Describes how widely e-Commerce is used, the primary sectors that sell through e-commerce, and how much product/service in each sector is sold through e-commerce versus brick-and-mortar retail. Includes what a company needs to know to take advantage of e-commerce in the local market and , reputable, prominent B2B websites.
Last Published: 3/29/2019

E-commerce or digital marketing platforms are underdeveloped in Liberia due to the limited information communication technology (ICT) infrastructure.  There is currently no online business platform in the country.  Mobile telecommunication is the most ubiquitous form of communication and has experienced successful penetration in the country in recent years, due partly to relatively low promotional prices offered for mobile phones by the GSM companies.  By contrast, internet has not been as fast to penetrate the Liberian market, but its usage is gaining momentum mainly in urban areas.  According to the Liberia Telecommunication Authority (LTA), mobile penetration stands at approximately 75 percent while Internet penetration is at 20 percent. However, internet services are available through various service providers and the two active mobile networks using GPRS, EDGE, and WiMAX technology. 

Although Liberia is laying some fiber optic cable, most internet connections are still made through VSAT connections, and are costly and unreliable.  As most Liberians do not have access to the internet, the use of credit cards is extremely limited, which makes online shopping impractical.  Only two or three commercial banks offer Visa electron and debit cards to their customers and provide access to automatic teller machine (ATM) and point of sale (POS) terminals.  The Visa electron and debit cards can be used for payment of goods and services (via POS) at some commercial facilities, mostly large hotels and a few supermarkets.  These electronic payment cards, which can be used on a 24-hour basis, cannot be used to purchase goods and services online.  Mobile money services are increasingly available although mostly in Liberian dollars.  The most popular social media platform is Facebook, and exchanging photos and videos through Instagram is also gaining popularity, particularly among college students.        

Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://export.gov/usoffices.



Liberia eCommerce Industry Trade Development and Promotion eCommerce