BusinessDay
NigeriaDecides2023

How social media is driving online retail in Nigeria

A close friend of mine, Yemi stepped into my house with a cheeky smile on his face. I was wondering why this normally grumpy individual was brimming with smiles. “Ben baba,  i just bought one of the coolest smartphone in the market right now”, he enthused. He showed me the device and in all honesty, the specs were simply extraordinary.

“This device was launched in London weeks ago. Is it available in Nigeria now?”, I asked. “Yeah, its all over Facebook and Twitter. There’s so much conversation about the device online. A link on Facebook took me to Konga.com. I ordered and Konga delivered the device to my house.” Social media is not only driving traffic to online retail stores but currently influencing and inspiring purchase in Nigeria, industry analysts have said.

The innovative application of social media platforms, notably Facebook and Twitter by online retailers (Konga.com, jumia.com, gloo.ng, gidimall) in Nigeria to drive customer awareness, interaction and marketing campaigns has been identified by industry watchers as a fundamental factor responsible for their massive success. Nigeria is ranked tops in terms of social media usage with over 11 million users. A new report by Portland Communications, a Kenyan-based public relations agency, says Nigerians are the third most active Twitter users on the continent.

Reports have already shown that social networking platforms are driving traffic to online retail websites. Olamide Amosu, offline marketing- pr and events manager, Jumia, said that that social media played a significant role in the success of eCommerce in Nigeria.

“Jumia was able to ride on the enormous potential of this media to create awareness and build trust for the eCommerce industry which was still very unpopular in its infant stage”, he further added.

According to fourth quarter (Q4) 2013 Social Media Intelligence Report, which analysed paid, earned and owned social media trends, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr drove an unprecedented amount of qualified traffic to retail websites in Q4, with Revenue Per View (RPV) increasing across social channels. The analysis is based on aggregated and anonymous data from retail, media, entertainment and travel sites between Q4 2012 and Q4 2013, including 240 billion Facebook ad impressions, more than 1.5 billion Facebook posts, 500 million unique visitors to social networking sites, and 6.3 billion social engagements on Facebook, including comments, shares and also likes.

According to Adobe, social media continues to shape the digital marketplace with how brands can engage consumers. Whether it’s through a sponsored link on Twitter, an online ad with Facebook, or retail placement on Pinterest, an understanding of the current trends will go a long way to producing a successful social media marketing campaign, it added.

The study discovered that Tumblr RPV rose 340 percent  year-over-year (YoY), followed by Pinterest (244 percent), Twitter (131 percent) and Facebook (72 percent). The data confirms that Facebook is facing increasing competition, with share of referred visits to retail sites growing the fastest YoY for Twitter and Pinterest, at 125 percent and 89 percent, respectively.

Twitter continues to grow the fastest in referral visits, said Adobe, urging organisations to incorporate promoted tweets, as well as image- and video-related content, to capitalise on the growth.  “We expect Facebook’s competitors to aggressively drive market share growth in 2014 by adding innovative paid media capabilities,” said Tamara Gaffney, principal analyst, Adobe Digital Index, Adobe. “Optimising campaign spending across social channels and seeking a balance between cost per clicks (CPCs) and cost per miles (CPMs) to drive ROI will become even more important,” she added.

By: Ben Uzor Jr