E-Commerce Platform MallForAfrica Begins Selling U.S. Cars To Buyers In Nigeria

Written by Peter Pedroncelli


African e-commerce firm MallforAfrica plans to begin selling U.S. cars to buyers in Nigeria on its online platform.

The company, which is based in Nigeria, said it will sell American-made vehicles to online customers in the West African country, and it plans to expand the offering to 16 additional African markets during the course of the next year, according to AfricanBusinessCommunities.

With standard and luxury cars available via the platform, a user would need to fill out an online form with preferences related to the vehicle they wish to purchase.

Within a couple of days, a U.S.-based MallforAfrica consultant will reply to the interested party with a quote, at which point the customer could complete the purchase and the car would be shipped to Nigeria.

Founded in 2011, MallforAfrica enables Africans to purchase products from more than 250 U.S. and British online retailers through their e-commerce platform, staying true to their slogan, “shop global, pickup local”.

MallforAfrica and eBay began a partnership in 2016 with the launch of the eBay “Powered by Mall For Africa” app in Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, and South Africa, according to Tech Crunch.

MallforAfrica CEO Chris Folayan explained that there has been a significant interest from customers with regards to buying cars online, and that level of interest was the catalyst for the new offering, according to DallasWeekly.

Customers in Nigeria can now buy cars from the U.S. through MallforAfrica. Image - AP Photo - David Zalubowski
Customers in Nigeria can now buy cars from the U.S. through MallforAfrica. Image – AP Photo – David Zalubowski

The MallforAfrica site allows African users to shop via their mobile device or computer at international brands that would be familiar to a U.S. consumer including Victoria’s Secret, Payless, Ann Taylor, Neiman Marcus, Banana Republic, Bath & Body Works and Nordstrom.

These brands would ordinarily be inaccessible to consumers in most parts of Africa, as would the American cars that are now available to Nigerian customers, but thanks to MallforAfrica’s platform and Africa’s high levels of mobile internet penetration, African online shoppers have more options at their fingertips.

Global retail e-commerce sales are expected to reach $4.5 trillion by 2021, which represents a 246.15 percent increase worldwide from 2014, according to Statista.

The internet’s contribution to Africa’s gross domestic product could rise to 10 percent, or $300 billion, by 2025, according to a report by McKinsey’s & Company.

MallforAfrica enters new markets

In February this year the Nigeria-based MallforAfrica platform continued with its aggressive African expansion by entering 11 new markets in response to demand for the company’s patented platform on desktop and mobile.

The e-commerce site is now available in Angola, Chad, Guinea, Botswana, Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi, Egypt, Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal, and Sierra Leone, according to a MallforAfrica press release.

The app is already available and popular in Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana and Rwanda, with over 8.5 billion items to choose from that are shipped straight to the customer’s door.

The technology used on the platform is bridging the gap between African consumers and global retailers.

In July this year MallforAfrica announced a partnership with global express services provider DHL that would benefit its new Marketplace Africa site.

The partnership is designed to assist online retailers in Africa to make their African-made products available to the U.S. and global markets, according to CNBCAfrica.

The association with DHL adds further reach to an e-commerce brand that now caters for Africans wanting to buy items from a global market, as well as people globally who want to purchase African-made products.

The platform, called Marketplace Africa, offers products from African designers and artisans within a variety of categories including fashion, handbags, jewellery, body care and home decor, according to Fin24.