CEO Discusses The Rise Of E-Business Amidst Economic Downturn

Lagos, 8th July, 2015: Euromonitor International recently stated that Nigeria has the fastest-growing e-Commerce market on the African continent with the clothing & footwear sub-sector expected to grow from 104 million dollars in 2014 to 1 billion dollars in 2019, despite the current economic slowdown in the Nigerian economy.

Speaking with CNBC Africa on the boom of the e-Commerce sector in Nigeria, Raphael Afaedor, co-founder and CEO revealed that about 40,000 orders are shipped daily on different e-Commerce platforms translating to over 700 million dollars in revenues. Sharing his thoughts on why e-Commerce seems to be booming in spite of an economic slowdown, the CEO said customers will always have to take care of their basic needs such as eating and clothing themselves; e-Commerce offers a very convenient and affordable way to get these needs met while freeing up time for shoppers to invest in other endeavours.

Afaedor said, while convenience is a driver, the quality of the offering is also very important. He stated that on for example, all the inventory at the open market, local supermarkets and imported brands have been aggregated under one umbrella, so that whereas in the past, the Nigerian woman would have to go to multiple stores and also the open market to do her grocery shopping, with, she is able to shop at one address and buy all her local and imported brands, as well as local Nigerian ingredients online. This easily saves her 3 hours of running around as such shoppers tend to come back and shop more which is driving the 30% growth month on month that is currently experiencing.

In response to a question on government’s support of the online retail sector, Afaedor stated the former minister of ICT shed the right spot light on the space by assuring international investors that Nigeria is ripe for e-commerce, which is a good place to start. He also stated that payments are generally secure and cyber theft has not been as much of an issue. Quizzed on whether there will be an IPO anytime soon, Afaedor stated he expects to see a public offering of shares by an e-commerce company in as early as 5 years from now.

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