With internet penetration in Africa, the eCommerce sector recorded an increase in its online shopping activities in Nigeria. In 2021, the country recorded a 30% increase in revenue, generating $6.9 billion. This represents a 15% contribution to global eCommerce.
This growth is expected to increase as more businesses are going online. Although the industry is yet to reach its peak, the user base is expected to increase, thus aiding the sector. By 2025, the number of online shoppers is expected to increase by 122.5 million.
By 2022, the sector’s revenue is projected to be $8.52billion. With this growth rate, from 2022 – 2025, the industry is expected to generate $12.58 billion representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.86%.
These optimistic market predictions have, in turn, seen an increase in online buying and selling platforms. Despite this surge, the industry’s credibility is affected due to some users’ bad experiences.
To mitigate this, there is a need for users, especially new ones to have some helpful information on how to navigate online shopping in Nigeria effortlessly.
Let’s consider some things you need to know before buying things online.
Do your research
Always do your due diligence when searching for the best online platforms to patronise. This helps you to know and have all the needed information about the sellers, their location and social media pages.
It also allows you to compare the prices of different products and go for pocket-friendly ones. From a study, 81% of shoppers don’t just buy a product once they find it. Instead, they research the suppliers and the products and check reviews. Also, 72% said they leave an eCommerce site that doesn’t have customer reviews.
Hence, take note of the reviews and feedback, the quality of the website design, and the pop-up windows. Many pop-up windows are red flags on the credibility of the online platform. Therefore, go for platforms with long-standing reputations in Nigeria. Some of such platforms are Konga, Jumia, Payporte and Jiji.
Do pay on delivery and know the return policy
Online shopping has made it possible for busy people to buy some of the things they need online. While some users have good experience in the sector, some have bad tales. Some have fallen prey to sellers who carted away their money or delivered sub-standard goods.
This has seen online platforms integrate a pay-on-delivery system that allows buyers to pay when they see goods and are satisfied with them. For example, Peace, whose surname is anonymous, ordered an Italian leather bag.
According to her, “The bag did not come until after two weeks, and I called and called. Just when I was thinking of cancelling the order, the bag came. I have never been so disappointed in my life. It was of inferior quality and looked nothing like what I saw on their site. I immediately returned it to the delivery man and proceeded to cancel my order.”
However, if there is no pay on delivery, check reviews of previous buyers to know if they are patronisable and credible. When considering this, ensure you understand the platform’s terms and conditions for returning a product.
Be security conscious
The increase in online shopping also comes with a rise in internet hackers, which puts details at risk and calls for the need to be security conscious and aware online. From a report from Businessday, security of e-payments and delivery costs are among the main concerns preventing consumers from conducting more online shopping.
To avoid being prey to internet scammers and hackers, there is ensure you check the following things: the website URL, which must be HTTPS and not HTTP, check for a padlock sign before the HTTPS (it shows the site is safe and secure), have a double verification password, always log out after conducting an online shopping, do not use a public system, do not click on any suspicious link when shopping online and do not use an unsecured public wifi
Never give out excess information than necessary
You will need to provide your debit details to complete an online payment transaction. So when it exceeds simple information such as your debit card, protect your information. Giving out your personal information such as BVN, NIN, date of birth, and the likes means making yourself available to be scammed.
In 2020, fraudsters, according to the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc (NIBSS), tried 46,126 attacks. They successfully executed 41,979, which represents 91%. Most of this was done through the web, mobile transactions and ATM machines.
Keep records of purchasing details and bank statements
Since you can never tell when you will need it, it is always good to have well-organised information about your online transactions and bank statements. This will save you the stress of looking for missing pieces when you have an illegally debited transaction from either your bank or eCommerce platform.
You must ensure your records are well detailed with receipt number, order confirmation, date and time. Also, once a transaction is completed, refer to your account statement to ensure the correct amount is charged and there are no suspicious charges.
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