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E-Business in Nigeria (What is obtainable)
Business/Economy

E-Business in Nigeria (What is obtainable) 

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By Chidinma Prisca Elebe ([email protected])

The latest trend in commerce is the ability to do business online. Online business commonly known as e-commerce has revolutionized the way businesses are done in reality. Companies also now provide various options such as flexible payment options, ease of doing business through smart search and prompt consumer support and above all doorstep delivery across the globe.

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Since the pandemic, a lot has changed in the business world and e-commerce has been at its peak. The lockdown helped so many online businesses thrive beyond expectation and imagination. Take Netflix and Amazon as a case study; they had over 7% percent increases in revenue. And in recent times, a lot of businesses have joined this progressive development. People’s need for goods and services is a constant part of life and gone are the days of endless strolling on the aisles of supermarkets searching for items you need as the same goal can be achieved just by scrolling through website pages and online stores.

The pandemic also ushered in the time of the freelancers- individuals that provide their services to clients remotely. All these were made possible through the automated and flexible payment options provided by these platforms.

Companies like Amazon, Alibaba and Walmart have dominated a large chunk of the e-commerce space especially as they are mostly the pioneers of this innovation.

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Several businesses can be done online but basically in three major forms; these are

Business to Business (B2B): This model describes business transactions between two businesses. This can be observed between a manufacturer and a wholesaler;

(b.) Business to Consumer (B2C): This happens when a business has a direct transaction with individuals/ consumers. Jumia and Netflix are good examples of this.

(c.) Consumer to Consumer (C2C): This can be seen on platforms like Jiji and Ebay where consumers transact with other consumers to provide a service.

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E-commerce has provided business growth and a lot of opportunities for the society in general. The use of websites, automated tools and payment options have provided opportunities for our tech companies. UI/UX designers, front end and back end developers can offer their services via e-commerce. E-commerce also stimulated growth in other sectors such as packaging, branding and logistics.

In Nigeria, companies like Jumia and Konga pioneered the online business ushering in a new market that has thrived over the years. Jumia has grown to be among the biggest companies offering online transactions. Jumia was founded in 2012 and in 2016, Jumia was valued at a whooping sum of 1 billion US dollars and this unprecedented growth was achieved by providing online solutions to millions of Africans.

Presently, Nigerians have adopted e-commerce for almost everything for both returning and potential customers. Nigerians can be resourceful when it comes to things like this. People now use their social media accounts to promote and represent their brands. Below are some practices commonly observed in Nigerian e-commerce/online space.

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‘WHAT YOU ORDERED vs. WHAT YOU GOT’

This is a colloquialism among Nigerians and has become the subject of various memes, jokes and online banters. It is now common practice to go to an e-commerce website or social media posts of various service providers including dropshippers , choose a particular item only to be supplied an inferior, dud or entirely different thing from what you ordered. Most online vendors are guilty of this practice, making it difficult for genuine suppliers out there to render services or provide goods.

The quest to make quick cash without considering sustainability and customer satisfaction has overshadowed the reasoning of many online vendors. People steal pictures of high quality items and display on their websites/accounts but will supply a dud. Some vendors intentionally mislead people just to get traffic on their pages while also swindling consumers of their hard earned money.

Service providers are not left out as some of them provide shoddy services because why would anyone claim to be a professional, charge a high rate in that regard and show gross incompetence when their acclaimed services are requested by clients?

EXORBITANT PRICES 

Some online stores/platforms and dropshippers always try to sell their wares at an unreasonably high price. Take some thrift business as an example; some can sell a piece of clothing purchased less than a thousand naira for as high as 6000 naira online to unsuspecting customers or should we term them victims? Mind you, this person may have no physical shop or pay utility bills for this business but may likely charge higher than someone with a walk-in store. This is rather a rip off than being smart in your business. Hair and clothing vendors take the hat for this as midrange (synthetic, blends, lower grade) wigs can be sold for the same price as high quality hairs.

THE PROMO/ SALES SCAM 

These unending promos and discount sales; “50/70% off, valentine sale, mother’s day sales, Easter promo, Christmas promo” have become the new cash cow for most online vendors and it seems to attract many unsuspecting individuals who think that they are buying something at a cheaper rate than what the actual price would have been without knowing that there was no actual reduction in the prices and there is also a possibility that the displayed prices are actually even higher than usual. Except if you know the previous price of a good or service, you cannot really determine if there was a price slash or not.

INFLUENCERS AND CLASSISM

Online business has degenerated into classism and ostentatious display of wealth. Popular faces and influencers have joined in promoting various brands making it look like you are at a loss if you are not using their products or buying from them even when these products are possibly overpriced or substandard. The mind is amazing because what they do is to continuously flash these products and services to their followers, fans and admirers who fall prey to their antics and purchase products they do not need or that can be a potential harm to them. A celebrity once claimed that she sells pap that aids in weight lose and others have also advertised one for weight gain. Then there’s the need to use the “three cameras phone” and look smug as android phones have become an avenue to “broke shame” people who do not have an iOS device. This goes on to show how uninformed many people have become because there are android devices highly priced over some iphone devices.

FRAUDSTERS, E-HOOK UP AND KILLERS

Fraudsters have infiltrated e-business platforms as an avenue to carry out their abominable crimes by prying on vendors, logistic companies and consumers to either defraud them of their goods and services or their money.

Some ‘vendors’ never supply the products/services paid for while some ‘customers’ present fake evidence of payment. Back in the day when online businesses were still picking up, some e-businesses offered payment on delivery options in order to gain the trust of their potential clients and garner a customer base until goods got stolen, people started to disappear and got killed. A couple once ordered for an iphone and ended up murdering the messenger/delivery person. Recently, a dropshipper died in a hotel where she went to deliver her wares though the cause of her death remains sketchy and presumptive. These heinous crimes are cause for concern which has grossly affected online business dealings between consumers and vendors. Some vendors also capitalize on payment before delivery to send out inferior goods to their customers.

On e-hook up, a chat leaked online some time ago with claims of a supposed cake vendor who was offering delivery options which could include spending the night with her supposed client if he would want her to stay the night and several other stories in that regard.

E-commerce has come to stay in Nigeria and if done well with little to no hassles, a hitch free business environment will be created. People need to desist from the character of trying to cheat people out of their hard earned money every time.

Businesses should be solidly built on transparency, fidelity and quality. E-commerce presents an exciting future for us all and we should take advantage of this. For now, as we are yet to get there, let us tread and trade carefully and also patronize only trusted and confirmed vendors for goods and services.

Disclaimer

Contents provided and/or opinions expressed here do not reflect the opinions of The Pacesetter Frontier Magazine or any employee thereof.


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