online shopping – With a population of approximately 200 million people, an average GDP of over 300 billion US dollars and the highest population of internet users in Africa, Nigeria is easily one of the most profitable markets for e-commerce activities.
The government in its effort to fully implement cashless policy also provided the platform and policies necessary for the survival of such stores. This partly explains why e-commerce stores keep joining the already saturated Nigerian cyberspace.
By having multiple options to choose from, it is tempting to think that shopping via the internet should be a walk in the park for Nigerians. In other words, online purchases should only take a few minutes and there shouldn’t be a need for a background check, cross-platform comparison, studying the shipping policy and all other overt or covert policies binding on the buyer.
Well, the increase in option does not automatically ease shopping for Nigerians. We can easily be swindled of our hard-earned money and exposed to violation of privacy, buy commodities at unreasonable prices, be a victim of counterfeit products, be subjected to ridiculous shipping fees and other unfavourable conditions that will make us despise online shopping.
These risks are not only associated with less popular e-commerce stores; well-recognized stores with multinational outreach are equally capable of exposing unsuspecting buyers to such risks.
With the plethora of risks involved in online shopping in Nigeria, how can we have seamless transactions that are devoid of fraud and any other risky characteristics without being wasteful with time? Well, below are a few of the things to consider if we intend to have an easy and smart online shopping experience as Nigerians:
- Read the Product Description: Technological advancement has made it very easy for sellers to lure buyers with an attractive image of products. Most sellers display high-resolution pictures (which are almost always better than the actual image of the products) on their pages. For products like electronics, clothes and other wearables, it is more important for prospective buyers to read through the product description as that is usually where all the details concerning the products are well stated. In situations where the product description is too short or not convincing, prospective buyers should attempt to drop questions, call the customer care line or drop the products if the responses are not satisfactory.
- Search for Users’ Review: As a prospective buyer, most of the information you have about the product of your choice is based on what the seller stated in the description. The only way you can verify this information is by relying on the review of those that have purchased the same product from the same seller. Does the product look like what is being described by the seller? Is there a reoccurrence of product defect and what is the seller’s reaction to the defect? These questions can only be genuinely answered by previous buyers.
The central keyword behind this point is “search”. You should be able to sieve the reviews you come across as there are tons of fake reviews – some of which are orchestrated by the sellers or website owners- on the cyberspace. Similarly, you should also understand that virtually all of the big e-commerce stores on our cyberspace use multiple sources to source for their items. In other words, they have multiple independent sellers who use their website to sell their items. Should you intend to buy from such big eCommerce stores, your search for review should be streamlined to reflect the performance of the concerned seller.
- Compare prices: The fact that Nigerians can access lots of e-commerce stores does not automatically signify that listed prices will always be competitive. Check the prices across multiple e-commerce websites and make deep searches on websites with multiple independent sellers before making a decision. By doing this, you will have successfully reduced the chances of purchasing a commodity at a ridiculously expensive rate or buying a counterfeit product.
For buyers intending to make bulk purchases, some e-commerce store offers a discount. For instance, Stevenchuks Global Associate Ltd offers a significant discount to buyers who make large quantity purchase from their website. Find out if there is a discount rate for bulk purchase before making payment.
- Use Pay On Delivery when you have the option: Considering the level of scepticism shown towards online payment in Nigeria and the fear of being a victim of a scam (especially among new buyers), it is usually preferable to use the pay on delivery option. However, making payment before delivery is not an entirely bad idea. If you don’t get the purchase items or are unsatisfied, you can always request for a refund or replacement (provided the store is a reputable one).
- Provide a Detailed shipping Address: One of the perks of online purchase includes the luxury of having your item delivered to your doorstep. Without an accurate description of your residence, this will be impossible and you might lose your package in the process. Ensure to be as detailed as you can while providing your delivery address. The section provided for phone number should also include your most active line.
Putting the aforementioned points in mind will not only ease online transactions for Nigeria, but it will also assist buyers in making smart and safe decisions. For those of us that are still indecisive about the need to start making online purchases, we will all have no other choice in the nearest future. With online shopping, you are assured of having the opportunity to view a large repository of items in a shorter time frame. For the purchase of household items and other consumables, check out https://stevenchuks.com.ng/ and you will be glad.