Complex Made Simple

Big businesses seizing e-commerce opportunities: JUMIA Egypt panel

The rise of Internetuse in Egypt has led to the rise of e-commerce , according to the latest report by The “Middle East e-Commerce Report in 2014” showed that e-Commerce in the region is prepared for a boom, as internet connectivity spreads and the population becomes more familiar with online shopping. Growth rates of around 20% per year are expected for the next few years. Panelists at the JUMIA Egypt discussion on “The Rise of e-commerce” on Tuesday discussed the challenges facing the industry, the biggest trends that will shape online buying habits and more.

“The internet is now transformed from a consumer-oriented internet to a more enterprise-driven internet,” said Jeremy Hodara , CEO of Africa Internet Holding and the Managing Director of Rocket Internet in France. “Egypt is on the brink of a digital transformation that will enhance productivity and economic growth and this is all the reason we and the rest of the industry players need to invest more in the online businesses in Egypt,” Jeremy added.

The key driving factors for e-commerce growth in Egypt are the rise of Internet usage and 3G penetration, and increased smartphone use with availability of Internet on mobile phones. According to the latest statistics by the Ministry of CIT, mobile Internet users make up over 40% of the total internet population in Egypt. “This incredible accessibility to the Internet through handheld devices is a huge opportunity for e-commerce. It’s even possible that we start talking about m-commerce right now,” said Karim Loza, Head of Sales Development, Support & Complementary, Mobinil. “As the leading mobile operator in Egypt, we’re always ensuring that we are connecting our customers in every aspect of their lives, to enhance their level of convenience and ease of their lifestyles, using the latest technologies. ”

Online retailers have come up with convenient interfaces, low prices, and customer satisfaction. “The idea of using the web to connect buyers and sellers is not new, but it’s how it will be developing is what’s interesting; which conveies Intel’s vision to create and extend computing technology to connect and enrich the lives of every person on earth.” said Karim El Fateh, Country Manager of Intel Egypt. “Retail businesses and in fact any B2C organisation has a lot to benefit from e-commerce if they play it right and invest now. The overall penetration rate of e-commerce in the Egyptian population is still low at 3.4% but Egypt’s online purchases are expected to more than triple by 2016, with Egyptians spending as much as $447.3 million on e-commerce, according to Euromonitor.”

With the internet spreading fast, it is set to transform the country’s digital economy.”With the expection of the growth of the e-commerce market by 36% in 2016 and the increased rates of Internet penetration Jumia Egypt will be investing a total of US$ 2 million in Egypt by the end of 2014″,said Mattia Perroni, CEO of Jumia Egypt “The key success in the e-commerce segment and that what Jumia Egypt is focusing on is high quality user experience, differentiated and detailed product catalog, order fulfillment, website performance and different types of transaction,” added Mattia.

Egyptians’ busy lifestyles, traffic dilemmas, lack of offline shopping time, great deals and discounts offered online are all contributing factors to the growth of e-commerce. “There has been phenomenal growth in the commercial presence on the Internet in recent times,” according to Roula Nahas, Regional Marketing & PR Manager of Bestseller – the owners of brands such as Jack and Jones and Vero Moda. “Bestseller has been investing heavily in the online business and has been eyeing the Middle East for the past while, it is thanks to an online store like Jumia that gives us the unique edge of offering consumers a customized online experience, tailored specifically to their interests, needs and cultural preferences, and thus enters the Egyptian ecommerce market”

The internet is revolutionizing travel, education and retail across the world now. “The Internet continues to be the most democratic of all the mass media. With a very low investment, anyone can have a web page. This way, almost any business can reach a very large market, directly, fast and economically, no matter the size or location of the business,” said Adam Mowafi, CO- Founder of MO4. “The bigger brands with the bigger businesses will need to recognize the scale of this opportunity, andreally start to integrate it as a core channel.”

The Rise of e-Commerce Panel Discussion was held at The Mena House Hotel, and was moderated by Ali El Bahnasawy, presenter of CBC Egypt’s morning program and seasoned business journalist.

Norhen Ali
Publicist Inc.
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