African consumers are informed, selective and desire good value when it comes to making purchases.
As Africa becomes a point of focus for many international brands, more studies are focusing on the purchasing habits of the continent’s growing consumer class. A new Boston Consulting Group report, “Understanding Consumers in the ‘Many Africas,’” includes results from a survey of 10,000 urban consumers in eight countries. BCG finds that African consumers are informed, selective and desire good value when it comes to making purchases, with 70 percent saying they know a lot about the products they buy, compared with a global average of 57 percent.
In line with a predilection toward quality, 71 percent of African consumers say that some products are just too important to swap for cheaper alternatives or to cut back on—in mature markets, an average of only 60 percent say the same. BCG found that African shoppers focus their spending on key product categories that matter most to them. Nearly three-quarters report saving and cutting back on spending in other areas to allow them to pay more for products that are important to them, such as clothing, health care and baby products.
As the purchasing power of African consumers expands, they will be seeking quality and value, and doing their homework to make sure they get it. Especially in markets like Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria, marketers will need to carefully convey the value their products can offer.