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E-commerce could propel African retailers—DHL

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World’s leading international express services provider, DHL Express, has said cross boarder e-commerce could help propel retailers and manufacturers in Sub Saharan Africa.

In its latest report – The 21st Century Spice Trade: A Guide to the Cross- Border E-Commerce Opportunity – DHL looks in detail at the markets and products that offer the highest growth potential, the motivations and preferences of customers making international online purchases and the success factors for online retailers that wish to expand overseas.

It focuses, in particular, on the opportunity for premium products and service offerings, with higher basket values accounting for a significantly higher proportion of orders in cross-border transactions.

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The report reveals that cross-border e-commerce offers aggregate growth rates not available in most other retail markets: cross-border retail volumes are predicted to increase at an annual average rate of 25 percent between 2015 and 2020 (from $300 billion to $900 billion) – twice the pace of domestic e-commerce growth.

It says online retailers are also boosting sales by 10 to15 percent on average simply by extending their offering to international customers.

The report adds that an additional boost comes from including a premium service offering: retailers and manufacturers that incorporated a faster shipping option into their online stores grew 1.6 times faster on average than other players.

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DHL Express Sub Saharan Africa Chief Executive Officer, Hennie Heymans, said contrary to what many retailers think, cross-border shipping is simple and retailers in Sub Saharan Africa are perfectly positioned to take advantage of international opportunities.

“Brand Africa is something that has increased exponentially in popularity in recent years and it’s time for retailers to remove the boundaries and open up their business to seamless international trade.

“Often, retailers choose not to promote their businesses internationally, and worse yet, will turn down international sales interests due to the misconception that it’s too difficult to manage and deliver,” Heymans said.

DHL Malawi Managing Director, Paul Makolosi, said taking this thinking to a local level and still working on Brand Africa, most Malawians can use social media and internet to advertise and reach regional customers.

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