For many Nigerians, the coming of electronic commerce into the country is a blessing as they are spared the hassle of navigating their way to shopping malls through hectic traffic. The bargain prices of products and services lure thousands who stand to reap reward of low prices. The likes of e-commerce firms such as Jumia, Konga, Dealdey and OLX among others are household names and their rise have been traced to the still ongoing ICT revolution. However, not everyone is happy with e-commerce firms at least among those who shop online. Many who shop online are not happy with the service rendered by these online platforms.
Take the recent ‘Black Friday’ online shopping bonanza which many tried to take advantage of due to the excessively low prices. Aside the fact that shoppers could not make purchases due to glitches suffered by the websites such as Jumia and Konga, they also have to put up with delayed delivery of packages even as many could not track their products online. “This portends danger for e-commerce in Nigeria,” says Tajudeen Alimi, a consumer products analyst. In his view, e-commerce is yet to gain a foothold and firms cannot afford to be complacent with service delivery.
Although projected to grow exponentially, e-commerce could slow down if nothing is done to improve electronic payment and shorten delivery time of products, experts reckon. “I ordered a 32-inch Samsung flat screen TV on “Black Friday” and delivery was supposed to be between 3-5 days. But after waiting 2 weeks and in order not to squander the money I had, I opted out of the deal and went to purchase same TV at a sales outlet,” says Joshua Imafidon, a Banker.
For Joyce Emmanuel, her disappointment with shopping online was when she ordered washing machine which ought to be delivered within 7 days but is yet to receive the order a month after. As a first time shopper online, she vowed not to return to shop online. Some observers have blamed the poor delivery time on weak supply chain management as most online firms are yet to have a strong delivery platform. The poor state of infrastructure in the country as well as poor urban planning have also been blamed for the poor delivery. Some addresses are not easily traced while the hectic traffic and pothole-riddled roads add to wear and tear of delivery trucks and vans.
By Osaze Omoragbon