Algeria flag Algeria: Buying and Selling

E-commerce in Algeria

E-commerce

Internet access
Algeria, with its 41.6 million inhabitants and an Internet penetration rate that exceeds slightly the regional average, is a mid-sized online market. The country had 18.6 million Internet users at the end of 2017 (Internet World Stats) (21 million according to Hootsuite), accounting for 44.2% of the Algerian population and 4.1% of the internet user population in Africa. This rate is above the African average (35.2%) and below the global average (54.4%). The number of Internet users grew by 17%, which is slower than most other countries in Northern Africa (19% in Libya, 23% in Tunisia and 41% in Egypt) (Hootsuite 2018). Smartphone penetration rate stood at 32.4% in 2017 with over 13 million devices (Newzoo Global Mobile Market Report). As far as search engines are concerned, Google dominates the market, albeit with a market share slightly lower than in other Northern African countries (93.54%). Yahoo is the second most popular search engine at 5.25% (Statcounter).
E-commerce market
The Algerian e-commerce market is growing, but it is far from reaching its potential and still lags behind other markets in Northern Africa, particularly Morocco and Egypt. There are no official figures on e-commerce sales in Algeria; however, according to the Algerian National Trader and Artisan Association, the market's potential is estimated at US$ 5 billion. With the intention of boosting e-commerce in the country, the government is seeking to increase internet penetration rates. While the first Algerian online marketplaces emerged in 2009, e-commerce started to take off in 2014 with the arrival of the Pan-African Jumia, which remains the largest general online retailer in the country. The website had around 1.5 million visitors and received between 15,000 and 20,000 orders per month in 2017 (50% y-o-y increase). The number of visitors grew to 1.7 million early 2018. Zawwali, Batolis and Dzboom are leading local online retailers. The Algerian Parliament passed a law in February 2018 establishing the country's first regulation on e-commerce. As such, online marketplaces will have to host their websites in Algeria and need to be listed in the country's commercial register. The law bans all online purchase of tobacco and alcoholic beverages as well as pharmaceutical products and online betting and gambling services. Moreover, Algerian law does not allow citizens to purchase goods from outside the country and the Government has recently declared that they do not intend to open their e-market to foreign companies in order to preserve national economy and sovereignty. And, while the global leaders Amazon and AliExpress do not have a presence in Algeria, many intermediary companies offer transhipment services for orders coming from these websites. Regarding e-commerce readiness, Algeria is ranked 10th among African states and 97th worldwide according to UNCTAD's B2C E-commerce Index 2017.
E-commerce sales and customers
The number of e-commerce customers is reported to have reached 2.45 million in 2017 - 6% of the country's population -  according to Hootsuite and Jumia surveys. The Algerian e-commerce market does not have a perfect gender balance: while 9% of the total male population are reported to shop online, that rate goes down to 2% in the female population. The growth in e-commerce sales is expected to be boosted by mobile in the upcoming years as the smartphone penetration rate rose to 32.4% in 2017, reaching over 13 million devices (Newzoo Global Mobile Market Report) and 61% of Jumia custumers use their phones to access the platform. Electronic devices, telephones, house and cleaning products as well as clothing items are among the most popular types of product on online marketplaces. E-payment systems were introduced in the country at the end of 2016, and since then online shopping has grown rapidly. Following that trend, Algérie Poste (Algerian National Postal Services) is set to introduce an electronic wallet in 2018 to facilitate online purchases, which should further boost e-commerce. Currently, cash on delivery is the preferred payment method among Algerians, as in most countries in the Arab world and Northern Africa.
Social media
Almost all Internet users in Algeria are reported to have an account on social media platforms. According to a Hootsuite survey, as of 2018, 21 million Algerians are active social media users (17% y-o-y increase), and most of them also access their accounts via mobile (19 million, 46% of the total population, 19% y-o-y increase). While YouTube is the most visited website in Algeria, social media users are the most active on Facebook, with nearly all 21 million Internet users estimated to have an account on this platform. Instagram has 3.4 million users in the country, with a considerable gender imbalance, given that 62% of users are male, and 38% of them are female. Internet users aged between 15 and 24 are the most active age group on social media, as 77% of them have an account on at least one social media platform, according to IMMAR Research & Consultancy. 

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Latest Update: September 2022

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