Online stores in Nigeria [The business revolution]
Online stores in Nigeria are playing a key role in the revolution of businesses in the Nigerian community. As a matter of business, these online stores in Nigeria and other parts of Africa are threatening the future of offline, traditional and physical shops.
Big time threat!
Did I just say “threat”?
Yes! I wasn’t missing words. Let me ask you.
Have ever imagined Nigeria in the next 5, 10, or 20 years’ to come?
I’m talking about a Nigeria with more advanced technology especially the IT sector?
I mean a Nigeria where we will be talking of 80% or more internet accessibility.
Who will have all the time to suffer in a traffic hold up for 3 hours just to buy #2000 stuff, when you can order a product right from the comfort of your bed using just a PC or smartphone aided by an internet connection…?
Take some minutes to imagine and think about it, then you will have a window view of what is to come. Yes, particularly in the world of business.
If your view of the future is wise enough then you will affirm that when that time comes;
- Buying things offline will just be an option!
Most human beings love being served, and it’s indeed a weakness in which smart businessmen are taking advantage of. They know that you will prefer them delivering your orders right to your doorsteps than you going to the store yourself to buy stuffs.
Having known that, what they did was to build a unique selling proposition around that. They make you feel like a king!
What will then happen after that new great way of buying something?
Will you consider keeping it on or still buying things the old way?
The answer is obvious!
So buying things offline becomes just an option. Unlike now when majority of Nigerians prefer an offline store when buying things they need.
- Nobody will have all the time to visit a physical store anymore, why?
After all, the world is getting busier every day.
Apart of the feeling of being important, the e-commerce revolution came at the right time.
I mean a time when the world is as busy as never in history!
I am talking about this current time, the 21st century.
Now what am I trying to say here?
Will you like to take a drive to the stores yourself when you have tons of important things to do?
Of course you want or need that which you want to buy, but at the same time you are so busy with life every day.
You find yourself taking care of important issues day-in, day-out.
So which one is better between physically engaging in buying and selling your products or placing an order for it online and get it delivered right at your home?
The answer is clear!
Online stores in Nigeria have been around for a while (at least 6-7years now), but its popularity got grounded with the arrival of smart guys like the renowned Jumia and Konga.
These entrepreneurs came in with such an innovation which made a lot of people think that they were the first ecommerce companies in the country.
Personally I also use to thing that Jumia and Konga where the first e-commerce company in Nigeria, until few days ago when I saw a huge banner on Konga website that reads “Celebrating four years”
I was surprised!
In my findings I discovered that konga started just few months after Jumia in the same year.
I also found out that there is an e-commerce company that has been in existence since 2009…
You can see that the ecommerce game started longer than you may think or know.
Now after few years, there are more than a hundred of e-commerce businesses in Nigeria. The number is still counting, with different innovations and solutions in focus, and delivered through online stores in Nigeria.
So you can see how online stores in Nigeria are over-taking their competitors (the offline guys).
No wonder the richest man in the world Bill Gates was quoted saying “If your business is not on the Internet, then your business will be out of business.”
If you are thinking of building a website for your business or just any step that involves taking your business to the internet, you are thinking right!
And if you are tired of the stress of going to the super market all the time to buy what you want then you are not alone.
In fact, it’s only natural that you love getting things done faster and easier, with less hassle.
In this tutorial we are going to take a brief tour to the top 10 online stores in Nigeria.
Like I said earlier, there are now hundreds of online stores in Nigeria but the ones I will be listing below are the top players, those that are leading and the most renowned.
Another reason for listing just 10 is because most other online stores are just re-iterating or repeating the business models and patterns of those who came first in the ecommerce market scene.
More to that these online stores in Nigeria have gain trust from their customers and from Nigerian community generally.
You will get to learn what each of the online stores specializes in doing and selling, alongside some of the strategies;
This is going to help you in two ways;
- To guide you on where to get a vast array of exactly what you want to buy without wasting your time in an online store that is focused on selling what you don’t need or want.
- To help you to discern the opportunities left out there and a gap which you can fill if you intend to start your own online stores in Nigeria.
Before that, here is a question…
What is an online store?
Let us make things simple and straight.
