eCommerce net widens in Nigeria

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AS the world economy becomes more and more interdependent and inter-connected, e-commerce has taken the front burner as the main vehicle of international trade. In this new age of knowledge and digital economy, and the application of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to boost trade among nations, the Internet has become the gateway to the global e-commerce world of convenience, comfort, security and speed.
ICT has made doing business very easy worldwide. The historical, “linear” business model, in which consumers shopped only in stores they could walk or drive to, in which manufacturers conducted business only via retailers, has been altered.
The worldwide spread of Internet accessibility via smartphones is driving the expansion of e-commerce that is changing the retailing landscape forever. Without any shred of doubt, e-commerce is already big business, and research shows it is shifting into a yet higher gear. Growth estimates suggest business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce sales worldwide will reach $1.5 trillion this year, a 20 per cent increase over last year.
In Nigeria, with the aid of the Internet, the potential worth of e-commerce is estimated at over $10 billion. This is a huge opportunity for discerning corporate organisations to explore and tap for growth.
Available statistics show that the e-commerce sector in Nigeria currently boasts of about 300, 000 online orders daily.
Internet enhances competition and also stimulates trade. The rise and subsequent growth of online shops in Nigeria can be attributed to the ease, convenience and the security associated with e-commerce. For instance, online shopping platforms like Jumia, Konga, Yudala, Dealdey, among others have become alternative market to a teeming online shoppers who buy and pay for goods online without stepping out of their homes.
However, many small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria do not have the wherewithal or the expertise to run an online shop thereby making it difficult for them to sell their goods. The desire to help SME operators find market for their goods is the main reason behind Skye Bank Plc’s recently unveiled an online shop, YesMall, to help SME operators find buyers and earn income.
Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Skye Bank Plc, Timothy Oguntayo, at the unveiling of YesMall in Lagos, described the online store as a unique bundle, which offers the benefits of a product on the one hand and the opportunities of an online mall where our current and prospective SME and retail customers can buy and sell their products and services.
As the name sounds, the Skye YesMall is an e-commerce platform which offers three primary and distinctive benefits, namely provision of convenience for our customers who seek cost-effective opportunities to make purchases online from the comfort of their homes, and offering a unique opportunity for our SME customers to cross-sell.
The new online store, called YesMall, offers a unique experience for the bank’s current and prospective SME and retail customers who can now buy and sell their products and services from the comfort of their homes by using electronic devices such as: phones, tablet, laptop, or desktop. They can also do their transactions by using the ATM machines nearest to them.
According to Oguntayo, the bank came up with the platform after noticing that some SME operators find it difficult to sell their goods as most of the finished goods end up as items of inventory in the warehouses.

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