Online retailers record more sales as consumers flood platforms
Consumers’ preference for a more convenient way of shopping appears to be driving many shoppers to online stores where they can boycott all the stress that comes with shopping and have their orders delivered right to their doorsteps.
This simplifies the shopping experience for them, especially in big cities in Nigeria like Lagos where huge traffic, difficulties with parking lots and long queues can make offline shopping tedious and time-consuming, creating more complications with shopping, BusinessDay investigations have revealed.
Online shopping is fast becoming a big trend in Nigeria with the steady rise in the number of internet users from 95.37million recorded by Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) in August 2015 to 97.21 million in September 2015.
According to a 2011 report by Euromonitor, Nigerians spend $6.3billion per year on clothing. A 2014 survey conducted by Philip consulting revealed that 38 percent of Nigerians prefer to buy products through the internet with the middle class consumers constituting 28 percent of the population being the biggest purchases online.
Contrary to the impression that consumers are patronising online shops because they offer cheaper prices when compared to physical stores, Uzo Mbonu, Managing Director, GSM Planet said this is far from true.
“People are moving online because that’s where the market is. Online is not cheaper, it actually more expensive. It’s the propaganda of the likes of Jumia and Konga and from all indications, people have bought into it.
“90% of my sales come from online orders; people hardly come to my office these days to shop and it’s annoying. Nigerians are lazy about going out. People shop online to beat Lagos holdups and reduce the stress of going to computer village, Tejuosho or Balogun market”, Mbonu told BusinessDay.
Gloria Iheanacho, CEO of Gloria Ventures, a dealer in office equipment and home appliances, attributes the excitement about online shopping to the ease that comes with the shopping.
“Shopping online is easier and more convenient, maybe cheaper especially for those who buy in bulk but the interesting thing about buying online is that it comes with no hassles. You can stay in the comfort of your room and place orders. I sell on Jumia, Konga and OLX and I can attest to that fact because my sales have increased so much recently”, Iheanacho said.
In response to consumers who receive goods different from what they ordered for, Iheanacho says, “We have a return policy and they can have their money back”
“Getting a different product from what you requested for is a human mistake and happens quite often but not in my shop because whenever I upload an item, I put the specifications and it’s so clear”, Mobnu, added.
BusinessDay findings show that while online retailers are smiling to the bank, retailers’ offline are experiencing tougher times.
“Business has been poor since last two months because of the increase in our prices and customers are complaining. For instance, wristwatch increased from N39, 000 to N54, 000 because of the high price of dollar in the market. Our sales have reduced by more than half since this year and it does not get better by the day”, said Blessing Imeh, Assistant Supervisor of Storm London, an accessories shop at Ikeja City mall, lamented.
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