Demand for grocery retailers is unlikely to diminish significantly over the forecast period as the population of Cameroon continues to increase, while ongoing economic development and growth are likely to mean an expansion of the affluent urban middle class and higher spending on food generally across the entire population. However, demand for all types of packaged food and fresh food and consumer interest in supermarkets and hypermarkets could come under pressure during 2023 as rising prices are likely to be seen in the wake of the anticipated 50% reduction of the fuel subsidies that are in place in Cameroon.
With Cameroon’s population expected to continue expanding rapidly over the forecast period, is very likely that there will be strong opportunities for the country’s leading grocery retailers to expand their operations in the country with the opening of new outlets and the establishment of new distribution networks. However, it should be noted that much of the spending on groceries will continue to be limited to the absolute essentials such as fresh fruit and vegetables, staple foods, key cooking ingredients and essential non-alcoholic beverages.
The forecast period is expected to the major international grocery retailers chains that have been present in Cameroon for the longest such as T Choithram & Sons’ Mahima SARL face increasing levels of competition due to the entry of rivals with a strong international distribution system already in place. In particular, it is expected that multinational retail companies of French origin with a global footprint will continue to develop their operations in grocery retailers in Cameroon, with CFAO Group is planning to expand its operations aggressively via the opening of numerous new Carrefour and Supeco stores.
The forecast period is expected to see dramatic increases in demand for a wide range of non-grocery items among the increasingly affluent population of Cameroon. In response, it is expected that the country’s leading chained non-grocery retailers will continue to invest in the expansion of their respective outlet networks and distribution systems.
One of the crucial factors that is expected to spur positive growth in non-grocery retailers over the forecast period is improving consumer sentiment. With income levels rising and the lifestyles of affluent urban professionals living in Douala and Yaoundé constantly becoming closer to the lifestyles of people living in major cities in countries with more developed economies around the world, there are likely to be huge opportunities for non-grocery retailers to generate higher sales among a much wider consumer base.
The forecast period is expected to see e-commerce play a greater role in the operations of Cameroon’s leading non-grocery retailers. Following the withdrawal of pan-African e-commerce giant Jumia from Cameroon during the review period, there are now opportunities for chained non-grocery retailers to take advantage of the void that has been left by the unavailability of Jumia to cater to the needs of tech-savvy young Cameroonian professionals.
The forecast period is expected to see consumer interest in multilevel level marketing continue to increase as rising numbers of Cameroonians become aware of the advantages that buying products via direct selling represents. Growth is also likely to be spurred by the increasing numbers of sales agents distributing the products of well-known consumer health and beauty and personal care brands, with acting as the direct selling agent increasingly seen as decent way to supplement one’s income.
It is unlikely that any new trends will emerge in direct selling during the forecast period, with the move towards using social media as a way of reaching potential customers and maintaining direct lines of communication with current customers likely to be the most important trend in the category for the foreseeable future. The growing importance of social media will also as a marketing tool is especially pronounced when it comes to younger consumers, particularly millennials, many of whom prefer to engage with brands via YouTube tutorials and online demonstrations during parties and events that are held to promote products and secure sales.
One of the most important challenges that direct selling Cameroon will need to overcome during the forecast period of his to gain mainstream acceptance is to rise above the low profile that the category has and the relatively low awareness of the advantages of direct selling among the local population. In particular, beauty and personal care direct selling is set to face high levels of competition from store-based health and beauty specialist retailers and grocery retailers.
Substantial investment in the development of Cameroon’s internet infrastructure is expected during the forecast period and this will inevitably provide a huge boost to the development of e-commerce. The country’s leading telecommunications service provider Orange Cameroon, telecoms recently announced plans to invest XAF30 billion (approximately USD50 million) in the modernisation of its communications infrastructure over the course of 2023.
M-commerce is very likely to play a greater role in the development of e-commerce generally in Cameroon during the forecast period and this is set to be due to the rising numbers of mobile internet users among the local population. While fixed-line internet connections are becoming more popular, stronger growth is being seen in the numbers of mobile telephone subscriptions and, in particular, mobile internet connections.
Another factor that is likely to support growth in e-commerce in Cameroon during the forecast period is the development of 5G mobile internet. 5G is set to be launched in Cameron by the country’s leading mobile carrier Orange during 2023.
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Retail e-commerce is the sale of consumer goods to the general public via the internet, wherein consumers purchase goods online through a web platform. Please note that this includes sales through mobile phones and tablets (i.e. m-commerce). Sales data is attributed to the country where the consumer is based, rather than where the retailer is based. The definition of retail e-commerce is agnostic as to where actual payment takes place; if an order is initiated online, it is considered to be an e-commerce transaction, even if the order is ultimately paid for in-store (or elsewhere). As a result, all "click-and-collect" and "collect-at-store" transactions are counted as e-commerce sales. E-commerce excludes sales of (a) consumer-to-consumer (C2C) and business-to-business (B2B) sales, although please note that sales between businesses and consumers (i.e. B2C sales) on sites such as eBay are included; (b) sales of motor vehicles, motorcycles and vehicle parts; (c) tickets for events (sports, music concerts, etc.) and travel; (d) sales of travel and holiday packages; (e) revenue generated by online gambling sites; (f) returned products/unpaid invoices; and (h) internet sales from direct selling companies, as these are tracked in Direct Selling market sizes/shares. Please note that all "homeshopping" sales - i.e. sales of consumer goods to the general public via mail order catalogues, TV shopping and direct mail - are also now classified as retail e-commerce sales.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Retail E-Commerce research and analysis database.
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