Business Hilights
Tracking Nigeria's Headline Business News Online

Local investors yet to explore e-commerce business as foreigners grip sector

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…traditional market places may disappear in cities next 20 years

Preliminary findings from ongoing investigation by the Business Hilights Economic Research Team (BHERT) on the growing trend in e-Commerce outfits in Nigeria have made shocking revelations.

One; In the next 20 years or less, traditional market places where aged market women and men display their wares on grounds, tables and shops may give way for more compact and well sophisticated shopping malls controlled by foreign investors.

Two; Within the period, the traditional markets starting from major cities like Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt will begin to be deserted as traffic will grow in the e-Commerce malls currently known as shopping malls.

Three; The final kill of the traditional African market places will be when the shopping malls will take over sales of all local goods including food stuffs known for the traditional market places (like Iddo, Ketu, Mile 12 and others in Lagos).

Four; Again, the final disappearance of traditional markets which are still thriving along the streets across the country will be when states governments will ban street trading as part of drives to consummate the dream of mega cities. At this point, traffic will, instead of moving to the traditional markets, go to e-Commerce venues and shopping malls which by then are already selling everything sold at the traditional markets.

Five; Currently, not up to 10 per cent of e-Commerce and digitally driven shopping malls in Nigeria is owned by Nigerians, but mainly foreign investors from EU, US, Lebanon, Middle East and others.

These findings by BHERT have been supported by report from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). Which recently revealed that on issues of high business environment opportunity potential, Nigeria is in pole position to take advantage of the Africa region’s e-commerce potential projected to reach $50 – $75 billion within the next 5-10 years.

The report which relied on data generated by the research and analysis division of the Economist Group, stated that the old informal structure of retail businesses is being replaced, as the number of malls being built increases and more people flock to benefit from a more engaging shopping experience – in many cases constituting a day out for thousands of families.

EIU noted that using a metric of per 100 people, Nigeria scored 80.4 out of 100 to lead the entire continent as the country with the greatest potential opportunity within the wider African e-commerce market. Leading the charge for Nigeria, are the three main online retailers such as Jumia, Jiji and Konga, which serve a mass-market clientele.

Business Hilights recalls that in February, Jumia, became the first company on the continent to surpass $1 billion in market value currently operates in 11 African countries and its parent company manages African equivalents of various e-commerce sites, including Hotels.ng and Uber.

According to EIU, because the trending e-Commerce business is driven by data, at a time Nigeria’s mobile internet subscription is surging at 91.9 million, the disappearance of traditional market may not take more time than currently estimated.