An expert has predicted that e-commerce will soon open up a new shopping experience for Africa’s growing middle class. Peter Allerstorfer, co-founder of Silvertree Capital, said this is going to happen along with internet penetration which he said comes the introduction of e-commerce.

According to him, by 2025, online retail could account for 10% of retail sales within the continent’s largest economies, which will translate into some USD 75bn in annual revenue.

“Despite these exciting prospects, however, many e-commerce Sites are finding it tough to operate within the African online climate. The following five points offer reasons, according to Peter, as to why retailers struggle to move online,” he said.

He noted that from an investor’s point of view, if the internet is to achieve the same kind of scale and impact as the spread of mobile phones did, in Africa, internet GDP could account for as much as 10% (USD 300bn) of total GDP, while producing a leap forward in economic and social development.

He mentioned that “72% of consumers state that if Website performance is poor, they are unlikely to complete their transaction.”

Furthermore, he said strategic gaps have been found to appear in implementation, content management, and transactional processes. In general, he said there seems to be a poor awareness of best practices when it comes to Website strategy.

“A good customer experience, within e-commerce, is absolutely vital. This is due to the fact that it is so easy and convenient for viewers/users to ‘leave’ – as opposed to walking out of a store front that is. Abandoned (online) baskets are a widespread, unfortunate phenomenon among online retailers; mainly causes by the, often unavoidable, complexity of transactional processes,” he said

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