- Africa's informal retail sector is vital to the continent's economy and has been facing several challenges, such as limited access to capital and difficulties in receiving goods from suppliers.
- Recent years have seen the emergence of tech-enabled startups building innovations to address these pain points.
- Key trends to watch out for in 2023 include the adoption of smartphones, the emergence of market leaders, and the evolution of logistics networks.
According to Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Africa’s informal retail sector accounts for more than 70% of food, beverage and personal care products provided to consumers across the continent.
However, despite their importance, local informal shops throughout Africa have been consistently held back for decades by various major challenges, including frequent stockouts, limited access to capital and difficulty receiving goods from suppliers.
In recent years, technology has played a significant role in addressing these challenges and empowering local SMEs to unlock their full potential. In this article, Tridiv Vasavada, Chief Technology Officer at Wasoko, Africa’s largest B2B e-commerce network, explores three key trends to look out for across Africa’s $850bn informal retail sector in 2023.