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How eCommerce is Driving Selling to People Who Aren’t Online

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By Adeniyi Ogunfowoke,

With the rate or speed at which the internet or World Wide Web is revolutionising the world and Africa, you would think everyone is already online. This is not the case especially in Africa and many emerging economies. A report by Internet World Stats says that Africa remains the least connected continent. Africa’s broadband household penetration accounted for 36.1% as at June 2018, far behind the worldwide average of 55.1% (North America – 95.0%; Europe – 85.2%, Middle East – 64.5% and Asia 49.0%).

This reveals that quite a handful of people in Africa notwithstanding whether they are inhabiting urban or rural areas are still offline. Despite these figures, it does not disregard the fact that internet usage is growing especially in sub-Saharan Africa.

This rapid internet growth can be observed in the ballooning of eCommerce in countries like Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa ably pioneered by Jumia. Many now order or book items, food and hotels online. This is definitely for those who are online.

The question now is what happens to those who are offline? Don’t they purchase groceries, household items and use hotels? Yes, they do. They will probably visit brick and mortar stores to buy these items and use these services which is obviously very inconveniencing.

Expectedly, since they are offline, they are not supposed to enjoy the benefits of eCommerce. This is also wrong because being offline does not mean you won’t relish these services from Jumia and others. If they are ignored or neglected because they are offline, the truth is eCommerce sites will be losing out on people who have the purchasing power but whose undoing is that they are offline, which is in most situations no fault of theirs.

What is being done to sell to people who are offline?

What??? An eCommerce platform selling to Africans who are offline? It is impossible. Well, as Jumia continues to innovate to satisfy and meet customer demands, it has over the years sold to customers who are offline across its different markets in Africa.

Jumia has set up customer adoption centres (boutique-style booths) with laptops and tablets, where prospective shoppers can navigate its online marketplaces, guided by company representatives. Those who are offline can easily walk into these customer adoption centres to place and process their orders. The booths are situated in strategic locations.

JForce, a similar program, already in place, has salespeople going door to door with Wi-Fi-connected tablets. The top JForce performers can become regional and neighbourhood “captains,” which lets their clients place orders and receive customer service and delivery directly from them. It allows agents to become entrepreneurs effectively operating their own online retail business right from home.

With these painstaking efforts, Jumia has been able to extend the convenience of eCommerce to many offline folks.

Ugo Onwuaso is an ICT enthusiast. He believes technology should be used for general good. He holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the Lagos state University.

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Nigeria inflation rises as Presidential elections loom

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By Lukman Otunuga, Research Analyst at FXTM, 

Repeated signs of rising inflationary pressures in Nigeria could fuel speculation over the Central Bank of Nigeria raising interest rates in a bid to tame consumer prices.

Nigeria’s inflation jumped to a seven-month high of 11.44% in December due to rising food prices. With inflation building momentum and seen accelerating further due to increased government spending ahead of the presidential elections, the Naira could be in trouble.

Markets mixed ahead of US earnings

The mood across financial markets was mixed today as concerns over China’s economic outlook, Brexit developments and a prolonged US government shutdown weighed on risk sentiment.

Anticipation is set to mount as market players prepare for the US earnings season with numbers from Netflix expected this afternoon. Although earnings kicked off on a positive note as upbeat US bank earnings boosted investor confidence, it may be too early for any celebrations. It must be kept in mind that Apple has already issued Q1 profit warnings. Markets will be looking for signs of other multinational US companies impacted by trade tensions – namely in the technology and agriculture sector.

Sectors that could surprise markets are consumer staples, healthcare and utilities as they tend to perform well in times of uncertainty. Will this be a great earnings season? Confirmation is still needed from other key sectors to evaluate how consumers are behaving.

There is a strong possibility that the US government shutdown will negatively impact results and outlook for some companies. Corporations that obtain a significant portion of their revenue from government business could be punished by delays in payment and contracts. Although yesterday was somewhat positive for stocks, investors should remain diligent and alert. With the fundamental drivers weighing on global sentiment present, stock markets remain vulnerable to downside shocks. Geopolitical risk factors such as trade tensions, Brexit uncertainty, political risk in Europe and instability in Washington will continue draining investor confidence. Global growth fears and growing concerns over China’s economic outlook are likely to promote risk aversion – ultimately reducing appetite for global equities.

Sterling searches for next catalyst

The British Pound was clearly unfazed yesterday evening despite Theresa May narrowly surviving a vote of no-confidence.

The anticlimactic price action suggests that this outcome was already heavily factored in. With Theresa May racing against the clock to present an alternative Brexit deal to Parliament, the Pound seems to be on standby mode. If May is unable to secure further concessions on the Irish border backstop from the European Union, expectations are poised to mount over a second referendum being in the cards. With Sterling’s outlook dictated by Brexit developments and political situation at home, traders should brace for volatility ahead.

