NIGERIAN consumers are increasingly comfortable with online shopping – both from local retailers and foreign online stores – and are some of the world’s most prolific users of mobile devices to do this shopping. And forecasts say they are going to stay out front when it comes to mobile commerce, says a recent study in Nigeria by Ipsos, a global market research company, on behalf of PayPal.
According to the research, Nigeria is home to some of the keenest mobile shoppers on the African continent, and is also the third largest mobile commerce market in terms of the incidence of mobile shoppers amongst the countries that participated in the research. With 72 percent of online consumers shopping on a smartphone in Nigeria, the country follows China (86 percent) and India (82 percent) in terms of incidence of shopping via smartphone. The global average across the 29 surveyed markets is 47 percent.
A large majority of consumers pick smartphones to shop online both when shopping cross-border and locally in Nigeria. In terms of the value of this spend, consumers estimate that mobile shopping accounts for 38 percent of their total online spend, and 36 percent of cross-border purchases.
According to the forecasts, this trend is likely to continue. The survey predicts that mobile spend will increase by 39 percent to N78.3bn in 2016, and by 31 percent to N102.2bn by the end of the following year, from N56.2bn in 2015. The healthy growth rate forecast in 2016 exceeds both China (38 percent) and UAE (35 percent).
Overall, online shopping in Nigeria is growing rapidly with 6 out of 10 Internet users in Nigeria shopping online in the 12-month period the survey covered. Total online spend is predicted to increase from N128.1 billion in 2015 (which itself was a jump of 58 percent from estimated spending in 2014) to N172 billion in 2016, up by 34 percent from the previous year. This growth continues to N217.7 billion in 2017 – 27 percent more than in 2016.
What’s more, 70 percent of Nigerian online shoppers indicated that they had purchased on international websites in the past 12 months, 6 percent of which shopped online only internationally. Meanwhile, just a third of the online shoppers (30 percent) exclusively shopped locally online.
North America is the number one cross-border online shopping destination for Nigerians (with 48 percent of online shoppers having shopped in NA in the past 12 months). It is followed by Asia (40 percent) and Europe (36 percent). Intra-continental online shopping is also strong, with 15 percent of online shoppers shopping online in the rest of Africa ranking it the fourth biggest region for Nigerians, mainly from South Africa (11 percent).
The reasons Nigerians choose to shop in each country differ from location to location. Nigerians shop online in China to get better prices and discover new and interesting products. They choose to shop in the US and UK thanks to the reputation of the online store and the higher quality products they can buy.
PayPal is the most popular way that Nigerians pay for cross-border online purchases, with 55 of Nigerian cross-border shoppers saying they have used PayPal for cross-border purchases in the past 12 months. Those who say that PayPal is their preferred method for cross-border say their reasons for preference are that it is a safer way to pay (63 percent), payments are processed quickly (56 percent), and it is a well-known and trusted brand (54 percent).