As total global e-commerce sales hit $29 trillion in 2019, as reported by Geneva based UNCTAD, taking advantage of the different online portals including Instagram should form part of every retailer sales strategy in 2020.
Going by the pictorial tactics deployed and the growing number of influencers on Instagram, entrepreneurs using the portal are expected to record more sales.
Another strong case backing up the growth projection is the rate of consumers pressed for time owing to busy workplace schedules and tight home chores.
More, the explosive ownership of smartphones these days in Nigeria is also balanced up by the availability of affordable data offerings across the major telcos and broadband service providers. Hence it is easier to connect, browse as well as buy from an extensive list of online malls including those displaying wares such as clothing, home appliances and wearable.
Going by recent report by Statista, a research portal, there are around 40 million smartphone users in Nigeria. Other reports are also positive. Guardian reported a couple of years ago that the mobile penetration in Nigeria has reached 84%; while e-commerce giant, Jumia, highlighted in 2019 that 44% of mobile network subscribers have access to at least 3G infrastructure.
In sum, the largest consumer-base are on the internet. They comprise the demography of those between 18-25 given to extensive social media consumption, leveraging it for building relationship and making purchases; in addition to squeezed housewives and working ladies and gentlemen. The market is helped by the exploits of bike-hailing services such as Oride, Gokada, Max Okada, now serving as delivery/ logistic chain for small-size online retailers such as the instapreneurs.
Expounding the rise in the use of instagram by retailers, Olufikayo Owoeye, a writer with one of Nigeria’s top business media, explained, “The choice of instagram among other platforms is not far-fetched; it allows sellers to display pictures of their products for their customers (with specified description) and in essence allows the buyers to “inspect” (to some extent) the products they intend to purchase before making orders”.
He explained further, “Social media platforms such as Instagram has significantly bridged the gap between buyers and sellers by creating a new value chain by which products move from the buyer to the seller with ease and in the process creating a market that transcends across geographical boundaries, time and distance”.
Instapreneurs who have the means use influencers to push their brands and products. Such influencers cut across Nollywood actors, upcoming artistes, and bloggers with a huge following of up to millions of people sometimes. That works since the followers get to see videos or pictures of the promoted products and brands.
A Yotpo Instagram data revealed that 72% of customers are likely to buy what they see on display on Instagram; where 35% report they are frequently buyers of products on Instagram.
Facebook, the parent company for Instagram, has however provided a guide that should help new users create an Instagram Shop. The guides include:
“Once your account and catalog are connected, go to the Instagram app to sign up for Shopping. Go to your profile’s settings, tap Business and tap Instagram Shopping. Follow the steps to make sure everything is all good to go and to submit your account for review”.
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