Last update: October 2016
From poor/delayed delivery services, poor customer service, fake fashion/designers items to unprofessional and unethical practices, online shopping in Nigeria is still light years away from being perfect but its progress so far cannot be overlooked.
According to an online shopping report by Philips Consulting, online shopping in Nigeria records about ₦1.3billion worth of transactions monthly and no less than 500 orders are placed in a day with each retailer nationwide. Also, it has been reported that within the last 2 years investors pumped over ₦205 billion into the eCommerce industry in Nigeria.
2014 was a good year for the eCommerce industry in Nigeria; new online stores emerged, some offline stores decided to take their businesses online and more Nigerians are embracing online shopping thanks to viral offline advertising campaigns by Konga, Jumia, olx and others. As a matter of fact, 38% of Nigerians actually prefer online shopping to the traditional in-store shopping (according to Phillips consulting).
There are currently over a hundred online stores in Nigeria today but unfortunately, 90% of online shoppers patronize only a tiny fraction of these stores. Without further ado let us quickly run through the top 10 online stores in Nigeria as at February 2015.
Must Read: Top 5 online stores in Nigeria - 2013
The criteria for selection are: the activities (number of fans, comments, likes, shares) of each stores' social media community, the number of visitors to its website, review (Internet) by customers and journalist, professionalism, website design and usability, quality of products on display and others.
Note: Free classified ads sites like oxl.com.ng, price comparison sites like pricecheck.com.ng and coupon selling sites like dealdey.com were not considered online stores in this list.
Traffic estimates: From Informer.com and Alexa.com
Fouani Nigeria ltd, one of the major distributors of LG products in Nigeria, started their online journey in 2011. Since they are already an household name offline, gaining trust and carving a niche for themselves as the best online store to buy LG products was never an issue. Nationwide delivery is also not an issue for this retail giant because of its numerous showrooms scattered across the country.
However, judging from Fouani's website and their online activities in general, it's reasonable to say that Fouani places less importance on its online business. Fouani's website design is OK but far from the standards set by the big names in the industry. Also, the annoying message (This product cannot be added to the cart because you are not logged in) displayed on each product gives the website an unattractive look. Their social media followership is also far from impressive with just 2k Facebook and Twitter followers.
Fouani.com displays Google paid ads on the "product details" pages of their website in a bid to generate a little more income from the site. Apart from the fact that it is unprofessional and it devalues their brand, they also risk losing businesses and customers by allowing competitors advertise on their online store via Google ads.
However, amidst all these shortcomings, Fouani.com attracts about 11,000 visitors daily and it is the 10th best online store in Nigeria today.
Gloo's vision is to "build the biggest supermarket in Nigeria" and their mission is to "build Nigeria's most customer-centric brand and leapfrog Nigeria into supermarket retailing's future" (according to Gloo).
They specialize in selling household and supermarket items online; from frozen food, cereals, snacks, canned goods, dairy products and beverages to home appliances, home decor items and beauty/ health care products. Gloo.ng prides itself on providing the widest range of supermarket goods online in Nigeria and offering an impressive same day delivery.
Gloo.ng is quite active on social media with an average of 3 posts per day which is just enough to keep their 23k Facebook fans and 200 twitter followers entertained and informed.
The overall look of the Gloo's site is not really great. The poor photography of the product on display and the colour combination of the site/logo (bright blue, green and red) is enough for anyone to doubt the professionalism and quality of their product/service. The site however, is easy to navigate.
Selling groceries online is not really the safest business model especially in a country like Nigeria where people just started embracing online shopping but with 10,000 visitors daily, it's obvious that gloo.ng managed to convince people that buying meat and crayfish online is not the craziest thing.
Gidimall, since its launch in 2012 has been growing slowly but steadily. In 2013, a year after its launch, Gidimall raised the bar in the eCommerce industry in Nigeria with the introduction of Nigeria's first Facebook store. Its Facebook and Twitter followership also grew slowly but steadily to about 16k and 2k between 2012 and 2014.
Gidimall sells pretty much everything from fashion products, electronics, phones and computers to power products, food and beverages all neatly arranged on its website. Its website has a modern design and a professional look; it is also easy to navigate and user friendly.
According to Online shoppers, Gidimall's service is OK but needs improvement. Read Gidimall's review..
With 11,000 visits daily and a handful of happy customers, Gidimall is doing better than the average Nigerian online store but its journey to the number 1 spot is still very long.
Kara.com.ng was created in 2012 and they sell mainly automobile products, power/electrical products, phones and computer products. According to some internet reviews, Kara.com.ng is a good and affordable place to shop online. Read kara.com.ng's review..
