By Victor George
A notable trend in the Nigerian e-commerce space for the year 2021 was the increasing activity of the B2B segment. The year saw the likes of Alerzo, TradeDepot and Omnibiz implementing innovative ideas to bring more retailers onboard e-commerce, in their quest to dominate the space and control a large chunk of the market.
As businesses set out for 2022, here are some trends to expect from players as they aim to take this important segment of e-commerce to the next level:
1. Increased Adoption Of B2B marketplace: According to Adewale Opaleye, CEO Alerzo Limited, E-commerce in Nigeria is gaining momentum and the increasing rate of internet users in the country is expected to propel growth in the B2B marketplace. “The necessary pillars needed for the culture to thrive are gradually falling into place. For instance, 50% of Nigeria’s population, that is 104.4 million, is connected to the internet. Today, the majority of Nigerians access the internet with their mobile phones. With the increasing internet penetration, mobile phone users in the country and the National Economy Digital Policy and Strategy for Digital Nigeria by the Federal Government, we expect that more Nigerians will imbibe the ecommerce culture and the B2B market will definitely benefit from this trend,” he said.
2. Expansion to non-consumables: unlike the B2C e-tailing platforms, Nigeria’s online B2B marketplace is still dominated by platforms who service the FMCG segment of retailers. Beginning from 2022, it is expected that the market will begin to open up to retailers dealing in the non-consumables to accommodate more high-earned product retailers, especially men.
3. Alerzopay: As more retailers embrace the online marketplaces, it is expected that the major players will roll out in-platform payment solutions to create a one stop shop for their customers. A major player, Alerzo has said retailers can look forward to the launch of its fintech products, which will also help drive financial inclusion and saving culture among retailers in the country. “we are building systems towards financial inclusion for our retailers through our soon-to-be-launched, Alerzopay platform. Through the platform, we aim to encourage a healthy saving culture and access to loan facilities. We envision our platform hosting financial inclusion initiatives that national and international organizations wish to roll out,” said the CEO.
4. Inroad to more cities: B2B shopping brands are also expected to expand their reach and services to more cities across the country. “We’re focused right now on growing our business by onboarding more informal retailers across the country. We want to expand into new markets as we believe our platform can empower more people across the country. Our strong presence in the South-West, and continued expansion to the North-West and Central consolidate our desire to grow in a sustainable manner and continue to serve those that are underserved,” said Alerzo CEO.
5. Social Impact Programmes: One of the major ways brands endear themselves to customers is through social impact programmes in communities. For instance, Alerzo recently supported some burn survivors with funds through “Sebastine Foundation For Burn Survivors”. While B2B marketplace deploy innovations to attract more retailers online, we can also expect them to creatively engage at the grassroot with social impact activities that will not only announce their presence, but also help them attract brand loyalty.
6. More Investors: As at the end of year 2021, B2B startups in Africa attracted a cumulative $ 164.5 million in equity and debt financing. For a section of ecommerce that has lasted barely three years on the continent, this is remarkable. And from indications, 2022 might see more investors showing interest in this emerging trend
Victor George, a tech enthusiast writes from Lagos