As Nigeria’s middle class continues to grow, the demand for luxury and consumer shopping is only set to increase. Online shopping has started to take off in the country thanks to key players like Konga and Jumia, but getting consumer products from overseas countries like the UK and US has remained difficult for the population, until now.
A startup called MallForAfrica connects online shoppers in Nigeria to international e-tailers in the UK, Europe and the US and takes care of the transaction from payment to delivery and, perhaps most importantly, security.
Founded by Chris Folayan, the platform is currently partnered with over 70 ecommerce sites, listing over 7.8 billion items which Nigerians can order — using a PC or mobile app — and get delivered within 48 hours to their door or a pickup location across Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt.
Folayan notes, “there is a significant population in Nigeria, and many other African countries, who can afford and want to purchase Western products. For many years, security issues and logistics made this difficult or even impossible. But now we are able to use digital technology to offer Africa the access it has wanted, while guaranteeing retailers that their transactions will be secure and delivered safely.”
The platform uses a MallForAfrica WebCard which is essentially a mobile wallet that gets loaded with funds to make purchases. This allows the startup to easily keep track of all, and handle, the information of a transaction.
Due to the fact that MallForAfrica ships items within 48 hours, all items are initially shipped to the company’s US warehouse where they are inspected for damage, and to make sure they are the correct item. With this process in place, MallForAfrica does not facilitate refunds unless the item is damaged upon arrival.
According to the company, it has doubled its revenue in the last year and expects to do five times that this year. Aiding this expectation, MallForAfrica is expanding into two new, as of yet unnamed, African countries this year.
Check out a video demo of MallForAfrica below: