It is not yet the boom everyone in the sector is rooting for, but the number and variety of ecommerce companies in Cameroon have gone from a handful at the turn of the decade to more than a dozen.
Growth has been driven by a combination of local ingenuity and the arrival of international players seeking a slice of a growing market.
Early players such as Kerawa and Sellam Quick introduced Cameroonians focused on connecting sellers and buyers with online classified advertising platforms.
But Wanda Shop changed the game in 2013, venturing beyond connecting buyers and sellers to offering its own goods and home or office deliveries, says Cadance Nkoth Bisseck, the country manager of Kaymu, one of the leaders in the sector.
As more Cameroonian get accustomed to selling and shopping online, international companies like Africa Internet Group and Casino Group moved in, widening the variety of ecommerce services.
From its classified advertising days, the marketplace is now awash with online retailers, hotel reservation services, real estate brokerages.
In March, 21-year-old Pavel Durrent Teugmo and two friends launched Liludo, a platform for vendors to display their products, interact with customers and even negotiate prices.
Liludo allows companies to display 100 products and has so far registered 60 companies, says Teugmo.
The growth recorded in the ecommerce sector is not without challenges.
Competition from bigger and more sophisticated sites such as Ebay, Amazon and Alibaba, low internet use, insecurity, the lack of third party infrastructure to deliver goods, and the lack of ICT infrastructure are holding back the sector, according to A54 Marketing Group.
In July and August, Sellam Quick ran a series of media outings to try to build trust in the sector.
“These products will be delivered at your homes, see them, verify their authenticity before you pay for them,” said Nfor Evaristus, resource manager at Sellam Quick.
In spite of the setbacks, the popularity of smart phones offers ecommerce companies a bright future.
“Our bet is that the ecommerce sector will continue to grow in Cameroon, and will drive deep changes in consumer usages and adjacent activities like mobile payments and postal services,” says Nkoth.