Following the rise in electronic commercial activities in Nigeria and its contributions to the growth of the economy, stakeholders have long been agitating for policies and regulatory frameworks that can aid the orderly conduct of electronic transactions in a manner that is fair, especially to the customers. It was against this background that the Electronic Transaction Bill was passed by the last National Assembly. The bill is currently raising concerns among e-commerce businesses who anxiously await its passage into an Act.
However, reacting to this development, the Public Relations Officer of Supermart.ng, Oluwatayo Alofun has said that while the bill is a welcome development that will be instrumental in bringing order to e-commerce in Nigeria, there is a need for e-commerce firms to look beyond seeing regulations as the compelling factor for rendering quality services to consumers.
Citing an example with Supermart.ng, Alofun said “At Supermart.ng, we already promised our customers to deliver groceries to them as early as three hours after the order. We understand that a customer’s time is very precious to him so we make it a goal to deliver on that promise against any logistics challenge. This has not been easy but we owe it to make life easier for households in Lagos by saving them three to six hours, through our delivery system”
The Supermart PR Officer went further to say that the Electronic Transaction Bill is expected to regulate the e-commerce sector and protect consumers, noting some of the key issues highlighted in the bill to be non-disclosure of full information on products and services, deceptive advertisement, improper description of products, delivery of defective products, poor informal dispute settlement procedures, double payments, and poor customer service.
Emphasizing on highlights of the bill, he said “When you look at the key issues highlighted in the bill, they all go down to conscious efforts on our part as e-commerce business operators to put our customer’s interest first in our dealing, this is what Supermart.ng has been doing since inception – putting customers first. Take customer service as an instance, when we employ delivery men, they are professionally trained to be able to talk to customers, they are equipped with smartphones to be able to provide up-to-date information to customers and as well as update the Supermart.ng system. We leave nothing to chance in our customer service process which makes it almost impossible for us to fail on our promises”
Alofun however expressed hope in the possibility of the Bill improving e-commerce in Nigeria and boosting consumer’s confidence in the electronic transaction system. He, therefore, urges the executive arm of the government to consider the Bill for assent into an Act.