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Published On: Wed, Nov 5th, 2014

eCommerce Beyond selling shoes, phones online

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JumiaFrom Ayodele Samuel, Lagos

It is common to associate eCommerce with popular sites such as Jumia or Konga or Amazon and other online retail shops. In Nigeria, it is a belief that is held by a large number of Nigerians that when you want to buy consumer items like shoes or electronics or books you can go

online. Of course other web sites allow you to search for jobs or properties or cars but you cannot really buy those online.

eCommerce properly done allows an organization of any size to greatly increase her turnover and sales irrespective of the business or the goods being sold. Latest statistics show that 66 million Nigerians are on Facebook, the popular internet social website. 24 million Nigerians

have smartphones that have internet capability, and internet penetration is at 50%. Internet is used in Nigeria by men, women, children, teachers, students, businessmen and enterprises. The addressable market for any business that goes online literally explodes. The importer of shoes can sell to more dealers, the FMCG can sell to her distributors, and the tailor can sell both tailoring service and ready-made clothes, while the event organizer or transporter can sell tickets.

Chief Technology Officer, CTO Computer Warehouse Group Plc, Mr. James Agada, said the CWG Openshopen platform enables any one to sell anything online. Sales is not only about accepting orders. IT is also about collecting payments and making deliveries.

He said with CWG Openshopen, these services are built in so that once you sign up, you can, if you want, begin to receive payments online and have your goods delivered to customers nationwide without having to invest in any other logistics for payments or delivery. Take for

instance an FMCG that cur rently battles with a bank to help do collections and hires an army of order takers to input order details into her ERP system. The FMCG can replace the entire collection and ordering system by opening an online shop on openshopen for her factors and distributors. They will order online, pay online and delivery can be arranged. Or consider a transporter who wants to run a cashless ticketing system. Simply put the tickets online and people can buy and pay and get their ticket numbers which can be verified from a phone.

According to Agada, the CWG Openshopen platform takes eCommerce way beyond the pedestrian selling of shoes and phones, and extends it into the best tool for increased market access. This is a deliberate design borne out of the determination of CWG Plc through her new CWG 2.0 initiative to democratize access to the technology of business. With 17.6 million small enterprises in Nigeria, extending eCommerce to the sale of locally made goods and services greatly expands market access for local content. This same role has been played by Alibaba in China. Today, Alibaba’s stock sell for $98-$100 per share. It will be interesting to see whether CWG shares will also trade at those levels.


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