Kenya hits 163% e-commerce growth ahead of Valentine’s Day

Earlier this afternoon I received an excerpt of the the annual “Mastercard Love Index”, an analysis of payment card transactions over a three-year period. The latest insights from the same have revealed that sentimental spending has increased by 49 percent and love is the latest thing to go digital, with a 37 percent increase in the number of online transactions.

According to the same, Valentine’s day spending in Kenya has risen by 94 percent since 2014, noting a 163 percent rise in e-commerce transactions. Interestingly enough, the Kenyan market showed a slight depreciation in jewelry sales, by about 13 percent. Kenya bolstered the global trend of a romantic dining experience, as the market noted a 240 percent increase in restaurant spending, which accounts for 40 percent of the market’s overall spend during this period.

Going forward, I would hope to see how these numbers look across various e-commerce platforms and geographies in Kenya and they may shed more light on the demographic and geographies that are driving adoption in Kenya. Other research I have seen in the past seems to indicate that the majority of e-commerce in Kenya happens via cash and mobile money as opposed to credit and debit cards? This is a cultural factor apparently and consumers have been wary of ‘local’ e-commerce platforms due to concerns around fraud and cybercrime. That being said, it still looks like the only way is up for e-commerce in Kenya.


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