TOP international express services provider, DHL, has sealed a partnership with e-commerce giant, MallforAfrica’s new platform, Marketplace Africa, to help online retailers bring African-made products to the United States and the global market.
Marketplace Africa offers items from the continent’s most talented designers and artisans from a variety of categories including fashion, body care, handbags, jewelry and home décor.
Until recently, experts say African craftspeople have been isolated from global customers due to distance, fear of not receiving overseas payments, and complex shipping requirements.
Customers who wished to purchase products directly from African artisans are also understood to be facing obstacles regarding accessibility of items, authenticity and validation of the product, uncertainty of delivery, high delivery costs, and payment security.
DHL announced this week that it will, as part of the partnership, manage all logistics services as their e-commerce delivery solutions are designed with small businesses in mind and provide the speed of delivery that customers expect. With the world’s leading logistics company behind it, Marketplace Africa is set to provide craftspeople and customers order verification, fast delivery, and shipment labeling and packaging services.
“We are thrilled to be a part of this innovative e-commerce solution for African artisans. DHL is a facilitator of global trade and if we can improve connectivity and accessibility to global markets for local business, this will go a long way in helping small businesses grow,” DHL Express Sub-Saharan Africa chief executive, Hennie Heymans, said.
“We’ve been in Africa since 1978, so have seen first-hand, the huge opportunities that cross-border trade offers to local businesses. This is truly an exciting time for African businesses.”
Marketplace Africa was created to help artisans sell on a global stage and simplify the ability to buy directly from African craftspeople and small enterprises. Powered by MallforAfrica’s award-winning patented e-commerce platform and payment system, MarketplaceAfrica.com’s global consumers can now shop directly from African businesses of all sizes and have the products shipped to their home with confidence, said DHL.
To complement the deal, Africa Made Product Standards (AMPS) is used to ensure that the highest quality products are being sold on the Marketplace Africa platform and provides consumers with the assurance that products meet international standards in quality.
“Africans finally have the opportunity whether banked or unbanked to showcase their amazing talents and skills to the world and sell their products. DHL and MallforAfrica saw the need to promote African-made products to the world and I am beyond proud to be a part of making history alongside a company that has pioneered logistics efficiency in Africa, and across the globe,” said Chris Folayan, chief executive of MallforAfrica.
“Marketplace Africa will open the door for African designers and craftspeople and enable customers in the US and the world the ability to purchase authentic African-made products directly from the source.”
Worldwide retail e-commerce sales reached over $2 trillion in 2017 and according to DHL’s report, The 21st Century Spice Trade: A Guide to the Cross-Border E-Commerce Opportunity, cross-border market is expected to grow by about 25% annually until 2020 – nearly twice the rate of domestic e-commerce. DHL is the leading global brand in the logistics industry with about 360,000 employees in more than 220 countries and territories worldwide.