High unemployment, especially among the youths, has negative consequences on…
By Abdulkabir Olatunji
Jumia Market, Nigeria’s leading online marketplace is looking ahead to 2017 with a lot of optimism after exceeding its sales target during this year’s Black Friday. The company’s Managing Director, Sefik Bagdadioglu at a briefing in Lagos this Wednesday with leading bloggers explained that despite the country’s present economic problems, Nigerians are still doing a lot of shopping online explaining that his company’s research indicates that at the very least, people check Jumia Market for prices before actually going to physical markets to have an idea of how to get good bargains.
When asked about payment solutions to make it easier for Nigerian’s to shop online, he explained that because of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s strict regulations on payment solutions like mobile money, the industry and service had not developed to the level available in Kenya with M-PESA where for example, when you hail a commercial motorcyclist, you credit his phone number with mobile money instead of using cash, noting that Mobile Money is growing fast in Ghana and Ivory Coast, the 2 other leading economies in West Africa apart from Nigeria.
Despite these challenges, Jumia is working on its in-house payment solution, Bagdadioglu stated: ‘We are planning to roll-out our payment solution in the first half of the 2nd quarter of 2017 –Let us just say it should be ready in the first 6 months.”
On adopting Bitcoin as a means of payment, he explained that Jumia is cautious in terms of adopting payment solutions and considers accepting the virtual currency to be ‘like running’. This seems to be a wise move considering the fact that Jumia is working on its payment solution and the future of Bitcoin is uncertain.
One thing is sure though, Jumia considers itself as a startup despite its impressive achievements so far and there is still large market share to be gained by bringing many Nigerians online especially outside of Nigeria’s major cities where Internet connection is not as good or reliable.
This is how Jumia might set itself apart from its ever-increasing number of competitors but for now things are looking good for the company.
Abdulkabir Olatunji is the Head of Strategy at Jarus & JAN Internet Group and an Associate Member of the Nigerian Institute of Management (AMNIM). His interests include writing, blogging, all-things-tech and analysis of current affairs and sports. You can follow him on LinkedIn and on Twitter @maclatunji