There are increasing signs that e-commerce is making inroads in rural communities in Nigeria with testimonials from residents who are active users of the services. From ordering of gadgets and electronics, to fashion and beauty products, rural dwellers are increasingly joining the online shopping culture.
Miracle Francis, a lady in her early twenties lives and works in the subhub of Rivers State. Like a typical Nigerian youth, the ease and convenience of e-commerce appeals to her, and she does her beauty and fashion shopping on Jumia, the most popular online shopping platform in the country. “I have been shopping on Jumia for a year now and most of the things I buy are shoes, clothes, wigs. All items I buy are based on fashion,” she said.
For Miracle, shopping online offers her the best in terms of comfort and cost-effectiveness which makes it her best option. “I think online shopping is best because it saves time when going to town,” she explained. “Like most times when you go, you meet with traffic but if you stay in your own house and order it, they will bring it down to your door without stressing yourself thinking of how you will get to certain places to buy other things. So to me, I think online shopping is the best.”
A 2019 report by global company Statista, had revealed that the largest segment of Africa’s e-commerce is fashion, with a projected market volume of $8.345 billion in 2020. The report further showed that the apparel market accounts for up to 73% of the entire fashion segment with a market volume of $6.134 billion.
The electronics and media segment comes in second place. “Clothing, shoes, and consumer electronics were the most common items purchased online among Nigerian respondents. This is the most valuable e-commerce sector in Nigeria. Fashion and beauty are the fastest growing e-commerce sector in Nigeria,” the report said.
This trend appears to still hold even in the Nigerian rural e-commerce market. With the increasing rate of mobile phone users in both rural and urban areas, coupled with a predominant youthful population, e-commerce looks destined for a boom on the continent in the nearest future.