Following concerns from various quarters about the perceived saturated nature of the e-commerce sector of the Nigerian economy and in view of the ongoing profit boom in the sector, the Managing Director of Supermart.ng, Raphael Afaedor has said that the market is not yet saturated and that there is a need for more entrants.
Afaedor who expressed this concern recently during an interview with Channels Television Tech Trend on the state of Nigeria’s e-commerce said that what is more important is that each of the businesses should carve a niche for themselves. Citing the cases of Supermart.ng which focuses on delivering groceries to households within three hours across Lagos and other brands focusing on air travel or hospitality, Afaedor emphasized the need for more e-commerce websites to come into the market and focus on a particular need.
According to him “I don’t believe the market is saturated already, there are still more needs to be met. For instance, Supermart.ng came and saw the stress that people go through on a daily basis from one market to another in order to purchase their groceries, we decided to assemble all the products into one marketplace where people can order everything at the exact market price and have it delivered to their doorstep in three hours. New brands need to also identify other needs and develop solutions for them. The market is very large”
Afaedor further stated that contrary to the notion that more use of technology in business will render people jobless, the reverse is the case as e-commerce has actually created more jobs for people. In explaining this, he stated that “in a typical e-commerce business, there are many stages involved. There are people in merchandising who go out to access and take the pictures of the products, there are those in logistics who ensure that the products are safely delivered and there are people in the customer service who handle possible complaints that may come up following the transaction”.
He however advised that with regard to profitability, each entrepreneur will have to decide the model that best appeals to him. “Some may choose to start with expansion in order to make more profit in the future while others may focus on profit within the shortest time and then plan expansion later, the entrepreneur will have to make that choice”.