Online shopping is booming on the African continent, with increased internet connectivity making it possible for more people to engage with ecommerce platforms. As such it’s unsurprising to see DHL expand its operations in the region, with the company’s Africa eShop having recently added 13 new countries to the platform.

13 to be more precise, which brings the grand total to 34 at the time of writing.

With the Africa eShop having already been available in larger markets like South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Botswana, now DHL has added other significant countries such as Angola, Namibia, Ethiopia, Lesotho and Mali.

Interestingly though DHL is still not making the Africa eShop available in many countries on the Northern most part of the continent like Egypt, Morocco and Algeria, as well as those suffering from political instability like Libya, Somalia and Zimbabwe.

As for the platform itself, it allows users to shop on 200-plus sites with operations traditionally reserved for those in the United States and UK, with one of the biggest names on the list being Amazon. For those residing in South Africa this has not been much of an issue, but in other countries opens up access to a far wider range of offerings.

In order to get new consumers to sign up for, and use the ecommerce platform, DHL confirmed a launch deal.

“We (DHL) will be launching with a promo, buy any 5 items from over 100 retail partners and get a $20 flat shipping fee. This is DHL’s way of showing they are dominant in shipping and eCommerce in Africa,” the company confirmed in a statement to TechCrunch.

While that does sound enticing, when doing any online shopping at all, it’s always important to consider the added costs involved with such a purchase, as import duties can see the price of items rise significantly, depending on what it is. As such we always advise a bit of caution before going overboard with online purchases.

As for all 54 African countries, DHL has noted its intention of making the eShop available to all of them in coming years, especially as it looks to get the early track on Alibaba, which too has designs for the continent.

[Image – Claudio Schwarz | @purzlbaum on Unsplash]