Reviewing 2013: How Online Business Can Help Young Nigerians In 2014

A Business Analyst, Tobenna Okoli has stated that the rapid growth of e-commerce in Nigeria is due to the growth of the middle class in Nigeria.

Appearing on Channels TV’s Rubbin’ Minds to do a post-mortem of the year 2013, with a focus on the rapid increase in the rate at which Nigerians do business on the internet, Okoli said that one of the major characteristics of the middle class is that they want more options to choose from, before spending their money and they also usually seek better convenience, all of which the internet offers.

Claiming that statistics show that globally, Africa has experienced the highest annual e-commerce growth rate in the past year (25.8% according to Medessy); he cited the development of the telecom industry in many of Africa’s developing countries as the reason behind this increase.

According to Okoli, among all mobile phone users in Nigeria, about 55 million use smartphones that enable them to access internet on the go, and consequently enhancing the rate at which they get to find goods and make payments online.

Looking ahead into 2014, Okoli believes that the future of e-commerce in Nigeria is bright, considering that computer and IT literacy is constantly improving in the country.

Worthy of note is that e-commerce in Nigeria used to be retail based in the past, but now, even services can be purchased online with hotels and airlines freely using the online platform to offer their customers convenience; and this explains why the Nigerian e-commerce industry has been rated to be worth about 255 billion Naira (about $1.4billion) according to Medessy Enterprises Limited, owner of online retailer, gidimall.com.

He cited the rapid growth of online shops like Konga.com and Jumia as proofs of how much investment has gone into the sector in 2013, and he believes their successes would inspire even more of such businesses to spring up, with more local businesses also spreading their reach online.

He however warned that doing business online is not just about the presence of goods and services on a website. Therefore, business owners planning to embrace the system should be aware of how much work goes into it.

Although he agreed that e-commerce is a good option for young or new business owners who may not be able to afford the cost of renting shops and offices that customers would want to visit, he however noted that getting customers to see goods and services online is just the “e” part of the commerce.

He stressed that getting the eyes to see what you have to offer is not enough, but the logistics side of the business, which is in the backend is more critical. He said: “if you do not have the structure you may only attract people and there will be no means to satisfy them.”

So, getting the goods and services to the consumers after they have liked and purchased them must be well figured out and planned for, before any business owner should launch an online business.

Online Workers Back New Media To Kill Traditional Media

Rubbin’ Minds this Sunday played host to 2 major players in Nigeria’s vibrant new-media sector.

Entertainment Editor of BellaNaija, Onos Ovueraye and Chief Correspondent at The NET NG, Osagie Alonge took turns to analyse the rapid growth and popularity of social media as well as issues affecting the online business in Nigeria.

The new media experts both identified plagiarism and the lack of censorship as major challenges which have encouraged the posting of unverified news on many websites. They were however unanimous in their preference for their organisations’ regards for ethical journalism which Alonge referred to as “the right way” rather than the approach taken by popular blogger Linda Ikeji.

They claim that their ability to deliver fresh verified news to every class of Nigerian via mobile phones and other new-media positions them to soon kill the relevance of newspapers, television and other traditional media.

They both agreed to riding on the popularity of certain celebrities to attract visits to their websites, mentioning Nollywood stars, Genevieve Nnaji, Omotola Jalade-Ekehinde, Jim Iyke as well as music stars Tu-face Idibia and D’banj among those who constantly provide them with the largest hits.

Twitter Launches Advertising Services In Middle East

Twitter Inc. on Sunday launched an advertising service in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) as the social media firm seeks to exploit a tripling of its regional subscriber base following its widespread use during the Arab Spring protests.

Digital advertising is relatively undeveloped in the region, accounting for an estimated 4 percent of its total advertising spending, tech-savvy population and rising Internet penetration points to significant potential for growth.

“The two are interconnected – the rapid growth of our user base with the timing of why we want to help brands connect with that audience,” said Shailesh Rao, Twitter vice-president for international operations.

Twitter does not provide a regional breakdown of its more than 200 million users worldwide, but Rao said its MENA subscriber base had tripled in the past 12 months.

The company has recruited Egypt’s Connect Ads, owned by Cairo-listed Orascom Telecom Media and Technology, to launch advertising initially in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.

Twitter Inc. has named Pepsi and Saudi telecom operator Etihad Etisalat (Mobile) as confirmed clients.

Twitter says the products it promotes typically has an audience response rate of 1 to 3 percent, significantly higher than traditional advertising rate of 0.1 to 0.5 percent.

“Social media advertising is totally different because it relies on what people say. It’s about two-way, not one-way, communication,” said Mohamed El Mehairy, Connect Ads managing director.