For a population of over 190 million, it is perhaps shocking to countenance the fact that about 70% of Nigerians – a whopping 130 million – are still skeptical of shopping online and yet to be captured in the e-Commerce net – an anomaly that Konga’s futuristic business model is gradually catering to.
According to latest estimates from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the global e-commerce market is worth around $22.1 trillion. Data from research firm Statista also indicates that e-Commerce in Africa accounted for $16.5 billion in revenue in 2017, with forecasts estimating revenue in the sector to gross the $29 billion mark by 2022. Interestingly, Africa’s share of the global e-commerce market is expected to grow even more significantly in the years ahead, backed by factors such as increasing levels of literacy, fall in average smartphone prices, mobile adoption, growing internet penetration and innovative payment solutions. The foregoing has seen projections of Africa as the next emerging market to make significant strides in online shopping.
Perhaps justifying its status as the continent’s biggest market and most populous country, Nigeria is further estimated to play home to about 40% of the continent’s e-Commerce ventures within its shores – a positive development that has, nevertheless, failed in ensuring that the bulk of the country’s under-served or unreached millions partake in the e-Commerce revolution.
A number of factors are responsible for the current state of affairs.
Despite the sweeping changes caused by the e-Commerce bug which has bitten a lot of savvy Nigerians, shopping in Nigeria is still largely traditional and the issue of trust has further hindered the pace of growth. Further adding to the dire situation is the sheer proportion of Nigerians who are left out of the equation. Indeed, to millions of Nigerians who reside outside the cosmopolitan cities such as Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt, for instance, online shopping is a hard sell.
Through a realistic and well-thought out business model, Konga is gradually changing the narrative in the following ways:
Growing chain of nationwide physical retail stores: With over 30 brick-and-mortar stores spread nationwide and many more springing up all over Nigeria’s vast landscape, Konga has given millions of unreached Nigerians a reason to smile. A bold, ambitious plan to spread its tentacles across the length and breadth of the nation, with the establishment of at least one store in each of Nigeria’s 774 local government areas, will unleash the power of the country’s booming population and see e-Commerce finally achieving its huge potential in Nigeria and beyond.
Improved Logistics means swift delivery: Through Kxpress, its in-house logistics company, Konga boasts a considerable and growing fleet of line-haul trucks, vans, buses and motorbikes through which it has bridged the distance between the average shopper in the hinterlands and a taste of the e-commerce experience. Kxpress not only handles last-mile deliveries but has also received huge investment which has expanded its network. Also available are pick-up points and distribution centres in every part of Nigeria, further ensuring that more Nigerians can join the e-Commerce train.
Suite of cutting-edge Payment Solutions: Riding on KongaPay, an internally-owned Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) licensed payment system — Konga offers all classes of Nigerians a secure and reliable e-wallet that works with all banks in Nigeria. The app ensures that the customer’s money is held in escrow until a sales transaction is completed successfully. Through strategic partnerships with world-class payment solutions providers such as Visa, Konga has also ensured that this recurring pain-point is becoming a thing of the past. It is, however, through the other options it offers shoppers that Konga has distinguished itself. These include payment on delivery which it re-introduced in August 2018, payment on pick-up of items and cash payment in all of its stores nationwide.
Opportunity to self-fulfil: Nigerians love the physical touch that an offline or brick-and-mortar store offers. Through its nationwide network of retail stores, Konga has given millions of skeptical or under-served Nigerians a platform on which to play an active participatory role in e-Commerce. Shoppers in all nooks and crannies of Nigeria can visit a Konga store of their choice to pay and collect any item of their choice, while for many others, the store represents a useful pick-up location for self-fulfilling their online orders. What’s more, a visitor to any of the stores can choose to place an order for a physically unavailable item(s) for delivery to their homes/locations or personally pick-up at a later date.