68% of Ivorian Consumers are Shopping More Online Since the Start of Pandemic, Reveals Mastercard Study
  • Clothing (61%), Data top-up (55%) and computer equipment (48%) top the virtual shopping list in Ivory Coast.
  • Top learning experiences include cooking, dancing, learning a language, and mastering DIY projects.
  • Social media has become an integral platform for connecting consumers to online businesses
  • Secure checkout experience recognized as fundamental for online shopping

A Mastercard study on consumer spending has revealed that over 3 out of 5 (68%) consumers surveyed in Ivory Coast are shopping more online since the onset of the COVID 19 pandemic.

Data top ups, apparel and computer equipment have seen the highest surge of online activity. More than 55% say they are spending on data top-ups and 61% on clothing while 48% of respondents say they are buying more computers and other equipment.

And, with fewer opportunities to browse in the mall or on the high-street, social media has emerged as the main platform for finding the most attractive products and offers, with 85% and 34% of respondents saying they had discovered new sellers through Facebook and Instagram respectively. In fact, 87% of typical in-store bargain hunters said they spend hours searching different sites to find the best deals.

When it comes to paying for goods or services online, a secure checkout experience is a key factor for the Ivorian shopper, with 74% quoting this a major consideration when choosing a business to buy from.

The Rise of Virtual Experiences

While adapting to the ‘next normal’, people have been changing the way they consume entertainment and learn new skills.

In fact, 85% of Ivorian consumers said they were using the downtime as a positive learning experience. Nearly half of the respondents (48%) said they had taken a virtual cooking class, 51% have been mastering a new language and 26% have been learning to dance online.

42% of respondents have been educating themselves on Do-It-Yourself (DIY) projects, and 37% said they have been learning how to film online.

It is clear from the research that shoppers are rapidly moving away from more traditional forms of retail and opting for contact-free and digital transactions. This, in turn, is presenting e-tailers and businesses in Ivory Coast, and across the region, with new challenges on how to best leverage the shift towards online shopping and deliver fast, convenient and secure transactions.

“As the adoption of e-commerce gains traction in Ivory Coast, it is important that businesses optimize their operations to ensure they consistently deliver convenient, enjoyable and secure transaction experiences to their customers. This new reality of a keen shift to online shopping has reinforced the necessity for businesses to continue evolving the consumer payment experience to meet the consumer wherever they are.  Working with our partners, we are leveraging our unique insights and technology in supporting businesses of all sizes in Ivory Coast through this transformation,” said Arn Vogels, Country Manager, Francophone Sub-Saharan Africa, Mastercard.

Securing New Shopping Habits

With the rapid rise in online shopping, consumers are also becoming increasingly aware of the associated risks. And, with 57% of consumers now managing their banking needs online, more than half (51%) have said that a secure checkout was fundamental for a good shopping experience.

This is a key priority for Mastercard, as it is working to reduce online fraud and protect retailers from data breaches, while ensuring that consumers still enjoy a convenient and hassle-free payment experience.

To advance these efforts, Mastercard recently rolled out its patented tokenization technology across the region. Tokenization encrypts consumer data by replacing card numbers with digital tokens. This prevents improper usage at any other location and provides additional security and peace of mind for consumers and merchants alike, resulting in higher approval rates while minimizing online fraud.