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Why eCommerce Remains Largely Traditional in Nigeria

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Despite the growing appeal of e-commerce, available data shows that the shopping behavior of majority of Nigerians is still largely traditional – with many preferring to see, touch or experience the product in action before making the buying decision.

In this piece, Yudala – Nigeria’s leading online and offline retail chain – dissects the e-commerce revolution and why most Nigerians remain slow in changing their traditional shopping habits.

E-commerce has become a thriving global industry. A recent report released by the Oxford Business Group revealed that retail sales hit a whopping $22b figure globally in 2016, with online shopping figures accounting for a major part of this outlay.

In advanced climes where access to the internet and of course, literacy levels stand at appreciable levels, e-commerce has become a lifestyle for many.

Interestingly, global retail sales, of which e-commerce makes up a major part, is projected to rise further to an estimated 27 trillion dollars by 2020.

Nigeria has also been bitten by the e-commerce bug. This has been made possible by the proliferation of online stores all competing for the attention of shoppers, many of whom are eager to jump on the ease and convenience of the e-commerce train.

Nevertheless, e-commerce is still at the rudimentary stage in Nigeria as the pace of adoption and acceptance is decidedly slow.

Despite the huge strides recorded in the Nigerian e-commerce landscape – especially with the massive awareness for globally celebrated shopping festivals such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, among others – the average Nigerian is still an unrepentant traditional shopper.

In spite of the massive hype and growing status of e-commerce in Nigeria, you are better off convincing the average Nigerian to make the final buying decision when you can provide him or her with an opportunity to ‘experience’ the product before parting with hard-earned money.

This often involves visiting a physical or brick-and-mortar store location to interact with sales attendants and getting a chance to see a demonstration of the item before the sale is closed.

This traditional shopping behaviour goes a long way to justify the unique Yudala model of combining an online store with physical offline stores located nationwide. Cases abound of most walk-in customers actually admitting to having checked out a particular product online but still preferred to physically visit the store to see the product before purchase.

A few factors are responsible for this largely traditional approach to the e-commerce revolution in Nigeria:

Trust remains a major issue: Many Nigerians live in constant dread of online fraud and will do anything to avoid using their debit card to process payments electronically.

According to data from the Nigerian Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) the year 2014 saw 1,461 reported cases of electronic or e-fraud, with actual losses grossing N6.216 billion.

In 2015, about 946 attempted e-fraud cases were also recorded by banks, Other Financial Institutions (OFIs) and Mobile Payment Operators (MPOs), resulting in an estimated loss of N5 billion.

Recently, the Hon. Minister of Communications, Barr. Adebayo Shittu indicated that about N78 billion is lost yearly in Nigeria to all forms of cybercriminal activities. This reality has stunted the growth of e-commerce in Nigeria.

Internet access is elusive for many: It is an open secret that e-commerce is driven by access to the internet. However, internet access for many in this part of the world is an expensive venture. Worse still, the number of internet users seems to be declining.

Going by the most recent statistics released by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the number of internet subscribers in Nigeria’s telecommunications networks declined to 91, 274,446 in January 2017.

According to the figures released, internet users dropped to 91,274,446 in January as against 91,880.032 users recorded in December 2016, showing a decline of 605,586.

This is one of the major reasons why the average shopper remains seemingly stuck in his largely traditional shopping ways.

Unsavoury experiences from delivered orders: The e-commerce experience in Nigeria has been stalled by the action of some online retailers who end up disappointing the customer with the delivery of items different or inferior in quality from the one seen or ordered online.

In such a case, the customer has to bear the inconvenience of having to either navigate the thorny process of seeking a refund or waiting an extra lengthy number of days to get the right item. This is why ensuring that “What you see is what you get” remains a unique selling point in the e-commerce market.

Millions remain underserved or unreached in the hinterlands: A recent report revealed that the Nigerian e-commerce industry recorded a handsome $1.9b figure in 2016 and the figure is expected to reach an estimated $3.9b in 2020.

However, e-commerce in Nigeria remains a predominantly urban phenomenon. For many in the hinterlands and rural communities hobbled by the absence of the most basic infrastructure, e-commerce will remain an abstract concept for a long time. To reach these ones, citing a physical store not too far from their location remains the best bet.

Seeing and touching sells quicker than just seeing: Ever wondered why many shoppers with access to the internet still end up carrying out most of their e-commerce purchases in physical stores?

For many Nigerians, seeing and being able to touch the item beats just being able to see it on the screen of a mobile phone or laptop. Majority still want to see, touch, feel and/or experience a product before they part with their money.

Nothing can replace the plain old physical contact: Commerce in Nigeria originated from a traditional stand-point. Nothing feels better than haggling with a seller face-to-face and eventually securing a bargain.

The glint in the eyes of the buyer and renewed spring in the steps are a sight to behold. For now, at least, e-commerce will struggle to completely wipe away this culturally-ingrained shopping behaviour.


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Join Inlaks Live TechTalk Edition on Hyosung’s Revolutionary MV 100 ATM Model

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Inlaks, the leading Information Technology Systems Integrator specialised in the deployment of highly scalable ICT Infrastructure solutions, will on Monday September 28, deploy the second edition of its virtual thought leadership segment called “TechTalk”.

Techtalk which was formerly a pre-recorded segment hosted on the organisations YouTube channel has now transitioned into a live virtual event across Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The virtual edition kicked off in August 2020 with a segment on Financial Crime Mitigation, honing in on the superiority of Temenos Financial Crime Mitigation Solution with Emmanuel Orororo, Sales Manager, Financial Business, Inlaks.

