BusinessDay
NigeriaDecides2023

The impact of e-commerce on supply chain

Technological advances in many aspects of our lives have resulted in buying, selling, and other forms of transactions being executed online.

Once the consumer makes an online purchase, the work begins to transport the products from the seller to the consumer – and that’s where the logistics sector comes into play. Statista claims that the logistics sector is one of the pillars of global trade, valued at more than 5.7 trillion euros.

In Nigeria, the logistics and supply sector is growing exponentially. According to the 2018 Logistics & Supply Chain Industry Report, Nigeria’s logistics industry was worth 250 billion naira ($696 million) as of 2018, which represents an increase of 50 billion naira ($140 million) from 2017 statistics. This value has increased over the years. The industry is currently expanding because of improved aviation and rail infrastructure, stronger international relations, expansion in the manufacturing and export industries, and continuous e-commerce growth.

E-commerce and the Supply Chain Sector

The supply chain links numerous parties and organisations, including consumers, enterprises, merchants, financial, and information flows. To deliver high-quality services and products, managing various groups and activities requires a method that can effectively and efficiently integrate interactions among the entities, particularly when organisations use resources from different regions of the world.

The supply chain has grown more adaptable and effective as a result of e-commerce. It has given businesses fresh and creative ways to connect with consumers. E-commerce also has made it possible for companies to offer goods directly to consumers instead of through conventional retail channels.

The increase in e-commerce adoption has made logistics services a necessary component of daily living in Nigeria’s major commercial cities. Access, cycle time, dependability, and cost of logistics are directly impacted by the state of the available infrastructure and the degree of integration.

High-performance government agencies, funding, and industry expertise are also essential. Therefore, logistics is a primary marker of economic advancement as represented in trade facilitation and company competitiveness.

How E-commerce is Revolutionising the Supply Chain Sector

E-commerce has several advantages in the supply chain sector. Firstly, it offers real-time data on inventory levels and order status. This lowers the possibility of stock outs or overstocks by helping businesses to make better decisions about when to produce or order products.

Read also: How B2B e-commerce platforms are redefining Nigeria’s $100bn informal retail market

Collaboration between businesses and their suppliers and consumers is also made simpler by e-commerce. For instance, a business can quickly place orders and submit estimates to suppliers. This lessens the amount of paperwork required and helps to speed up the ordering process.

A company like Jumia in the supply chain sector, through e-commerce, connects vendors with consumers across a broad delivery area. As a result, local vendors and international brands can effectively reach more consumers across the country using the platform. In addition, consumers’ shifting preferences, lifestyles, and behaviours have led companies like Jumia to introduce quick commerce to make online shopping more convenient than ever before.

With speed and convenience becoming more important than ever, Jumia opened its logistics services to third parties. Its logistics network smoothly connects hundreds of logistics partners across Nigeria, from small business owners to significant logistics service providers. It offers merchants the advantage of a distributed and scalable logistics service and gives consumers quick access to the products they desire.

What Does the Future Hold for Logistics?

Technology remains a strategic imperative for supply chain organisations. In the next three to five years, we will see an increase in the adoption of digital supply chain technologies, including those that improve human decision-making.

It is predicted that the future of the supply chain sector will be defined by data, analysed by artificial intelligence, and driven by machines. Gartner has predicted that by 2023, AI techniques will be embedded across 50 percent of all supply chain technology solutions.

Already, Jumia Logistics is leading the forefront, as the company has invested in machine learning and several data science techniques. This has helped to offer more precise delivery times based on multiple factors, and even to predict the ideal routes that delivery agents can rely on to meet their targets.

Consequently, online consumers will have better experiences on the mobile app with greater certainty about the progress of their orders from purchase to delivery.

Furthermore, the company’s move into drone delivery with its recently announced collaboration with Zipline, the world’s largest instant delivery service, is another game changer for the industry. Using the latest instant logistics technology, Jumia will be able to offer consumers living in rural or remote areas on-demand delivery of the products they need.

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.