According to statista, 80% of people prefer online shopping, an upward spiral that was occasioned by the COVID-19 lockdown last year. Expectedly, many who were skeptical about online shopping prior to the pandemic now prefer to shop online instead of visiting brick-and-mortar stores, even after the lockdowns were lifted.
In this article, we profile five of the most patronised e-commerce platforms in Nigeria, all of which are the go-to marketplaces for a ton of products at affordable prices. One could say they are the amazon of Africa.
Established in Nigeria, Morocco, South Africa, and Egypt in 2012, Jumia is the largest online marketplace in Africa, with over 50,000 foreign and local products listed on its website in Nigeria. The site has over 15 million monthly visitors and has over 4 million subscribers.
Founded by ex-McKinsey consultants, Jeremy Hodara and Sacha Poignonnec, alongside Tunde Kehinde and Raphael Kofi Afaedor, Jumia expanded to Tunisia, Tanzania, Ghana, Cameroon, Algeria and Uganda in 2014. By 2018, it had cemented its footprint in 14 African countries.
As part of efforts to widen its service range and maintain its market dominance spot, the company launched Jumia Travel in 2013, a hotel booking platform, and Jumia Food, a food delivery platform that has become quite popular in Nigeria.
Jumia generated $234 million in revenue in 2015, a 265% growth from 2014. The following year (2016), the company became the continent’s first unicorn being valued at over 1 billion USD.
At inception – 2012 – Konga only listed baby, beauty, and personal care categories on its platform and focused on the Lagos market only. But by the end of that year, the company had made inroads across the Nigerian cities and expanded its merchandise significantly.
Founded by Sim Shagaya, Konga offers a third-party online marketplace alongside first-party direct retail. In January 2015, Alexa ranked Konga as the most visited site in Nigeria.
Konga’s services also include KongaPay, which began in 2015, in partnership with the Nigerian commercial banks to work only with Konga.com consumers; Konga Express and Konga Marketplace, initially known as Konga Mall.
Between 2013 and 2014, Konga’s revenue grew by 450%. Konga closed a $40 million financing in late 2014 with Investment AB Kinnevik and Naspers, making it the largest single amount got by an African startup to date.
In 2018, after carrying out a major organizational restructuring, Konga was acquired by Zinox, a Nigerian company that manufactures and distributes computers. The new owners consequently merged Konga with its emerging retail outfit, Yudala, to become a formidable e-commerce entity in Africa. Although it retained the Konga brand name, Zinox combined “the e-commerce strength of Konga.com and the expansive branch network of Yudala to execute a pure omni-channel retail for the first time in Africa”, as cited by Wikipedia.
Nigerian entrepreneur, Eyo Bassey launched PayPorte, an online retail platform, in 2014 but the brand did not rise to national prominence until 2018 when it emerged as the headline sponsor for the franchise TV reality show, Big Brother Naija season 3.
Riding on the popularity of the show, PayPorte became a household name in Nigeria, and the portal became a go-to for all kinds of products, especially fashion items and mobile phones.
All was well until the company and its founder was embroiled in multiple controversies that would later take a toll on its reputation. As a result, the PayPorte store was temporarily closed down. Although Bassey insists the company closed down for rebranding purposes in response to customers’ feedback.
True to his word, in 2019, PayPorte relaunched its newly designed website. However, the platform returned as a fashion-only retail store. It partnered with local and international stores to provide trendy fashion goods to its customers.
Speaking on the come-back, Bassey had said; “We believe the new site will offer greater shopping experience to our customers as we continue to provide them with top quality products that meet their fashion and lifestyle needs.”
There is, however, no data to show that PayPorte’s rebranding effort is yielding desired results. But it looks as though the company is gaining traction again and reclaiming its territory, at least in the fashion retail space.
Kara is a Nigerian online shopping site, with merchandise such as phones, computers among others. The “Electronics and Media” category on the platform accounts for most of Kara’s net sales. Followed by products from the “Furniture and Appliances” category.
As of 2020, Kara’s global net sales was at USD$1.8M. In Nigeria’s electronics and media market, Kara was rated third in sales, with revenues exceeding $1 million in the year under review.
In 2014, Anton Wolyansky, the company’s CEO, launched Jiji in Lagos. The platform prides itself as Nigeria’s #1 free marketplace for buyers and sellers of all kinds of legitimate goods and services.
Jiji has been operating in five African countries: Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Uganda, and Tanzania. It had over 800,000 advertising as of January 2018, attracting over 160,000 sellers and 7 million monthly unique users looking for bargains in cars, home items, mobile phones, cosmetics, toys, pets, livestock, electronics, services, and most recently, job vacancies.
According to a research by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), Jiji is one of the country’s most popular internet retailers, catering to a broad demographic.