DigitalNews Today: The e-Commerce Surge in Nigeria and 3 Digital Trends to Consider

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The e-Commerce Surge in Nigeria and 3 Digital Trends to Consider

Monday, August 3, 2015

It's important for retailers to know who their potential customers are online — and what they're interested in — to market to them effectively. The brick and mortar retailers who are ignoring and not focusing on e-commerce ought to know that e-commerce is already capturing almost all the gains in retail sales. What does this trend means for the average retailer? Should they be worried about this? What steps or trends must retailers consider to win in this digitally complex and disruptive environment?
Here are four trends retailers should closely watch and consider: 

The Internet and Smartphone Penetration: The rise of the ubiquitous consumer and e-commerce in the retail sector is in no way the sound of the death of bricks-and-mortar stores; interestingly the steady growth of online sales in Nigeria enabled by the growing internet and smartphone penetration is breathing new life into the physical stores of some retailers and causing a surge in growth and market share for online businesses. According to recent figures released by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), it is now on record that Nigeria has over 87million internet users who today are what you can call the ubiquitous consumer who want to move easily across channels, have many retail and product options at their fingertips, and demand full visibility into inventory, pricing, delivery and effective customer service.

This trend gives a vivid picture of the rise of the omnichannel consumer which will continue to evolve in unpredictable, organic ways as consumers increasingly create their own paths to purchase.

The Mobile and Search Influence: Deloitte discovered that 94% of leading retailers provide mobile-optimized sites and 78% offer dedicated mobile apps. The real value of mobile influence is on using it to influence sales in multiple channels inclusive of in-store purchases. The ubiquitous consumer searches the web for specific product keywords, product details and prices before making an order for home delivery or before venturing to the store for physical inspection and purchase. This pattern has also precipitated the creation of brick-and-mortar stores of popular e-commerce websites.

The Personalized-Social Customer Service: Among online retailers’ primary objectives are engaging the consumer, making the brand resonate, and monetizing user visits to the site. Worthy of mention are several digital tools that are restoring the lost art of personalized customer service and making this art socially responsive and responsible.

Bricks and Mortar Stores now have to compete with e-commerce retail models. Social customer service integration continues to be a critical asset to any e-commerce business. The power of social networks and effective engagement in fostering trust and expanding reach is highly valuable for the retailer. In addition, e-commerce sites continue to attract customers and foster loyalty with flash deals and sales, free home delivery and loyalty discount programs.

The Remarketing Experience: Offering a convenient one-stop-shopping experience that responds to the shoppers’ path to purchase is another influence in the online consumer journey. One-stop-shopping convenience is no longer about selling everything from a single website. It’s more profitably targeted at giving the right omnichannel experience to shoppers who are budgeting for both time and money

Remarketing is one growing trend that captures the attitude of the ubiquitous consumer who probably visits a website but leaves it without purchasing any items. This trend makes it strategic for companies to follow them online and try to influence their perception and decision. One can experience Remarketing if they notice any ads that are extremely reflective of their interests.

The ubiquitous consumer now have multiple touch points with brands (online, mobile, and in-store) and use all of them to inform their purchases. They don’t care to draw the dividing line — and neither should retailers.

E-commerce is young but explosive, offering more convenience, efficiency, and opportunities for customer engagement than ever before. The ability to browse products, check availabilities, purchase online, and have it shipped to your door without ever stepping foot out of the house is still a fresh phenomenon.

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