In recent times electronic commerce has become a significant tool in unlocking job creation and innovation for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria. E-commerce and mobile commerce have dramatically changed the way small businesses reach customers, making it faster and easier for consumers to make purchases on the go while avoiding the hassles of going to the store.
The online marketplace provides a springboard for SMEs, transcending local and regional boundaries to attain a global reach. Many SMEs are taking advantage of the opportunities afforded by e-commerce to tap into a bigger clientele, new market and increase their revenue. "We're now living in a time when competition is driving brands to innovate, giving their customers better products, customizable options, efficient delivery and more purchasing channels to choose from.
Large retailers have set the bar high for SMEs who are just looking to break into the e-commerce market. For small retailers one of the most pressing challenges faced is poor delivery and tracking system" stated Evangeline Wiles Deputy MD Jumia Market.com.ng in a statement released by the company.
The proliferation of SMEs into e-commerce present new challenges for this sector that do not have the capacity to overcome them unassisted.
According to Wiles, "One of the major challenges faced by SMEs remains inefficient delivery system". For an online marketplace such as Jumia Market that provides a platform for buyers and sellers to conduct business transactions, we have seen cases whereby the seller has a good product offering, great image quality and the most competitive price but does not have the capacity to deliver".
To address the challenges, e-commerce platforms have to provide technical assistance to sellers on their platforms by providing SMEs market intelligence, spotting opportunities and developing specific delivery solutions for SMEs to effectively work in the online marketplace. "This is a call for delivery companies and systems to operate a functional delivery process that facilitates prompt and efficient delivery and tracking system as this is pertinent to SME growth", Wiles concluded.