In the second quarter of this year, major global shipping company, DHL, launched the DHL Africa eShop retailer app for global retail shops to sell into the continent. In May, it added 9 more countries to service making 20 countries in all.
Now, the shipping company has expanded the DHL Africa eShop service to 14 more African countries. This brings the number of countries eligible for the e-commerce service to 34. The service, which went live in April with the app, brought more than 200 sellers from the US and the UK online to sell to African consumers.
DHL is operating through a partnership with startup MallforAfrica. The shipping company is utilising the startup’s white label fulfilment service, Link Commerce to help it operate the DHL Africa eShop service on the African continent.
Through the partnership with MallforAfrica, there are a number of top global retailers readily available to African consumers on the Africa eShop platform. A few of these global retailer shops include Best Buy, Carters, Macy’s, and Neiman Marcus.
Just like MallforAfrica’s service model, the arrangement allows Africa eShop users to buy their goods directly from websites of any of the app’s global partners. Then DHL does what it does best.
As said earlier, this is the second expansion to the DHL Africa eShop platform after adding 9 markets back in May. Now the service is available in Mali, Niger, Chad, Sudan, Guinea, Liberia, Togo, Benin, Ethiopia, Angola, Namibia, Lesotho, Burkina Faso, and Burundi.
Chris Folayan, the CEO of MallforAfrica, remarked about the innovations of online shopping and the sales in many of Africa eShop’s new markets.
He said, “For some of these countries no one has really tapped into e-commerce the way we’re tapping into it, with an ability to buy online and also buy online directly from places like Macy’s or Amazon.”
DHL has included local fintech options in the payment methods. So, people can pay with Nigeria’s Paga and Kenya’s M-Pesa. The company also takes advantage of its existing delivery structure on the continent. It delivers goods from the Africa eShop platform via its DHL Express courier service.
All a user needs is a mobile phone and a bank account. They can use the DHL Africa eShop to purchase whatever (from necklace to dresses to sneakers) at Macy’s, Payless, or Kohl’s and have it sent to their home.
For first-time consumers, DHL Africa eShop has an incentive for you. “We will be launching with a promo, buy any 5 items from over 100 retail partners and get a $20 flat shipping fee. This is DHL’s way of showing they are dominant in shipping and eCommerce in Africa.”
The partnership between DHL and MallforAfrica seeks to introduce the DHL Africa eShop online retail service to all the 54 countries in the African continent in the coming years. It has now entered 34, so it has 20 more countries to go.
Africa eShop seems to be a challenge to Jumia, which is “Africa’s most visible online retailer shop”. DHL’s Africa eShop was even launched just the day before Jumia went public. DHL also did the first expansion just a few weeks afterward.
But MallforAfrica’s CEO says, “We’re not focused on competing with Jumia, but in a way, it’s starting to happen as a result of our expansion and growth.”