An online store is a Shop or Store on the internet.
It’s just an online representation of an offline shop, store or mall where buying and selling activities including searching for products and payments have been automated and happens easier and faster.
Limitations of online stores in Nigeria (disadvantages).
There are certain limitations to online stores in Nigeria. These are just to inform you about what you will need when buying things online and not to discourage you.
The three major limitations or disadvantages include the following;
- Internet connection.
This is probably the most common problem. Nigeria’s internet usage is said to be just about 28%, though relatively better than some other African countries.
The stores or shops are online, and so you need an internet connection (to be online) in order to buy or sell anything!
- Bank Account.
That’s another limitation of online stores in Nigeria.
Not all Nigerians have bank account. You need a bank account to have a debit card (ATM card).
And online payments are carried out using the debit cards issued by various banks in Nigeria or outside Nigeria.
So you can see that NOT having a bank account is another problem.
- Lack of Information and Awareness.
So many Nigerians are yet to know this new and modern way of business and the reason is simply lack of information. A lot of people (particularly rural settlers) are yet to be informed and educated about online stores and how to use/take good advantage of them.
Lack of information results in unawareness and that is indeed a problem.
Why online store (advantages)?
An online store is;
- Faster (saves time).
- Safer (cashless transactions, and no physical evolvement).
- Easier (no stress).
- Convenient (no hassle).
- Fun (just like a tour)
- Newer and better (it’s the world’s trend).
- Having no middlemen (whole sellers are retailers as well).
- Wider in reach (all you need is a pc or internet connection for any location in Nigeria).
The list of advantages is almost endless and obviously the advantages are more than the disadvantages.
The top 10 online stores in Nigeria [They are making Nigeria proud]
Now let’s take a short tour to 10 leading online stores out of the many in Nigeria. I am going to be brief and precise to the main points I want you to note about each of these companies.
The following list is not based on any formal ranking by any agency of any kind. Probably your favorite online store will not be mentioned in the list below, that doesn’t mean they aren’t good.
It only means that there is more you need to know as we all learn every day, it always smarter to have more options and answers per question and per problem.
Two common things that are found with almost all online stores in Nigeria are;
- Nationwide delivery.
- Payment option. Almost all of them accept and support debit card payment option from both Nigeria’s local debit card and International cards.
So for that, I am not going to be mentioning these two (plus other similarities that have escaped my memory for NOW), as we discuss down the list.
Let us drill the list….
Are you ready?
Here we go!
Jumia was founded in the year 2012 by a team of entrepreneurs in Lagos. The founders include Tunde Kehinde, Raphael Afaedor, Jeremy Hodara, Sacha Poignonnec, and Leonard Stiegeler.
Jumia Retails a wide range of products from fashion, electronics, home appliances and many more.
They have warehouses in 9 other African countries including Egypt, Kenya, and Ghana etc. and also in the UK. They employ about 1800 employees!
The product category of jumia includes;
- Phones and tablets.
- Home and office.
- Camera and electronics.
- Games and consoles.
- Watches and sun glasses etc.
There are more categories than the above listed, you can visit their website here.
A major strength of jumia is in their international scope, and again you can find almost anything you want to buy with jumia.
Konga was founded by Sim Shagaya in Ikeja-Lagos, still in 2012 few months after jumia sparked off.
Like Jumia, Konga offers a wide range of different products with high quality. They sell mobile phones, laptops, clothes, and almost anything you might need to buy.
The category of their products is almost the same as that of jumia.
Konga has a lot of independent retailers that sell products under them, which is a great competitive advantage. They offer an opportunity for other offline merchants to showcase their products online.
Another good thing about Konga is the KongaPay and KongaWallet, a payment option that saves you less price than the initial cost of a product.
Jiji is an online market place with thousands of stores than just a single store!
Jiji is the largest online market place in Nigeria. They started in the year 2014 at Lagos, they currently have 50 employees.
On jiji you and I can register as members (by registering, you become an individual online shop owner at the jiji market). You can then post a free advert by uploading the product’s picture and adding a little more details like the product or service’s description, your contact and so on.
