By Idris Bakare
A Mastercard study on consumer spending has revealed that over four out of five (81 per cent) consumers in Nigeria are shopping more online since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Data, apparel, beauty products and FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods), have seen the highest surge of online activity.
More than 9081per cent of Nigeria consumers said they had purchased data top-ups online while 6481per cent shopped more online for clothing, 56per cent for beauty products, with gifts, books and groceries tying equally at 51 per cent each.
With fewer opportunities to browse in the store or on the high-street, social media has emerged as the main platform for finding the most attractive products and offers, with 71 per cent and 64 per cent of respondents saying they had discovered new sellers through Facebook and Instagram respectively.
In fact, 78 per cent of typical in-store bargain hunters said they spend hours searching different sites to find the best deals.
When it comes to paying for goods or services online, speed is a key factor for Nigeria shoppers, with 79 per cent quoting this as a major consideration when choosing a business to buy from.
While adapting to the ‘next normal’, people have been changing the way they consume entertainment and learn new skills.
In fact, 87 per cent of Nigeria consumers said they were using the downtime as a positive learning experience.
More than half of the respondents (61%) said they had taken a virtual cooking class, 59 per cent learnt to manage their health and get medicines online, 29 per cent have been mastering a new language and 35% have been learning to dance online.
A total of 51 per cent of respondents have been educating themselves on Do-It-Yourself (DIY) projects,and just over a third (38 per cent) said they have been learning how to film online.
It is clear from the research that shoppers are rapidly moving away from more traditional forms of retail and opting for contact-free and digital transactions.
This, in turn, is presenting e-tailers and businesses in Nigeria and across the region, with new challenges on how to best leverage the shift towards online shopping and deliver fast, convenient and secure transactions.
“There’s no doubt that the way we live and shop has drastically changed as a result of the pandemic.
“With the surge in online shopping in Nigeria, businesses need to optimize their operations to ensure they consistently deliver convenient, enjoyable and secure transaction experiences to their customers.
“At Mastercard, we are leveraging our network, insights, technology and partnerships with fintechs, banks and other key players across Nigeria to support businesses as they make the most of this new reality,” said Ebehijie Momoh, Senior Vice President, Mastercard West Africa.