The bane and boon of online shopping ahead of Yuletide

By Oghale Mafuru

Ahead of the Yuletide which is usually accompanied with increased economic activities, e-commerce sites such as Jumia and Konga have leveraged on the festive season to stimulate sales by offering customers a variety of discounts. The most recent of these incentives is the ‘Jumia Black Friday’. The company promises an array of products available at mouth-watering discount prices for its Friday shoppers.

Speaking assuredly on its website, Jumia Nigeria stated, “Get a huge discount every Friday on a lot of products at Jumia Nigeria. You can get the mobile phones you’re dreaming of now, because Black Friday Nigeria offers giveaways, amazing deals and coupons not just on Friday but, from Monday to Thursday as well. Not only has this, Jumia NG offered treasure puzzles on your most wanted products.”

Similarly,  Konga, another leading e-commerce platform in Nigeria recently unveiled its end of the year special offer ‘Konga Yakata’ in partnership with top Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) manufacturer, Unilever where shoppers can get 50% off from products across all categories with free delivery included in the offer.

According to Konga, “This partnership is one that will enrich and delight most shoppers, especially with the hike in prices of groceries in the market. It is also proof of Konga’s commitment to continually push boundaries in meeting and exceeding every shopper’s expectation.”

It added that “In addition to all of this, Konga is offering shoppers free delivery during the Konga Yakata. Shop all you want and get them delivered right to your doorstep at zero delivery cost.”

Although these offers provide a kind of respite to consumers considering the present inflationary economic realities, the majority of online shoppers have expressed some level of dissatisfaction in respect to the quality of products, delivery services and others.

A cross section of online shoppers who shared their online experiences to MARKETING EDGE affirmed that the transition to online shopping has facilitated easy and time effective ways for shopping as it is done from the comfort of home, they expressed displeasure at their shopping experience.

Oladiti Ayomide said: “I had a very bad experience shopping online and it was during one of their slash sales.”

Another respondent, Mrs. Jennifer Joseph said: “We got our centre table from them. The table is broken; the nails are coming out too. We spent over 700k to purchase this stuff and all the things are trash.”

Speaking on discount offers, Mr. Asagba Daniel said: “Well as regards Black Friday deals and discounts, I think it is fair-price wise. I only wish they could render their services speedily.”

While enabling customers to have access to a wide range of products from local and international vendors, the bane of shopping online for products is rising as shoppers cannot immediately verify the authenticity of products before purchase.

Meanwhile, Konga on its website says it has developed tools to safeguard and protect shoppers from potential risks. “Konga has developed and continuously updates proprietary software algorithms to automatically monitor data for patterns, and quickly detect potential risks and violations. Konga utilises a variety of safeguards and monitoring tools to protect you, including proprietary technology solutions.”

It added: “In addition to data-driven algorithms and automated tools, Konga has a number of teams focused on protecting the integrity of Konga’s marketplace by proactively investigating, sanctioning, and preventing various types of inappropriate behavior. Konga’s 100% Buyer Protection guarantee is among the most robust in e-commerce. If you pre-pay for an eligible item and your order doesn’t go as planned, you’re 100% protected, quickly and easily.”

On its part, Jumia on its website said: “Jumia works with the best suppliers and vendors to provide the best and affordable products to its customers. At times, things go wrong with these products. Luckily, our brands are committed to our customers as much as we are. They show that commitment through warranties.

Warranty ensures that if anything goes wrong, that is not the customer’s fault; your product can be repaired or replaced. Warranty is available on select brands and products.

It added: “We are committed to offering our customers only 100% genuine and original products. We also take all necessary actions to ensure that any seller found to be selling non-genuine products is immediately delisted from Jumia.”

The respondents urged e-commerce sites to intensify efforts to eliminate the risks inherent in online purchase as the world is gradually shifting to technologically driven commerce.


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