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Jumia Among Local Ecommerce Players Around the World Are Giving Amazon and Walmart a Run for Their Money

(Adweek): Sometimes it feels like Amazon is taking over the world—or, at the very least, the world of retail. In providing fast, free shipping, operating from a customer-centric philosophy and swallowing up specialized retailers, Amazon has, by some estimates,put itself on track to capture 49 percent of the U.S. ecommerce market this year.

But Amazon’s seemingly airtight strategy doesn’t always translate overseas. The same is true of its nearest competitor, Walmart, which is America’s biggest physical retailer. In some markets, it’s local players rather than these two retail behemoths that have the advantage, due to factors ranging from cultural nuances to the lack of credit card use.

Like Magalu, Jumia in Lagos, Nigeria, is thriving because it’s solved delivery issues specific to its customers. Sacha Poignonnec, co-founder and co-CEO of Jumia, says the postal system is underdeveloped in many countries in Africa and there is almost no address system. So Jumia created a logistics platform that works with local companies familiar with its customers’ cities, streets and neighborhoods.

The ecommerce marketplace, which launched in 2012 in Nigeria, Morocco, South Africa and Egypt, today sells 6 million products in categories like fashion, electronics and beauty from more than 50,000 brands in 14 African countries.

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