impact of corona virus on africa ecommerce

Impact of the Coronavirus on Africa’s Ecommerce

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Faced with the Novel Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic that is affecting the world as whole, many offline businesses like shopping centers, restaurants, eateries, grocery stores and more have been forced to a temporary shut down to help curb the spread of this disease.

This in turn has lead to a noticeable increase in online activities especially in the ecommerce sector as many people are now resorting to online stores for most life essential items like food, groceries, medical products and so on.

We observed a spike in activities on our online coupon and shopping platforms especially from some African countries so we decided to carry out a survey to know if this is as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and more importantly, to see how it affects ecommerce in Africa.

Over 6,000 online buyers on leading online shopping sites in Africa were surveyed, participants were from 9 African countries and mostly from Kenya, Nigeria, Morocco, South Africa and Egypt.

impact of coron virus on africas ecommerce research

According to the survey results, the Corona Virus has led to a 26.3% increase in online shopping in Africa. 1,615 of the total respondents of 6,142 acknowledged that they are trying online shopping for the first and it is as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 lock down in their countries.

Also read: Ecommerce Psychology – Online Consumer Behaviours & Statistics 2020

When asked if they will be willing to shop online again even without a lock down, 59.3% (958) of the new online shoppers in Africa said ‘Yes’ and only 11.5% (186) said No – as they were probably not impressed with their online shopping experience. 29.2% (471) are not sure if they would be buying online again or not.

Highest increase in online shopping was observed in South Africa where 33.2% (348) of the total respondents (1,049) in the country agreed they’re trying out online shopping for the first time due to the impose COVID-19 lock down.

However, only 52.1% of them said they are willing to continue buying online while 31.6% are still contemplating if  they will, 16.3% said they will not.

In Nigeria, 19.6% (236) of their respondents (1,203) are new to online shopping which was prompted by the COVID-19 lock down. Over 58% of the new online buyers in Nigeria indicated that they will continue buying online while 19.1% said they won’t.

Egypt and Kenya also recorded a good number of new online shoppers with 27.9% (281) and 28.1% (357) respectively. Most of these new consumers in Kenya (66.1%) said they will keep buying online. Kenya also has the lowest number of ‘No’ responses (5%) when asked if they will try online shopping again.

Ecommerce in Morocco saw a 22.1% increase due the COVID-19 lock down in the country as 225 of their respondents (1,016) indicated that they are new to online shopping.

65.2% of the new online shoppers in Morocco said they will continue to shop online. While 26.1% are still not sure about continuing with online shopping, 8.7% said no.


During the period of March and beginning of April, 6,142 online buyers on leading online shopping sites across Africa were surveyed, participants were from 9 African countries but majorly from Kenya, Nigeria, Morocco, South Africa and Egypt. As of the time of the survey, all the countries involved were in partial or complete lock down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the survey results were calculated with plus or minus 0.01% error margin.

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2 thoughts on “Impact of the Coronavirus on Africa’s Ecommerce”

  • Thanks for the information. Do keep posting these kinds of updated information. All the best for your future. Visit Online Store Lusaka to know more about online shopping trends in Zambia.

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