Focusing on the technical picture, the GBPUSD’s direction remains influenced by Brexit newsflow. There needs to be a break above 1.2920 to open a path higher towards the psychological 1.3000 level.

Commodity markets – Gold

It has been a lackluster trading week for Gold thus far with the metal bouncing within a modest range. Price action suggests that the metal is searching for a fresh catalyst to make the next major move. Resistance can be found around $1,296 and support at $1,280. A breakout above $1,296 will open the gates towards the psychological $1,300 level and beyond. On the other hand, weakness below $1,280 is seen triggering a decline back towards $1,272

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How to Save Money on Online Shopping This New Year

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By Adeniyi Ogunfowoke,

Online retailers seem to be becoming more innovative and creative these days to score big with shoppers. However, if you are a smart deal hunter or want to save money, try using these clever and helpful online shopping tips shared by Jumia, Nigeria’s no 1 shopping destination.

Take part in the ongoing clearance sales

The Jumia clearance sales is presently on and it features amazing discounts, flash sales and vouchers. It affords you the opportunity to save a lot of money despite the fact that we just hit the new year. The clearance sales started yesterday and it will run up until January 31st. So, what are you waiting for? Download the Jumia App and start shopping and saving at the same time.

Organise your emails

Signing up to newsletters and promotion lists can save you a lot of money, but are you too reluctant about getting your email spammed? If this is the case, now is the time for you to organise your emails. One important thing you can do is to unsubscribe from junk emails. Additionally, you should activate email notification so that you will be alerted as soon as newsletters and other promotions are sent.

Leave items in your cart

Leave the products in your cart for a day or two. Firstly, you’ve just avoided making an impulse purchase. Secondly, most retailers dislike unclosed deals and will try to retain you. Remember the trick works only when you have an account on the merchant’s website and you are logged in when you leave your cart.

Shop at the right time of the day

Sometimes you have to be strategic when you shop online. There are certain times of the day when some product items are sold at give away prices. For example, for this Jumia clearance sales, there is the Mega Flash Sales at 12 noon daily. To wow you further, a 92k Bruhm air conditioner was sold for 40k and it sold out within minutes. So, ensure that you shop at the right time of the day this new year.

 

 

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Will Nigeria be affected by Brexit?

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By Lukman Otunuga, Research Analyst at FXTM

Market expectations remain elevated over Theresa May’s Brexit deal facing defeat in the House of Commons this evening.

Investors will be paying very close attention to the conclusion of the “meaningful vote” to determine what could happen next. An outcome where May loses by less than 100 votes could offer the government a lifeline to pass an amended Brexit deal through parliament on the second try. However, if May experiences a crushing defeat, this opens doors to Labour triggering a vote of no-confidence, an extension of Article 50, May seeking further concessions from the European Union, a snap election and in extreme scenarios a second referendum.

Market sentiment will most likely receive a boost if May unexpectedly wins the meaningful vote while a narrow loss is seen removing some uncertainty. A heavy defeat of May’s Brexit plan will negatively impact sentiment and severely punish the Pound.

The outcome of today’s vote will have little immediate impact on Nigeria but the longer-term outlook must not be overlooked. A negative outcome to Brexit that is followed by prolonged uncertainty is seen weakening the British Pound and UK economy considerably. This is bad news for Nigeria, especially when considering how Britain may reduce its investment to key projects in the nation.

EM currencies hit by caution…but Naira steady

Emerging market currencies entered the trading week on a cautious note as geopolitical risks and fears over slowing global growth left investors uneasy.

The performance across the EM currency space remains mixed with Indian Rupee, Malaysian Ringgit, and South African Rand depreciating. However, the Turkish Lira, Chinese Yuan, Indonesian Rupiah and Naira were able to stand tall against the Dollar. With Brexit-related uncertainty and political uncertainty in Washington among many other geopolitical risk factors draining investor confidence, EM currencies remain vulnerable to losses.

In Nigeria, investors will keep a close eye on the inflation report scheduled for release on Thursday. Persistent signs of rising inflationary pressures could encourage a shift in the CBN’s monetary policy stance this year.

Currency spotlight – GBPUSD

The Pound’s outlook hangs on what happens after the Brexit “meaningful vote” on Tuesday evening.

While the outcome of the vote remains open to question, it will certainly have a lasting impact on the British Pound. In regards to the technical perspective, the GBPUSD secured a weekly close above 1.2820, mostly due to Brexit noise. The 1.2820 level is seen acting as support that pushes prices towards 1.2920.

 

 

 

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