Global logistics company, DHL has extended its e-commerce offering to now be available for consumers across 20 African countries. DHL's Africa eShop is an e-commerce platform that allows African consumers to shop on hundreds of USA and UK online shops such as Amazon and Ralph Lauren and have their orders delivered using DHL Express delivery.

What is interesting is that the app, which was launched in April 2019, will likely provide competition to e-commerce platform JUMIA which has positioned itself as a Pan African offering. However, unlike JUMIA, DHL has the logistics capacity across several African countries to fulfill deliveries.

“DHL Africa eShop provides convenience, speed and access for online customers in Africa. As the global leader in express logistics, DHL is well positioned to connect African consumers with exciting global brands. This is yet another opportunity for DHL to reaffirm its commitment to supporting the growth of e-commerce in the region," said Hennie Heymans, CEO of DHL Express Sub Saharan Africa, when the app was launched earlier in 2019.

DHL Africa eShop website.

E-commerce in Africa

E-commerce is proving to be a tough business to run in most African countries. Just in 2018, Effritn shut down in Nigeria and Konga was rumored to have been sold for a huge discount. That left Rocket Internet's JUMIA which has presence in over 10 African countries but it too has been struggling despite its recent listing on the New York Stock Exchange.

However, it seems DHL might have the solution given that they are not building a new e-commerce company with warehouses but rather allowing consumers to shop on existing e-commerce stores and then using their logistics capability to deliver.

DHL Africa eShop was developed in partnership with Link Commerce – a division of Mall for Africa.

“E-commerce offers enormous potential for the region, and we are proud to provide this platform to further connect African consumers with global opportunities,” concluded Heymans.