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Africa’s E-Commerce Market; The Nigerian Story So Far

Africa’s E-Commerce Market; The Nigerian Story So Far

The likes of Amazon and Ali Baba took an early step in the world of online buying and selling, known as E-Commerce and as such can be referred to as Pioneers in the field. In Europe, America and Asia it has become of the most popular ways of purchasing goods as it affords the ordinary man the opportunity to sit at home and search for products or simply make purchase and have the items delivered to you at home. In Africa however the situation was different, until a decade ago, the idea of searching for product online, either on classified ads site or online shops was virtually non-existent. Today the situation is however different as the continent is gradually coming to terms with the new way of doing things. In fact most young people in Africa today prefer usually resort to buying and selling online as it saves cost and saves time. Imagine having to walk from one shop to another to ask for the price of a Samsung Galaxy home when you can simply visit popular classified ads site and perform same task? A t the heart of this fast growing PHENOMENON in Africa is Nigeria. On the African continent it is safe to say Nigeria has become the pioneer in this newly discovered field with companies like taluja, jiji, olist and Jumia leading the way. Nigeria’s situation and fast growth of e-commerce businesses has been hugely aided by the country’s huge population. According to Nigeria’s 2019 population statistics, the West African country is home to some 201 million people making it the most populated country on the entire continent. Of this 201 million people, it is estimated that roughly 70 million of them have access to the internet or use the internet on a regular basis which mean any online business in country would be exposed to 70million Nigerians who are online.

Make no mistake, the Nigerian e-commerce market is no easy battle ground, the failure stories far more outnumber the success stories. Over the last ten years more than ten e-commerce businesses have folded up and said good bye because things didn’t go well. The competition is tough, the resource needed to survive, especially at the early stage when you have to invest without making returns is no child’s play and the skillset needed to execute your vision sometimes becomes a major hurdle. It takes years of research and planning before attempting to venture into the field and even with that success is not guaranteed.

In terms of items, the Nigerian e-commerce is dominated by electronics, ranging from mobile phones to laptops to Digital Television and more. Sale and rental of apartment comes in second, followed by sale of vehicles, tricycles and motorcycles.

The market is however not without its challenges just like any sector. Over the last few years, the number of fraudsters on these platforms especially classified ads sites have increased, causing a lot of complains among Nigerians. This has led to a number of classified ad businesses like taluja, Jiji among others setting up entire departments and units to fight this worrying trend, even though at a great cost. This has seen results as the number of reported fraudulent activities on these platforms have witnessed significant reduction in the last few years.

While the African e-commerce market is statistically nowhere near the European, American and Asian market in terms of online buying and selling numbers, it is projected to grow at a fast pace and reach 39.5% user penetration by 2025 and Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country is leading this market revolution

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