May 05 , 2023
Online shopping has been on the rise in Tanzania since 2020, fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic that has forced many consumers to turn to digital channels for their shopping needs. The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of online shopping in Tanzania, with more and more consumers choosing to buy goods and services through online platforms.
One of the main drivers of this growth is the increased availability of smartphones and access to the internet across the country. The growth of mobile money services has also contributed to the rise of e-commerce, making it easier for consumers to make payments online. According to the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA), the number of mobile phone users in Tanzania has grown to over 50 million, with over 25 million having access to the internet.
Online shopping in Tanzania is dominated by local e-commerce platforms such as Jumia, Kilimall, and Kupatana, which offer a wide range of products, from electronics to fashion, to household goods. These platforms have been able to attract a large number of consumers by providing a convenient and secure online shopping experience, including fast delivery and various payment options.
From the perspective of retailers, online shopping has provided an opportunity to reach a wider customer base and expand their businesses beyond their physical locations. The pandemic has also forced many retailers to rethink their business models and invest in digital channels, leading to increased competition in the e-commerce sector.
However, there are also challenges that come with the growth of online shopping in Tanzania. One of the major concerns is the issue of trust and security, particularly for consumers who are new to online shopping. Many consumers still prefer to shop in physical stores, where they can see and touch the products before making a purchase.
Another challenge is the lack of infrastructure, particularly in rural areas, which limits access to the internet and mobile money services. This creates a digital divide between urban and rural areas, with many rural consumers still relying on traditional brick-and-mortar stores for their shopping needs.
In conclusion, online shopping in Tanzania has experienced significant growth since 2020, driven by the COVID-19 pandemic and the increased availability of smartphones and access to the internet. While this growth presents new opportunities for retailers and consumers alike, there are also challenges that need to be addressed, particularly around trust, security, and access to infrastructure. The government, private sector, and other stakeholders need to work together to ensure that the benefits of online shopping are accessible to all Tanzanians, regardless of where they live or their level of digital literacy