Guinea - E-CommerceGuinea - ECommerce
Although there is limited internet connectivity available in Guinea, it is not yet a viable or feasible method for trade and promotion. Guinea has been connected to the submarine fiber optic cable off the coast since 2013 so as the internet penetration rate rises, it is expected that electronic commerce will increase commensurately in the future as access becomes easier and the costs decrease. The government signed a $238 million fiber optic backbone project that is currently installing 4,000 km of fiber optic cable throughout the country. The project is expected to be completed by 2018. The majority of households and businesses in Guinea have difficulty obtaining electricity and, consequently, do not have internet, although mobile internet access is ramping up quickly, especially through the use of “medium technology” phones capable of simple internet connections. Internet cafes do exist in some of the larger cities, but they are expensive for many Guinean consumers.
Guinea is a cash economy. A majority of Guinea’s commerce is informal and transactions are mostly completed with cash. At present, the banking systems cannot support e-commerce nor ensure the reliability or safety of transactions completed with credit or debit cards. Mobile money platforms are being rolled out aggressively by the mobile phone companies. Most monetary amounts are moved via a money transfer system, such as Western Union or MoneyGram. ATM machines exist in Conakry but are generally rare.
Popular eCommerce Sites
It is rare for Guineans to make purchases online as the vast majority of Guineans do not have credit cards and the unreliable nature of the Guinean postal service makes delivery of goods impossible to market.
Mobile money is a fast growing part of the Guinean economy. Most Guineans who use mobile banking use the “Orange Money” platform, a partnership between Guinea’s largest cell carrier Orange and Ecobank.
Digital Marketing has grown significantly in over the past two years, particularly over Facebook. Private companies are increasingly turning to Facebook to target Guineans with disposable incomes and government ministries have begun using Facebook as a platform to communicate with the general population.
Major Buying Holidays
Guinea is a Muslim country and major buying holidays follow the Islamic calendar. Eid-al-fitr and Tabaski are major gift-giving holidays. Christmas and New Year’s holidays are minor buying holidays as well.
Social Media is growing quickly as a standard means of interfacing with the internet and communicating. Facebook dominates the Guinean social media market. Twitter, Instagram, and other platforms have low penetration rates in Guinea.
Guinea eCommerce Industry Trade Development and Promotion eCommerce