shopping experience strategy in your future plans.

4. International e-commerce

Get ready to face real competition. With the rising trend of e-commerce market experts are expecting to see more international sellers, buyers and products in 2019. This market update will definitely give you an opportunity to reach to a wider audience but in return, the competition with the international seller may force you to make stronger and costly marketing strategies. With the constant expansion of e-commerce marketplace, the reach of your e-commerce venture will not be bounded to any boundaries.

Recommended blog: Event or Show Booking Marketplace are Growing in South East Asia

5. B2B market

In 2019 we will experience a tremendous rise in the growth rate of the B2B industry. If you have your b2b multi-vendor e-commerce system then start working on its expansion as in 2019 your business model is going to engage in more B2B transactions. The boon period of B2B market is expected to arrive in 2019. You may not be aware of the strength of your B2B multivendor e-commerce site but in coming future, this industry will contribute a great amount of revenue worldwide.

Online B2b ecommerce
6. Personalized recommendation:

Online business uses many marketing strategies to impress their customers but not all strategies work in favor of e-commerce ventures but according to the market experts in 2019 no marketing strategy can beat the result of providing an unforgettable shopping experience to your customer. The future is all about giving comfortable and excellent shopping experience and if you fail to do so then no marketing strategy can rescue you. Customers will prefer community based recommendations whether it’s an online group or next door neighbours nothing can beat the power of personalized recommendation so make sure that you provide high-quality customer services and products to leave a long lasting impression on your customers.

7. Emerging industry

Start planning to expand your e-commerce venture as the industry is expected to continue growing in the future with great pace. In the US it is predicted that by 2022 e-commerce market will make revenue of over $138 billion. You can use Magento multivendor marketplace extension online for expanding your e-commerce venture and to customize it to keep up with the trends of 2019.


It is very important to alter your e-commerce venture as per the market trends. To stay successfully for the long term in the e-commerce marketplace it is mandatory to give a constant attention to the market trends. In 2019, the only way to run your e-commerce market successfully is to keep up with the trends. A successful business whether online or offline must make changes as per the changing trends.

eCommerce Blog 02

5 Successful eCommerce Marketplace Businesses in Saudi Arabia

The eCommerce landscape in Saudi Arabia is changing. Shoppers in the country have shown a preference towards online fashion portals due to the variety of clothing and discounts offered, and convenience of shopping.

Do you know the number of eCommerce shoppers in Saudi Arabia is expected to increase at a CAGR of 12.4% by 2020, with the average online shopper spending SAR 2,405 by the same year?

The statistics don’t surprise given Saudi Arabia has multiple achievements to speak about including advanced infrastructure, younger working demographic and high connectivity rates.

A Jan 2018 report by yStats.com on Saudi Arabia’s B2C eCommerce market states that the country will become the top online retailer by 2020, surpassing the current regional leader, the UAE.

The report further mentioned that the increased use of smartphones has facilitated the exponential growth of eCommerce in Saudi Arabia. That’s huge!

While well-known eCommerce players like eBay.com, Amazon.com and Aliexpress.com are already hot favorites of online shoppers in the country, there are other Saudi Arabia-based eCommerce marketplace businesses that have managed to create a buzz.

Souq.com (an Amazon company), OpenSooq.com and Jarir.com constitute 22%, 21% and 75% of the web traffic respectively in Saudi Arabia.

Adding to that, let us explore success stories of five Saudi Arabia-based multi-vendor eCommerce marketplace businesses:

1) Noon.com
Noon.com Marketplace

Based in Riyadh, Noon.com is a USD $1bn eCommerce shopping Marketplace that was founded by Mohammed Alabbar, the Chairman of Emaar Properties.

The online portal offers an assortment of products including fashion, beauty, home & kitchen, babycare, groceries and electronics. It even features top brands like L’Oreal, Apple, Mothercare and more.

