Buying goods on the internet has become a habit for Ndoma Vanessa. She is part of the generation of young people who do their shopping online.
“I think of so many things all the time; the family, home, children, this is always the case when you go to a store to place orders. But it is easier here at home to go directly and make a request and have it delivered to the house,” she said.
When you shop online, you have your request delivered to you 30 minutes after payment has been made.
I think of so many things all the time; the family, home, children, this is always the case when you go to a store to place orders.
Buying products online is a slow habit for consumers in Cameroon. One of the leaders in the online trade in the country, Africashop24.com, has multiplied its business by three in two years.
“In the light of consumption, we realized a progressive manner that Cameroonians are not considerably interested in making their purchases through the internet platforms. Therefore, the e-commerce is in the process of an exponential growth and this explains the reason elsewhere, the behaviour of many towards the platform is progressive,” said Theophile Nsegbe of Africashop24.com.
In a bid to develop the e-commerce sector in Africa, the African entrepreneurs in online business recently met in Douala to explore new opportunities in buying and selling of goods and services through the internet.
Director General of the Interbank group of Central Africa, Valentin Mbozo, said African e-commerce business is still growing.
“You know, Africans do not have sufficient means to compete with the large firms. The e-commerce gives an opportunity to be able to be present here and elsewhere, anywhere with just a click,” he said.
“Young Cameroonians, I speak of Cameroon in particular, can engage in economic activity, it typically takes a lot of money, tens of millions of FCFA. Today, the e-commerce allows them to run directly an active life. With a very small budget, they can create a large number of businesses,” said Herve Kenfack, Director of Shafrique.
If it is true that online sale sites bring about an expansion on the continent, the lack of reliability of system of payment and further risks of fraudulent transactions are nevertheless a few barriers to the development of this new form of digital economy.
Mbozo reiterated that the issue of security remains a big challenge in the business in the continent.
“It must be that the payment is secure end-to-end, the customer who pays by card or by mobile knows that the money will not be diverted in path, it would go to the right destination. It is for the good of the buyer or seller himself because there are sites for pirates and secondly it is not only the electronic security which is an issue, there is also the security of deliveries,” he said.
The e-commerce in Africa is barely 2% of the world market, however, according to the International Telecommunications Union, growth prospects remain promising on the continent.