Zara’s one-size-fits-all approach to African e-commerce

On November 7th, Spanish fast-fashion retailer Zara announced that it was to commence online sales in 106 new markets, including many African ones, the next day.
The African countries covered by this initiative include Angola, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Senegal. All of these countries will be covered by a single global website that is available in both English and French. However, items will be priced in euros, rather than in local currencies. According to the retailer, “Orders will be fulfilled from the online platform in Spain and received within three to seven days.” Pablo Isla, CEO of Inditex, predicted that “all of Inditex’s brands will be available online anywhere in the world by 2020.”
Some e-commerce players are adopting a more localised approach, such as Dubai-based online fashion retail, which recently launched in a number of West African markets. Company founder Jessica Anuna claims that it has two key advantages over most of its rivals: “A lot of fast fashion sites abroad do not offer payments in Naira, Ghanaian Cedi or Kenyan Shillings, but we do. We also offer delivery in five days.” Klasha offers an assortment of 300 SKUs of private-label women’s ready-to-wear, together with a selection of beauty products.
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