• Wednesday, June 12, 2024
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Digitisation key to unlocking modern retail in Nigeria – CEO FoodCo

How Nigeria’s consumer retail operators are coping with declining household spending

Ade Sun-Basorun, the Chief Executive Officer of FoodCo Nigeria, one of the leading omni-channel retailer with interests in supermarkets, quick service restaurants and manufacturing, has called on operators within Nigeria’s formal retail sector to integrate digitisation into their operations in order to achieve scale and position the sector for optimised service delivery.

Sun-Basorun, who spoke during a recent meeting with senior Editors, harped on the importance of using digital technology to improve efficiency and reduce operational costs.

He further stressed that digitisation was key to closing the deficit gap between the supply of modern retail and demand for the service among the country’s rapidly growing young, urban and sophisticated population.

He said: “The global retail industry has been transformed by digitization and it is expected to continue to evolve in the coming years ahead. For instance, Walmart, the biggest retailer in the world is significantly upscaling it’s brick and mortal operations to integrate digitisation and Amazon, the world’s most valuable retailer is already a digital native.

“Here in Nigeria, Jumia, the retailer with the highest Gross Merchandise Value (GMV), is also a wholly digital layer. So, we can see that digitisation has a critical role to play in the future of retail both in Nigeria and the wider globe.

“While we are excited about the potentials of technology in facilitating the inclusion of underserved communities as well as catering to the needs of GenZ who are active consumers of digital technology, the reality is that building a sustainable digital infrastructure calls for huge investments whether in developing and operating an effective social media-based selling platform, successfully managing a customer service framework across a variety of digital platforms or, as in the case of FoodCo’s omi-channel model, seamlessly integrating the different touch points with the brick and mortal stores.”

Read also: Nigeria needs urgent policies to avert food crisis – experts

He further explained that it is up to operators to demonstrate the aptitude and appetite necessary to get it right.

He recalled that a 2019 Omnisend Research showed that integrating technology into marketing campaigns led to a 90 percent customer retention rate and 250 percent higher engagement and purchase rates.

Sun-Basorun noted that while the organised retail sector has made progress in the area of leveraging technology to drive growth across digital sales channels, there still remains huge opportunity in customer service, planning, forecasting, pricing, assortment selection amongst others.

He said the benefits will be manifold if Nigeria gets it right.

Established 40 years ago as a fresh fruits and vegetable store, FoodCo operates one of the largest chain of supermarkets in South-West Nigeria, outside Lagos, and is one of only two omni-channel retailers in the country.