The 2nd edition of Tech Talk promises to offer the same measure of insights as it dives into the world of Automated Teller Machines (ATM) with a focus on MoniValue 100, a revolutionary ATM solution by Hyosung TNS. The MoniValue 100 is especially adapted to the present times as it is a cardless, contactless and changeless solution.

Join this virtual event live by logging on to any of the social media pages below on Monday, 28th September 2020. YouTube: Inlaks, Facebook: InlaksNg, Twitter: Inlaks, Instagram: InlaksNg

Inlaks is a leading system integrator in Sub-Saharan Africa. The company partners with leading OEMs in the technology industry to provide world-class information technology solutions that exceed the needs of its customers.

Over the years, Inlaks has built a reputation as the foremost ICT and Infrastructure Solutions Provider, helping customers effectively seize new market and service opportunities.

With an impressive customer base that includes six Central Banks in West Africa, 18 of the 24 banks in Nigeria and other major customers in the West African region, Inlaks has become the dominant Information Technology Company in Africa.

Inlaks’ customers cut across various segments including Banking, Telecommunication, Oil/Gas, Power, Utilities and the Distribution sectors of the economy. For more information, please visit www.inlaks.com


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Millions of Cyber Attacks Launched on Nigeria, Others- Reports

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There were 3.8 million malware attacks and 16.8 million Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUA) detections over a 7-month period in Nigeria, according to Kaspersky security solutions.

Millions of Cyber Attacks Launched on Nigeria, Others- Reports

Elsewhere in South Africa, there were almost 10 million malware attacks and a staggering 43 million PUA detections, showing the growing desperation of the attacks.

The company reported on 28 million malware attacks in 2020 and 102 million detections of potentially unwanted programs (pornware, adware etc.) accounted for by the beginning of August 2020.

These numbers show that it’s not only the malware that attacks users but also the “grey zone” programmes that grow in popularity and disturb their experiences, while users might not even know it is there.

Potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) are programmes that are usually not considered to be malicious by themselves.

However, they are generally influencing user experience in a negative way. For instance, adware fills user device with ads; aggressive monetising software propagates unrequested paid offers; downloaders may download even more various applications on the device, sometimes malicious ones.

calculating interim results of threat landscape activity in African countries, Kaspersky researchers noticed that PUAs attack users almost four times more often than traditional malware.

They also eventually reach more users: for instance, while in South Africa, the malware would attack 415,000 users in 7-months of 2020, the figure for PUA would be 736,000.

“The reason why ‘grey zone’ software is growing in popularity is that it is harder to notice at first and that if the programme is detected, its creators won’t be considered to be cybercriminals. The problem with them is that users are not always aware they consented to the installation of such programmes on their device and that in some cases, such programmes are exploited or used as a disguise for malware downloads,” said Denis Parinov, a security researcher at Kaspersky.

By taking a closer look at PUA, it becomes apparent that they are not only more widespread but also more potent than traditional malware.

Evaluating results over the same 7-month period in Nigeria, there were 3.8 million malware attacks and 16.8 million PUA detections – which is four times as much.

Kenyan and South African threat landscapes have been more intense. In South Africa, there were almost 10 million malware attacks and a staggering 43 million PUA detections.

Kenyan users faced even more malware attacks – around 14 million, and 41 million PUA appearances, Kaspersky said.


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Tech Giants Strike Deal with Advertisers over Hate Speech

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Web giants including Facebook have struck a deal with advertisers on how to identify harmful content such as hate speech, after an impasse over the issue which led to boycotts of the platform.

Tech Giants Strike Deal with Advertisers over Hate Speech

The agreement — which also included Twitter and YouTube — laid out for the first time a common set of definitions for hateful statements online.

In July, hundreds of advertisers including big-name consumer brands suspended advertising with Facebook as part of the #StopHateForProfit campaign, saying the social-media titan should do more to stamp out hatred and misinformation on its platform.

And earlier this month a group of celebrities — including Kim Kardashian, Leonardo DiCaprio and Katy Perry — stopped using Facebook and Instagram for 24 hours, to push a similar message.

The World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) said in a statement Wednesday: “Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, in collaboration with marketers and agencies through the Global Alliance for Responsible Media have agreed to adopt a common set of definitions for hate speech and other harmful content and to collaborate with a view to monitoring industry efforts to improve in this critical area.”

The alliance was founded by the WFA and includes other major trade bodies.

According to the WFA, key areas of agreement included applying the alliance’s common definitions of harmful content; developing reporting standards for such content; establishing independent oversight; and rolling out tools for keeping advertisements away from harmful content.

The WFA said that properly defining online hate speech would remove the current problem of different platforms using their own definitions, which it said made it difficult for companies to decide where to put their ads.

“As funders of the online ecosystem, advertisers have a critical role to play in driving positive change and we are pleased to have reached agreement with the platforms on an action plan and timeline in order to make the necessary improvements,” said Stephan Loerke, chief executive of the WFA.

Luis Di Como, executive vice-president of global media at Unilever, a major advertiser, sounded a note of cautious optimism.

He said: “The issues within the online ecosystem are complicated, and whilst change doesn’t happen overnight, today marks an important step in the right direction.”

Speaking in July, Facebook’s founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said he remained adamant that the company did not want hate speech on the social network.

On Wednesday, the company’s vice-president for global marketing solutions, Carolyn Everson, said the agreement gave all parties “a unified language to move forward on the fight against hate online.”

 


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