How eCommerce is Making Prices of Good & Services More Affordable
By Adeniyi Ogunfowoke
Change is the only constant thing in life. The modus operandi of doing business in Nigeria has significantly been disrupted since the entry of eCommerce. One of the areas that the impact of ecommerce is currently being felt is in the prices of goods and services.
Gone are the days when shoppers have to visit physical stores or markets to haggle about prices. Sometimes, the prices at these stores are so outrageous that you end up either buying the product at an exorbitant face price, or buying a low-quality product because it is cheaper or you simply return home empty-handed. If any of the aforementioned happens to you, you are in a no-win situation.
Presently, a millennial or tech-savvy person who wants to buy anything is most likely to visit an ecommerce store. Apart from the fact that you will get a quick and real-time idea of what you intend to buy, you have the opportunity of comparing the prices of different brands in the same product category.
OFFLINE VS ONLINE PRICES
The prices of goods and services online are not hidden. It is visible for everyone to see and of course, ecommerce companies like Jumia have made efforts to get shoppers and deal-scavengers the best price. Interestingly, to give you assurances that you are being offered the best price, Jumia recently ran a campaign tagged ‘Last Price Campaign’. The objective was to offer customers the very best prices on over 1,000 iconic products across all categories on its platform.
This is the level of guarantee that ecommerce companies are giving their customers who always desire the best price. In fact, competition in the ecommerce space is also driving down the prices.
There are many online stores who want a chunk of the market. One way to attract with the customers is by offering them the best price. So, beyond the convenience of being able to book a hotel or buy an item at any time of the day, an ecommerce store like Jumia will offer the best price on good and services. And since Jumia is now an ecosystem, shoppers have the opportunity of receiving the best deals on travel, food, and services.
To lend credence to this, if you book directly with the hotel, you will be getting the exact rates of the rooms. Conversely, if you book with an online travel agency like Jumia’s hotel and flight services, you will get a discounted price because they already negotiated the best price on your behalf. In addition to this, customers can take advantage of coupons and vouchers.
Currently, it appears as if the price war is not between offline and online stores but among online stores.
For the offline stores, shoppers have the advantage of haggling prices. The truth is that not many people want to go through this. But, if you decide to visit a departmental store, you simply accept whatever price you are offered. No negotiation…that is the last price.
Here, you cannot blame the brick and mortar store. Factors such as rent, electricity, payroll, fixtures and shrinkage loss all contribute to the gross margin and overhead of doing business in a shopping centre or elsewhere. This is why many offline stores are moving online. That’s not saying that these things don’t affect online retailers. They do, but online stores have a relatively better return on investment when compared with offline stores.
This is perhaps another reason to shop online as you have the virtual chances to visit different websites to get the best price.
THE BIGGEST SHOPPING FESTIVAL OF THE YEAR: BLACK FRIDAY
Black Friday, which is usually held in November is the biggest shopping festival in the world. A time to enjoy ‘crazie’ discounts on products and services. Nigerians have caught the Black Friday fever that they now save to cash in on the sales.
The fact remains that shoppers will get the best Black Friday deals and prices online and in the same vein, the goods will be delivered at their doorsteps. This is not the case with offline stores and if you factor in their high prices, it is advisable to stick with online shopping.
More importantly, the ‘shopping madness’ associated with Black Friday will be ultimately bypassed.
CAN EVERY DAY BE BLACK FRIDAY?
Thousands of customers will really love every day to be Black Friday. Clearly, this is not possible because fantastic deals and discount are usually one-off and they are only offered on Black Friday. Regardless, customers will still get the best deals. As earlier mentioned, competition is impacting price and it has helped online stores to offer the best available price.