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The mobile revolution started in Africa
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The mobile revolution started in Africa

IGD just published a report on retail in sub-Saharan Africa. For those who don’t know, IGD is a research and training charity that helps the food and grocery industry deliver the needs of the public. Basically, the organization issues regularly reports or studies of which the level of details is quite high.


Mobile offers an alternative in the absence of high street banking

African countries have to face a lack of high street banking as well as a challenging transport infrastructure. So it is expected that mobile marketing and payments in the FMCG sector are set to grow significantly over the coming five years.

Jon Wright, EMEA Research Manager at IGD, gave us some highlights: “With online selling and engagement set to skip PCs in many African countries, the grocery industry’s thinking and planning has to move straight to mobile, enabling huge opportunities and something of a mobile shopping revolution. The lack of high street banking and the comparative safety of mobile payments versus cash means people in Africa are really embracing digital.

For suppliers, smartphone best practice can be shared and implemented from other regions, but suppliers must avoid a one-size-fits-all approach. There are big differences between African countries and significant internal, regional disparity in some. Despite high sales and uptake, use of smartphones is set to remain proportionally low in the medium term. International brands must plan long term and also generate locally relevant, more traditional retail formats alongside rolling out digital.


Some key findings of the report

  • Retailers and suppliers are more digitally engaged as shoppers use mobile phones and mobile payment schemes more
  • Fluctuations in commodity prices will affect economies requiring long-term planning
  • The landscape has the opportunity to change rapidly as there is a lack of legacy issues and a lack of large-scale store estates
  • Staff retention will be one of the challenges: changes, digitization, changing store formats… are some of the elements that will require trainings to retain good staff.
  • Another key challenge will be the supply chain management. Retailers and suppliers will have to be prepared and continuously optimize their supply chains.



Source : IGD’s Report “The future of grocery retailing in sub-Saharan Africa”, you can access the full report at http://igd.com/RetailinginAfrica


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