COVID-19 and e-commerce in Ghana: the great shift to everyday products

Ghana’s leading e-commerce platform, Jumia, has published its first e-commerce report, Jumia Africa e-Commerce Index 2021 with a Ghana section, which leveraged data from the Jumia platform to illustrate the importance of shopping online in a pandemic context as consumers leverage Jumia for their needs using their smartphones. This shift is part of a broader economic transformation led by the continent’s young, urban and tech-savvy population. The report was a partnership with UNCTAD, IFC, and Mastercard, highlighting the impact of e-commerce on the African economy.

While the COVID-19 pandemic led to meaningful supply and logistics disruption, it supported demand for everyday product categories, fast-moving consumer goods and personal care categories in particular, which experienced strong growth on the Jumia platform at the onset of the pandemic. The effects of the pandemic, combined with dedicated commercial and marketing efforts on the Jumia side, led to a shift in our product category mix with everyday product categories including Fashion, Beauty and FMCG categories accounting for c. 57% of GMV in 2020, up from 44% in 2019.

 This index underscores how instrumental Jumia has become to the consumers in the countries we serve,” said Sacha Poignonnec, Jumia co-Founder and co-CEO. “It is an important move for the industry as e-commerce brings daily solutions, convenience, and competitive prices to consumers.

E-commerce played an important role during the pandemic by providing solutions for both businesses and the communities they serve. Jumia’s partnerships with various brands and organizations have enabled SMEs to connect with millions of consumers online; 

“In Ghana, Jumia was in the forefront to support consumers’ access to their daily needs, and many sellers used our platform to keep their business running and even to grow. JumiaPay and online payments are the safest and most convenient method of payment with many Ghanaians using our payment platform for their electricity and water bills as well as purchasing insurance policies and airtime top-up. This has been of immense benefit to Ghanaians especially during the pandemic and will continue to shape our new lives’’ said Tolulope George-Yanwah, CEO of Jumia Ghana. 

According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), internet businesses in Africa, including e-commerce which sits at the heart of the digital economy, could add US $180 billion to the continent’s GDP by 2025. “COVID-19 led to a surge in the use of digital solutions, including e-commerce. This was particularly demonstrated with domestic sales rather than cross-border e-commerce. Food delivery, essentials, and pharmaceutical goods were among the top-performing online shopping categories,” said Torbjorn Fredriksson, Head of E-commerce and Digital Economy, UNCTAD.

COVID-19 has accelerated the pace of innovation towards improving financial inclusion, especially the need for cashless payments. Consumers are increasingly shifting their spending habits to embrace contactless tap-and-go payments, online shopping, and are exploring the potential of new ways to pay,” said Ngozi Megwa, Senior Vice President Digital Partnerships, Middle-East and Africa, Mastercard. “The adoption of new payment technologies is rising, and consumer appetite for new, fast and flexible digital experiences continues to grow.

Jumia has seen increased utilisation of digital payments on its platform. More consumers turned to JumiaPay for the first time during the pandemic, mainly for safety reasons and for the enhanced services on the app like bill payments.

About Jumia

We believe that technology has the potential to transform everyday life in Africa, for the better. We built Jumia to help consumers access millions of goods and services conveniently and at the best prices while opening up a new way for sellers to reach consumers and grow their businesses.

Jumia is a leading e-commerce platform in Africa. Our marketplace is supported by our proprietary logistics business, Jumia Logistics, and our digital payment and fintech platform, JumiaPay. Jumia Logistics enables the seamless delivery of millions of packages while JumiaPay facilitates online payments and the distribution of a broad range of digital and financial services.