Read this from the about page of jiji “As a Seller you can:
- Post free Ads with images;
- Update, move your ad to Top position to get maximum efficiency from selling;
- Get calls and messages only from real people, because we require every user to register.
As a Buyer you can:
- Buy anything, simply call or send message to the Seller and agree purchase with Sellers directly;
- Write a review after a deal is closed.
One of the major unique things about jiji is that it’s a market for both products and services. These products and services are offered by real people and unlike other online stores, on jiji you find second-hand products at a cheap rate.
Furthermore, on jiji you can find big things like a plot of land, a house many more things which you cannot find on any other online stores in Nigeria.
On the jiji website’s services section you will find things like Dj services, Training & course, Fitness trainers and just about any service.
If you are looking forward to buy something too wired, too small or too big to be found online, I recommend jiji. The same thing goes for selling, no matter what is it you want to sell there is always a place for it and a lot of people looking for that thing on jiji.
Kara is an online store in Nigeria that focuses on selling a wide and full range of electronics and home appliances.
Kara is probably the best place to buy your electric generators, television sets, Kitchen appliances and the likes of it. You can also register for membership and sell your products through the kara online platform.
Slot is well known for their vast availability of mobile devices, that is what they specialize in selling.
If you are looking for mobile phones, iphones and ipads of any brand, any size, and of any price, then slot is the best place you should go to.
One interesting thing about slot is that you can place your order with them via phone call.
Dealdey came into the scene of online stores in Nigeria in March 2011. These guys are not just popular because they came earlier than the two giants (Konga and jumia) but they are well known for keeping their promises on exclusive discount offers.
If you are looking for very cheap and affordable products, then dealdey is the best place I will recommend for you. Their discounts are as fair as 80-90% discount upon some products.
On mystore, you can buy items online for your loved ones or for just anybody you wish and send it to their address through the the company’s delivery service.
At mystore you will find products or items that are especially for birthday, marriage, graduation, wedding anniversary gifts! It’s simply a world of gifts, you find anything related to gifts and presents on mystore!
Coliseum is one of the unique online stores in Nigeria that are niche focused. Coliseum was created with the lovers of fashion in mind; they strictly concentrate on fashions.
If you like fashions a lot, this is your home! They sell cloths for adults and kids, jewelries, shoes, wrist watches, all in full range.
Buyright sell products that go beyond small consumables. They sell large items like refrigerators, generators, washing machines, solar panels and inverters.
Buyright is less of small stuffs and more of big and bulky items. Note: They are focused more on electrical/electronic devices.
Yudala is this unique online shopping store that is doing more than just sell things to customers.
One interesting thing I found about them is that, this company has an ambition of employing 50,000 Nigerians in 3 years and they also have a target of having about 512 shops all over Nigeria in 3 years too. I just love this about them.
It tells me that they are concerned about job creation and reaching out to even rural communities, and I personally find that to be wonderful.
On yudala you find products more of phones and electronics but they sell other things too…
They currently have 15 stores across the country.
They have 4 stores in Lagos, 2 in Abuja, 2 in Enugu while Port Harcourt , Owerri, Uyo, Warri, Asaba, Ibadan and Kano have 1 store each.
If you where trying to know the right place for the right thing to buy, then you got your answers!
Just like i said earlier in this article, the list of online stores in Nigeria which i gave above should guide you on where to get what you want. If your concern is where to get second hand products, then you now know where to. If you want to find your way to a place where things are very cheap and affordable, then should know where to head to by this time, etc.
What if you want to start your own online store in Nigeria?
One of the purpose conveyed in the list a gave you was to show you the strength and weaknesses of those online stores or eCommerce companies. The reason is that when you get to know what these guys are good at and where they are lacking, then a new world of opportunity will be unveiled before you, from which you can build your ecomerce business on.
Obviously you noticed the strenghts and competative advantages of each of the online stores i mentioned, but you might still be asking me why i was mute about their weaknesses!
Well, i did not mention them on purpose, i was delibrate about it because i want you to find it out!
That’s your own assignment. If you could see their strengths then believe me, you can see their weaknesses.
Your ability to see what they are lacking, gives you a great competative advantage over them when starting your own online store in Nigeria or any part of africa.
Go out NOW and make things happen!