DHL Express acquires stake in Link Commerce to grow e-commerce in Sub-Saharan Africa

AFRICA – DHL, a company that offers shipping, tracking and courier delivery services, has acquired a stake in their strategic partner company, Link Commerce, in support of growing e-commerce in Sub-Saharan Africa and other global emerging e-commerce markets. 

Hennie Heymans, CEO of DHL Express sub-Saharan Africa, said that the acquisition demonstrates the company’s commitment to growing e-commerce on the continent.  

“Acquiring a stake in Link Commerce – the company behind the MallforAfrica.com platform – shows our tremendous support of e-commerce in Africa. It also positions us to realize our ambitions of growing the eShop offering globally, and work on the scalability of the platform when the opportunity arises,” he said. 

Just over one year on from its initial launch, the DHL Africa eShop continues to see massive growth in sub-Saharan Africa. Heymans notes that the DHL Africa eShop has consistently outperformed expectations since its launch. 

“DHL’s investment in Link Commerce is a perfect fit. With the DHL investment, we are now able to grow faster by leveraging the amazing shipping network DHL has built globally,” said Chris Folayan Founder and CEO of Link Commerce and Mall for Africa. 

“This will help us expand our white-label turnkey B2B eCommerce platform and provide online shoppers with the ability to shop more and get more at great shipping rates fast.”  

The platform was developed in partnership with Link Commerce and initially launched in 11 African countries in April 2019. It was an immediate success, gaining around 5,000 subscribers within the first six weeks. Today, DHL Africa eShop is life in 34 countries across Sub-Saharan Africa with tens of thousands of users across the continent. 

The DHL Africa eShop offers African consumers unprecedented access to international retailers via an easy-to-use platform, with great convenience, speed and reliability. 

DHL Africa eShop enables African customers to shop directly from over 200 US- and UK-based online retailers, with purchases delivered directly to their door, by DHL Express. 

“It’s been great to see eShop providing vital online shopping access during this time, with impressive growth coming from countries like Nigeria, Ghana, Rwanda, Angola, Uganda and Kenya during the various stages of lockdowns, and with South Africa back on board to access e-commerce, we are thrilled for our users to be able to use service offering once more,” said Heyman. 

Assurance for delivery has become a top priority for consumers,” says Heymans. ” Basket sizes have also increased, as shoppers seek to get all of what they need immediately, rather than to space out their orders. Online shopping supports the ultimate level of social distancing – connecting consumers to everything they need at a click of a button. 

Heymans explains that while the e-commerce market in Sub-Saharan Africa has been largely overlooked by international retailers in the past, it currently offers some of the biggest opportunities for rapid growth in the world. 

“At Link Commerce, our strategy is to help businesses grow and provide shoppers globally with access to US and UK online retailers like never before. DHL’s investment in the company gives us that edge we need to expand rapidly globally and access to products like never before,” said Chris Folayan, Founder and CEO of Link Commerce Ltd. 

With operations across 51 markets in Sub-Saharan Africa, servicing customers, efficient delivery is an important factor for DHL Express.  

“Our strategic investments in innovative technology and connectivity across the region, are all aimed at promoting global trade and ensuring that businesses and individuals across the continent can leverage global opportunities,” Heymans concludes. 

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