While the rest of the world might be focusing on reaching their consumers faster, African e-commerce businesses must channel their energies on cracking the last-mile challenge. This implies making products available to the consumer everywhere and on time.
Over the past few years, the e-commerce industry in Africa has been on the rise but a major problem for e-commerce businesses remains “last-mile delivery”, which means getting the product from the transportation hub to a customer’s doorstep.
As e-commerce becomes more popular, retailers need to expand distribution networks, build more fulfilment centres, and leverage more on third-party logistics partners.
Simultaneously, online retailers must focus on locating fulfilment centres close to their markets to facilitate faster deliveries. In the last 4 years, the amount of small businesses that have sprung up in Africa, within this time frame is astonishing. Many are brainstorming how best to tap into this for business or national development. Yet again, it’s the supply chain in Nigeria and last-mile delivery that needs to be looked into.
The COVID-19 pandemic boosted internet penetration and consequently the growth of the e-commerce industry but there’s a lot more work to be done. In Africa, we need to get more existing Internet users to trust the online market for making purchases, with secure servers, bank accounts, and a clearly marked & mapped address system.
Every day, products ranging from beauty,
healthcare, grocery and fast food are ready to be delivered across major cities in Nigeria. But for last-mile delivery to work, indigenous problems including timeliness, professionalism, ethics, and navigation must be solved.
The latest business to consumer (B2C) e-commerce index (2021) by United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) ranks 151 countries globally, including 44 African nations by measuring their readiness for online shopping. The index is based on four indicators: bank or mobile money account penetration, internet usage, availability of internet servers and the reliability of postal services.
Nigeria ranks 79th on this list and has slipped 4 positions in one year. Only 42% of the Nigerian population actively uses the internet and only 40% have an active internet account.
While the B2C E-commerce Index correlates with the proportion of online shoppers for the world as a whole, in Africa this relationship is more tenuous as other factors than those captured by the index may be at play.
The demand for world-class online shopping opportunities is growing exponentially in Africa’s leading economies, due to urbanization and continuous rise in incomes. Despite the growing demand, many foreign retailers do not offer shipping to African countries, owing to the perceived logistical challenges involved such as high last-mile delivery costs and fraud concerns.
This perception needs to change as Africa steps up its efforts to make the e-commerce experience more efficient and conducive.
A venture into the industry shows the possibilities of improving last-mile delivery with the help of technology, ShapShap is playing its part in Nigeria by offering fast, convenient, and reliable door-to-door delivery as a cost-effective solution to last-mile delivery problems. Having completed over 40,000+ deliveries in Lagos & Abuja, We have listened to the people, asked them questions and observed the landscape.
We are able to achieve that in every delivery due to our user-friendly mobile application, innovative multi-modal delivery methods, and our utmost dedication to a business model that puts the rider’s welfare at the forefront which enables them to provide the best service to our customers.
We are committed to resolving all the issues that are faced by the African delivery and logistics industry by providing prompt, reliable service to our customers, we are continuously raking partnerships with international and local big names. The future is bright, and we hope to extend our horizons across Nigeria and Africa as a whole.