Benin flag Benin: Buying and Selling

E-commerce in Benin


Internet access

According to the Digital 2019 report for Benin by Hootsuite and WeAreSocial, out of a population of 11.6 million people, 33% have access to the internet.
In the country there are around 9.3 million mobile subscriptions, with 30% of the total population accessing the internet through mobile (with 27% having access to a broadband connection). Social media users are estimated at 11% of the population (1.3 million; with 1.2 million using social medias on their mobile phones).
The social media advertising audience is equal to 1.2 million for Facebook, with much lower figures for other platforms (230,000 for LinkedIn, 160,000 for Instagram and 20,000 for Twitter). According to the Mobile Connectivity Index, Benin has an overall index score of 37.3 out of a maximum of 100 (in particular, the IT infrastructure network has a score of 32.7/100, and the affordability of internet connections has a rate of 54.3/100).
It has been reported that the government occasionally blocks internet connections (especially for social medias), as in the case of the 2019 elections.
The most popular web search engines in Madagascar are Google (96.8%), Bing and Yahoo (1.6% and 1.1%, respectively).

E-commerce market

E-commerce is still in its infancy in Benin, as the country lacks adequate ICT and online payment infrastructures, as well as proper regulations (the government has included the objective to develop e-commerce in its Action Plan).
According to the
Digital 2019 report by Hootsuite and WeAreSocial, online payment is barely used in Benin: only 4.5% of the population has purchased on the internet or paid bills online, with 6.1% of the population having a credit card (however, 18% have a mobile money account).
The UN Conference on Trade and Development 2018 B2C e-Commerce Index ranks Benin 138th out of 151 countries and 33rd in the African continent for its readiness and capacity to support online trade. B2B e-commerce is also almost non-existent.
Most payments are made by cash on delivery, however the government is planning to implement a national platform for electronic payments (PNPE) in order to connect financial institutions and mobile money providers.

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Latest Update: April 2024

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