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Challenges & Prospects of E-commerce in Nigeria, As Well As Top 10 E-commerce Websites

General information about Nigeria

Population: 195,875,237

Number of Internet Users: 86,219,965

Internet Penetration: 46.10%

Mobile Phone Users: 28,381,000

Mobile Phone Penetration: 14.80%

Language Spoken: English

The top 3 products/product categories for Nigerian online buyers include services, books and electronics.

The top 3 payment methods for digital purchases include cash, debit card and mobile payment.

Nigeria’s economy is gradually becoming cashless, as digital payment and electronic banking are implemented in phases across 27 states of the federation, which began in Lagos as a pilot in 2012. At present, most transactions are conducted electronically, while the remaining states continue to deal with cash (Naira, the Nigerian currency), with October 1, 2017 as the proposed switch over date. The cashless policy has resulted in increasing demand for ATM services deployed in major cities and commercial centers across Nigeria, such as Lagos, Port Harcourt, Enugu, Onitsha, Ibadan, Kaduna, Kano, and Calabar, to facilitate electronic banking and financial services.

Top 10 most reliable e-commerce websites in Nigeria

1. Jumia Nigeria

Jumia is one of the most popular e-commerce websites in Nigeria. Jumia Nigeria, established in May 2012, is Nigeria’s version of amazon.com. The popularity of Jumia Nigeria has gone far beyond the shores of this continent and was rated by Amazon’s Alexa as the most visited e-commerce website in Nigeria.

2. Konga

Nigeria’s online Megastore was “borne out of the desire to deliver with speed and precision so that you would never have to worry about accessing your needs and wants at your convenience.” It owns large warehouses stocked up with goods and strategically located in Key cities such as Lagos, the capital Abuja, and Port Harcourt to ensure swift and efficient delivery. Konga also allows small businesses with varieties of products to sell and showcase on their website.

3. DealDey

Launched in March 2011, DealDey features a daily deal on the best things to do, see, eat, and buy in Nigeria. DealDey is an easy and fun way to get fantastic deals on great experiences. DealDey supports local businesses and in return, they support consumers with good savings!

The company’s philosophy is simple: to help great businesses be found by consumers who are looking for a great deal. This philosophy is what makes DealDey a great destination for small business owners looking to sell their products online.

4. PayPorte

Launched in September 2014, PayPorte has since thrived to ensure it caters to a wide demographic that ranges from the youths and to the young urban professionals. The online e-commerce giant has tagged itself as Nigeria’s preferred online retail store.

PayPorte also partners with local businesses by showcasing their goods on its platform to a wider audience, these businesses access to customers, great logistics coverage and the opportunity to excel in business.

5. VConnect Nigeria

VConnect was popularly known as Nigeria’s business listing website until recently when the website launched an open marketplace for its business to showcase their goods and services.

Just like any other e-commerce website in Nigeria, VConnect provides its users with many other services such as logistics and payment facilitation.

6. Kara.

Kara.com.ng is one of the top online stores in Nigeria, visited by thousands of people on a daily basis, Kara.com.ng offers a massive collection of everything from Mobile Phones to Electrical and Power Supplies products at some of the best prices. Kara also features a marketplace that allows other business owners to sell their products on the platform.

7. Printivo Store.

Printivo is Nigeria’s most popular online print shop. Printivo is an online print provider that provides its customers with free templates created by designers across Nigeria.

Printivo Store is an online marketplace that allows designers and print providers to make money online by selling their prints and designs to customers all across the country. Unlike other e-commerce websites, Printivo store is a marketplace for print designs online.

8. OLX Nigeria.

Olx is an online site thought to be the next generation’s free online classifieds. It doesn’t follow the conventional online stores, instead offering an information filled environment for both buyers and sellers to interact and transact.

On OLX, sellers can design, display and post ads under the specified categories to which it belongs (a seller can place an Ad for a car under Automobiles category). The categorising of ads gives the online market a structured design making it faster to locate products of interest.

9. Gloo NG.

Gloo.ng started life in 2012 as BuyCommonThings.com, but rebranded the next year, and specialises in delivering affordable supermarket goods to the doorsteps of clients on a same-day basis.

Gloo.ng is more like an online supermarket for groceries. Gloo also partners with other small business to sell on the platform.

10. Jiji Nigeria.

Founded in 2014, Jiji.ng is fast-growing Nigerian free online classifieds with an advanced security system. Jiji provides a simple hassle-free solution to sell and buy almost anything.

As a Seller or business owner, you can post free classified ads of your products and services for free on the website and get maximum efficiency in terms of reach and profit.

Challenges of e-commerce in Nigeria

E-commerce is gaining popularity with the increasing number of people who are gaining internet access and are becoming IT literate, with the number of mobile phones surpassing the population of the country.

It is, however, not yet uhuru for e-commerce in Nigeria. Many people have not yet fully adopted the new purchasing technology as according to a research, out of 70 percent of respondents who know about e-commerce, only about 32 percent of them actually use it.

The most common online activities of Nigerians in percentage are browsing and searching, 74 per cent, selection of a product, 56 per cent, paying online, 15 per cent, paying offline, 82 per cent and online checking of results, 43 per cent.

These figures clearly show that although a huge percentage looked for information online, many of them are reluctant to pay online. The major reasons for this include lack of trust in online retailers, lack of adequate technological infrastructure and fear of inadequate online security of their data when making payments.

Trust has to be injected into the online banking and payment system in Nigeria for e-commerce to thrive. Nigeria, being a developing country, faces some obvious challenges when it comes to e-Commerce.

These include lack of proper infrastructure, taxation, security issues, privacy concerns, high cost of shipping goods to and from Nigeria, low penetration of credit cards usually required to shop online (debit cards are the common payment cards available in Nigeria), unreliable distribution and delivery processes, residual distrust of paying online in a society where cash is the king, etc. All these issues are generally common with E-Commerce in any other developing country, but it takes time and effort to build trust and make the most out of it.

Solutions & Prospects of e-commerce in Nigeria

Nigeria has a great potential for e-commerce, but the negative issues stated above need to be corrected for e-commerce to fully play a vital role in the business environment in Nigeria. Some of the recommendations to improve the acceptance of e-commerce in Nigeria include public awareness and making access to the internet much cheaper so that many more people will be able to afford it on their laptops and mobile phones.

E-commerce sites should also endeavour to use verifiable payment methods and use security certificates, (SSL certificates), for their pages to build customer’s trust. Big and small businesses should also make sites for customized products and services.

To further prevent online frauds, e-commerce sites should provide the customers with customized vouchers and generate exclusive codes, offer special discounts, tokens and coupons from time to time. These will attract and retain customers.

We can believe that that with these measures, the acceptance of e-commerce will grow in leaps and bounds in Nigeria.

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