Online purchases in Ghana have experienced continuous growth over the last few years. This development has been facilitated by several factors, such as the nationwide provision and accessibility of internet and payment services. As of 2022, the penetration rate of the e-commerce market in Ghana stood at 27.41 percent. This share increased from nearly 12 percent in 2017 and is expected to reach more than 37 percent by 2027. Likewise, the number of internet users has gradually expanded. Moreover, as of 2022, close to eight million consumers made digital payments in Ghana, thereby contributing to the monetary value of digital transactions registered that year. Consequently, e-commerce market revenue has significantly risen in the country. From 2020 to 2022, revenue registered a 45 percent increase. Specifically, e-commerce revenue was highest in the fashion and electronics segments.
Development of online marketplaces
The use of online marketplaces in Ghana was apparent in the 2010s. In 2013, Tonaton.com was established in the country, while Jumia Ghana was launched about a year later. Together with Jiji Ghana, these are the leading online shopping platforms in the country today. Specifically, while around 15 million annual online visitors were on Jumia Ghana, the number for Jiji and Tonaton reached approximately 12 million and eight million, respectively. In 2020, nearly 50 million people accessed online marketplaces in Ghana. Although the number decreased compared to the previous year, it represented growth in e-commerce over time. In terms of devices used to access online marketplaces, smartphones and tablets were predominant compared to desktops. Mobiles accounted for over 75 percent of the devices used by visitors in 2020. Furthermore, more men than women used online marketplaces.
How are consumers searching and buying online?
In 2021, Google was the most common online search engine in Ghana. Moreover, online consumers often used search engines and social networks to research brands. The electronics and general retail categories were the most browsed e-commerce websites in the country. For instance, as of 2022, the average monthly traffic for the electronics e-commerce category amounted to over nine million visits, while the count for the fashion category reached only 141,000. Every week, online shoppers either buy a new or second-hand product, compare prices, order groceries, or use a buy now pay later service. Among these users, the share of people who purchased a product or service online reached around 28 percent in the third quarter of 2021. Overall, the online population primarily protected their digital privacy either by declining cookies or using a virtual private network (VPN).