Keeping up with the digital technologies across geographies and industries, Noon.com has up-scaled itself to be a digital marketplace relevant to consumers from all age groups.

In 2017, the “Arabic-first” e-commerce platform rolled its operations in the UAE after noticing the country’s internet-friendly, digitally savvy population.

The same year it partnered with eBay to reach a wider audience and offer a larger product range. In early 2018, Noon.com announced that it was set to enter the online groceries delivery market in China.

Noon.com currently has a head office in Riyadh, and a warehouse the size of 60 football pitches in Dubai.

Even though the eCommerce scene in Saudi Arabia is still booming, Noon.com is making the right business moves and paving its way to multiple industries and countries.

How soon do you think it will become a USD $2bn eCommerce shopping website? Very soon, we would say!

2) Jarir Bookstore

Founded in 1979 as a brick-and-mortar supplier of books, office supplies, and educational aids, Jarir Bookstore has evolved to a thriving eCommerce business.

Based in Riyadh, today it has expanded its product range to Children’s toys, Arts and Crafts materials, AV instruments, photography tools and electronic gadgets.

In December 2018, Jarir Bookstore was awarded Primaduta, the highest award given by the Indonesian Government to those foreign entities that stay loyal to buying and developing imported products from Indonesia.

In an effort to target millennials, it opened an Apple store in its Riyadh Panorama showroom recently, promising an exceptional shopping experience.

Jarir Bookstore has survived the ever-changing business landscape for 30 years, and it will continue to thrive given how easily it adjusts to the disrupting technologies and evolving consumer patterns.

3) Wadi.com

Saudi Arabia-based eCommerce business stands out among the rest because of the fact that one of its founders is a female, Kanwal Sarfraz hailing from Pakistan.

Founded in 2015, Wadi.com grew six-fold its operations in just one year.

After raising US$67 million, and subsequently setting a record for Series A funding in the Middle East, Wadi.com achieved operational profitability by late 2016 – within just two years after getting launched.

Today, it offers a catalog of 550,000 products including fashion, babycare, electronics, and more. It is often called the “ultimate oasis of online shopping” because one can buy anything from under the sun at Wadi.com.

Apart from being headquartered in Saudi Arabia, it has offices in Dubai and India, with a major plan to expand its India operations in the coming months.

Wadi.com sells to major Middle-Eastern countries like Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

4) Souq.com

Amazon-Global-store marketplace

After being acquired by Amazon for USD $580mn, Souq.com found itself as the forefront of technological innovations in the Middle East.

According to CEO Ronaldo Mouchawar, much emphasis is now being given to accelerating mobile initiatives given that 80% of their consumer base shops on their smartphones.

Moreover when Souq.com was first established, it took 3-5 days to deliver an order. Now most orders happen on the same day!

Souq.com has also been a pioneer in making cashless transactions a possibility since a major portion of online shoppers in Saudi Arabia prefers to Cash On Delivery (COD).

Souq.com has a product catalogue that is similar to Amazon, and happens to be one of the top three shopping websites in Saudi Arabia.

5) OpenSooq.com

OpenSooq.com follows a one-of-a-kind business model. It is the most famous horizontal classifieds platform in the Middle East where it enables users to buy and sell goods and services without the involvement of any third parties.

Just like Wadi.com, the COO of OpenSooq.com also happens to be a female, Joanne Bou Jawad from Dubai. The online portal operates in six key countries including Saudi Arabia, Libya, Oman, Jordan, Kuwait and Iraq.

OpenSooq.com has been successful in penetrating a market which earlier relied only on traditional or print classifieds. Since its inception in 2008, the online portal has come a long way in educating them about going digital.

Wrapping up

The internet penetration in Saudi Arabia is extremely high at 64%, as compared to other countries in the Middle East. Smartphone usage is commendable with bought on mobile.

Moreover, the success stories of these five online shopping marketplace portals prove that Saudi Arabians are eCommerce-ready.