Nigeria’s upper and middle classes are growing. Thus, there is a strong appetite for foreign products such as Juicy Couture tracksuits, Ralph Lauren shirts and Pulsar. Because Amazon and E-Bay do not operate in Nigeria, many Nigerians have for a long time, relied on people going abroad and coming back with classy jewelry, clothes, electronics and other items. This has changed with the introduction of homegrown solutions for the likes of Amazon. Online shopping in Nigeria is emerging and growing rapidly.
Highly Promising Sector
Ecommerce is one of the most promising sectors in Nigeria. It is attracting foreign investors including international venture capital firms like Helios, Rocket Internet and Echo VC partners. Rocket Internet has invested heavily in Jumia while Mall for Africa has received Helios funding. International investors are also funding konga.Com.Local Nigerian investors are also investing in firms that deal with online shopping in Nigeria. Spark.ng is a local company providing mentorship and funding to many Nigerian internet startups.Internet retailers in Nigeria are spending huge. They have huge advertising budgets. It is common to see OLX and Jumia advertisements on Nigerian media.
Different Business Models
Online shopping in Nigeria is taking many forms. There are coupon selling sites, price comparison sites, offline retailers with web presence, fully-fledged online stores and websites that make it easy for Nigerians to place orders in American ecommerce sites such as Amazon and E-Bay.A good number of the retailers including Jumia, Kaymu and Konga, are fully-fledged online stores. They sell only online and have no physical stores.Some Nigerian offline retailers have capitalized on the growth of Nigerian ecommerce by venturing online. This includes Slotlimited.Com. Slot sales phones, computers and laptops in the offline world. This company has a number of offline stores.
OLX Nigeria is dominating the free classified ads niche. It allows buyers to place free product advertisements. Buyers do not buy from the site but from individual sellers. Therefore, a buyer has to contact and buy from an unknown seller.The business model of Mall for Africa is a unique one. It is based on facilitating Nigerians to buy from leading American and British ecommerce sites. With this company, Nigerians can purchase from more than 100 international retailers in an affordable and secure manner.
Nigeria’s Ecommerce Giants
Leading the pack in online shopping in Nigeria are Jumia, Konga.Com, Mall for Africa, Taafoo.Com, Buyam and Slotlimited.Com. The top players in Nigeria’s ecommerce space are offering customers excellent service and unique user experiences. The biggest market players have beautiful and highly functional websites. They also deliver products on time.Nigeria’s ecommerce giants are majoring on low prices, quality products and fast service. They are also building strong social media communities with some having more than 400,000 Facebook fans and thousands of twitter followers.
There are technological and logistical challenges facing online shopping in Nigeria. Logistics network is poor in this country. Payments are very manual.The good news is that these problems represent opportunities. People that can solve these problems stand to create big ecommerce companies out of the problems.Nigeria is one of the fastest growing countries in the world. There are more than 48.1 million active internet subscriptions in Nigeria. These present a huge market for ecommerce. Online shopping in Nigeria is still young, having emerged in 2012. Thus, there is room for growth.