Nigeria’s computer village generated more than $2 billion dollars in revenue as at 2013, and contributes up to two percent to Nigeria’s GDP, but new online businesses are chipping away at its success.
Traders at the market complain that the rise of online stores selling products that computer village traders have been known for is reducing footfalls at the market.
According to DailyTrust, the president of the Phone and Allied Products Dealers Association (PAPDAN), Godfrey Nwosu is requesting that the government make policies that will protect the traders. He made the request at the recently concluded CVExpo15 organised by Technology Times.
The kind of policies requested by the PAPDAN is unclear. It’s unlikely such policy will not, in the same breath, hurt the continued success of online businesses.
However, as more online stores begin to spring up across the country along with accessible connectivity, a continuous shift in patronage from offline to online is inevitable. Jumia and Konga are the most visible of the ecommerce stores, but there are more stores springing up everyday, with trade-in and P2P marketplaces also bouncing along for the ride.
A few of the traders are already catching on to reality of online sales and are taking their businesses online. One of the first mobile phones shops in Nigeria, SLOT began extending its storefront to the internet earlier this year. Some lesser known offline phone stores are also using third party sales outposts on Konga (Konga Sellers HQ) and Jumia (Marketplace) to sell their products.
If more of them do so (which seems a pretty obvious thing to do), they’ll hardly feel the pinch as much as they appear to be doing currently.