E-COMMERCE TO REDEFINE THE RETAIL SECTOR IN 2015

Shopping in Nigeria has gotten a whole lot easier with the rise of e-commerce platforms. Browse websites to find everything from fashion to electronics and in as little as 48 hours you can have that product in your handsThat is the world of online shopping as we see it today.

The retail sector in Nigeria has continued to expand with sales increasing faster than real GDP. Growth is drivenby the continuous rise of the Nigerian population, increasing disposable income and the desire by many businessowners to modernize retailing. In the past few years click and mortar has consolidated with brick and mortar to contribute to Nigeria’s retail sector.

According to Evangeline Wiles Managing Director of Kaymu, “E-commerce is set to redefine the retail sector in 2015 and beyondE-commerce has advanced both at a local and global level. With high rates of internet and mobile broadband usage in Nigeria and the growing confidence of online shopping in the hearts of Nigerians, e-commerce will continue to play an important role in the growth of the retail sector”.

As Nigeria moves toward a cashless economy, the Minister of communications Technology, Dr Omobola Johnson has disclosed that Nigeria’s e-commerce market has a potential of $10 billion with about 300,000 orders made on a daily basis. Speaking further, she said e-commerce has attracted $200 million foreign investment till date with about 36 per cent of the country’s 170 million people connected online. She disclosed that the ‘’Nigerian e-commerce market has created over 12,000 jobs since 2012, expanding the infrastructure, warehousing, advertising and logistics services industry’’. Quoting  Mckinsey’s  “Lions Go Digital,’’ report  which predicts that the internet could contribute up to $300 billion to Africa’s GDP by 2025, up from an estimated 18 billion in 2013, Johnson stated that the ICT industry has a powerful effect on the sectors of the economy contributing a combined 2.56  per cent of added value.

In a report released by the Federal Ministry of Communication Technology, there is a tremendous growth in the area of internet usage, social media participation and e-commerce. The analytic study shows growth pattern from 2013 to 2014 with a major focus on mobile phone, internet usage and broadband penetration. The insights presented for e-commerce at the end of June 2014 revealed that 63 per cent of Nigerian internet users had bought at least one item online, 60 per cent of these buyers claimed to have used their mobile phones for these purchases.

The rate at which online businesses are springing up in Nigeria, along with the availability and accessibility of broadband internet can expand the boom in e-commerce and make Nigeria the hub of online business in the sub-Saharan Africa in 2015. 
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