Asbeza delivery, one of the emerging online grocery delivery platform in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, eyes significant growth in ecommerce especially when the law that regulates the industry comes into practice.
After the outbreak of the pandemic, Coronavirus, Asbeza has witnessed significant growth in the number of online orders. Like observed in many parts of the world, one of the businesses that benefit from the pandemic Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa has witnessed an increase is an online shopping. “The pandemic has brought good opportunity for online business platform like them. Since the pandemic outbreak the company daily order has increased on average from 1-2 to 15-20 deliveries,” says Bereket Tadesse, Founder and Manager of Asbeza Delivery.
But online business in Ethiopia is not that easy, according to Mr. Bereket, who described it as ‘trying to walk on water’. “It is difficult and very risky to think of engaging in an online business in a country where there is no culture of online shopping and the disciple,” he says.
Absence of easy online payment options like Paypal, has forced the company to collect payments after delivery. Some people may not pick their phones or their phones could be off by the time the delivery arrives around where they are supposed to be, according to Bereket.
He says such challenges have increased the risk for Asbeza as some people may forget ordering and might not be found when the delivery arrives at their gate. Absence of policy that guards companies engaged in e-businesses is also the major obstacle the emerging online business in Ethiopia is facing.
Absence of specific location with street names like other developed countries is also challenge for Asbeza and other engaged in delivery businesses. Amidst all the challenges Bereket is optimistic about the future of e-commerce and online platform based delivery businesses. “Meanwhile as the country is expected to finalize the ecommerce related law and the country’s majority of the people are youngsters, ecommerce will definitely expand,” Bereket says.
The recently launched economic roadmap of the country stated Information Communications Technology as one of the major areas that can create huge jobs in the country and facilitates growth of other sectors and the overall economy. To benefit from ICT related investments, Ethiopian Parliament is expected to pass a new that regulates and facilitates e-commerce and other digital businesses, among other.