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How e-Commerce Came Through for Nigerians in 2020



The year 2020 has been a year like no other, no thanks to COVID-19 pandemic and the accompanying restrictive measures which unleashed a far-reaching socio-economic impact on businesses globally.

Firms and businesses were sent to survival mode while many who couldn’t cope were forced out of business. Most affected are Micro Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) who are the major economic drivers.

Interestingly, the year also turned out to be the one where the world came to a consensus on the importance of technology to the human race.

In the heat of lockdown and social distancing measures that limited human physical contact and activities, technology-based services served as the bridge between the virtual and human divide.

At the time when guidelines were strict, consumers stayed home and did their shopping online. E-commerce and its chain of services were crucial to survival across the globe.

Logistics services of e-commerce platforms partnered with governments, especially in Africa, in the movement and distribution of drugs and other medical equipment during the lockdown.

Purchase and delivery of essential products were made accessible and affordable to customers via platforms like Jumia during the lockdown.

For small businesses, the framework for e-commerce operations which is flexible, cost-effective, and offers wider reach- was crucial for their survival at the time.

It will be recalled that big brands in the FMCG sector also deployed e-commerce to their advantage during the lockdown to reach a wider audience and make more sales.

As a result of the belt-tightening implications of the pandemic, getting consumers to part with their hard-earned money became tougher for brands and sellers.

The pandemic orchestrated a change in consumer behaviour guided by a shrewd spending pattern. For every penny spent, the best deal and value is demanded. There’s less spending with consumers prioritising the essentials. Smart businesses and brands were able to know that the best way to have a share of customers’ pockets is to offer them an avenue to spend less for more.

The topsy turvy economic year is, however, ending on an exciting note for customers and sellers alike. The final months of the year are known for shopping events and campaigns that serve as windows for sellers to reach more customers and in turn make more sales.

One of such effective platforms is the Black Friday sales which is a global phenomenon. For Jumia partners, the last four Fridays served as an avenue to close the revenue gap created by the COVID-19 lockdown.

The period also provided customers with the opportunity to get better deals and save more on their choice products as Jumia and other etail platforms partnered with global brands and SMEs to thrill customers with products at discounted prices.

Though Black Friday sales have ended on major e-commerce platforms, the sales have ushered in the season of giving and the excitement is expected to continue into the festive period. And going by the trend of partnership and alliances brands continue to form with e-commerce platforms, the festive season holds thrilling prospects for e-commerce customers. The year 2020 despite all its uncertainties looks like ending on a winning note for both buyers and sellers.

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