Kara's Facebook and twitter followership sits comfortable at 11k and 200 respectively and an average of 10,000 people visit the site daily.
Kara's newly improved website design is neat and better organized than the previous design. Improvements were also made to the photography and graphic design content of the website.
Parktel international limited has been a mobile phones distributor in Nigeria for over a decade with a shop located in the popular computer village. Their journey into the online world started about 2 years ago when they created parktelonline.com which specializes in the sale of mobile devices and its accessories. Parktelonline offers free next day delivery to their customers in Lagos and Abuja.
Parktelonline is not really active on twitter and moderately active on Facebook but it was able to gather about 1400 twitter followers and 30k Facebook page likes. An average of 11,000 people visits parktelonline.com daily.
The site is user friendly and easy to navigate.
5. Taafoo.com (OUT OF BUSINESS - 2016)
Taafoo.com is arguably the most popular fashion online store in Nigeria today. Starting as an online social messaging platform for Nigerian celebrities in 2009, Taafoo naturally diversified into fashion. Taafoo offers free delivery services within Lagos to customers with a minimum purchase value of N5,000; they also operate an offline fashion mall in Oregun, Ikeja, Lagos.
Taafoo almost doubled the size of their social media community (between June 2013 and February 2015) from 79k Facebook page likes and 3k twitter followers to 148k and 5k respectively. Its traffic stats also improved within this time frame from 14,000 daily visitors to about 15,000 daily visitors but that didn't stop them from going down the chat. Taafoo dropped 2 spots from number 3 in the 2013 publication: Top 5 online stores in Nigeria 2013 to number 5 on this list.
Their new website is more user-friendly and better looking but their photography is still poor. The low quality photos of the clothes gives them a cheap, faded and unattractive look and the use of extra glossy mannequin to display the creased clothes is also unattractive.
Taafoo, like Fouani above, display Google ads on their site as a source of alternative income. This is unprofessional, it devalues their brand and they risk losing businesses and customers by allowing competitors advertise on their online store via Google ads.
Taafoo has a large collection of affordable fashion products. Its fast delivery is one of its biggest strengths.
4. Ojashop.com (OUT OF BUSINESS - 2016)
Oja shop is Nigeria's fastest growing online store at the moment. It was launched in September last year (2014) and its already topping chats all over Nigeria. Ojashop is located in Ibadan, Oyo state but that didn't stop them from offering free delivery services to residents of Lagos (and Ibadan) on orders above N10,000.
Ojashop's rapid growth can also be seen in its social media community where it gathered an impressive 16k likes in barely six months. However, its twitter followership is far from impressive with just 6 followers. Ojashop.com can proudly boast of 25k visitors daily (as at 2015).
They have one of the best websites in the industry with beautiful graphic design. The image quality of their fashion products is good but needs improvement.
Slot is the biggest offline phones, computer and gadget retailer in the country today and they are about to take that spot online too. Slot moves up to the number 3 position this year from it number 4 position in the 2013 list of the top 5 online stores in Nigeria.
They have a new and improved website design and their Facebook and twitter followers grew to about 130k and 16k respectively. Daily visits to their site also grew steadily from 14,000 to about 20,000 between June 2013 and January 2015.
With offices (shops) in almost all the major cities in Nigeria, Slot easily offers fast delivery services to their customers all over Nigeria (free for Lagos and Abuja).
They also offer credit facilities to their customers with the help of their partnership with Diamond bank and First bank.
Konga is the 8th most visited website in Nigeria (according to Alexa at the time of writing this article) beating popular news websites like vanguard, punch etc and the almighty lindaikeji.blogspot.com. Konga's growth in the eCommerce industry in Nigeria is quite amazing being the only Nigerian owned online store that has been able to give Jumia (an international online store) a run for its money.
Konga has been able to snatch some good international investments since its launch in 2012. Its contribution to the growth of online shopping in Nigeria is immense having launched an ongoing offline advertising campaign in a bid to encourage Nigerians to embrace online shopping.
Konga recently converted its online store to a market place where it allows merchants sell their products on Konga.com for a commission. This is obviously still a work-in-progress as Konga and its website presently lack the required structure needed for the smooth operation of an online market place. Some of Konga's merchants (and Konga itself) have been accused of displaying unavailable items as in-stock items; this increases delivery time and sometimes leads to the cancellation of orders.
About 293,000 people visit Konga.com daily. They also doubled their twitter followers to 80k and tripled their Facebook page likes to 1.2m between June 2013 and February 2015.
Konga's redesigned website is beautiful with nice graphic design, good photography and high quality images. It is also user friendly and easy to navigate.
♪ Jumia Jumai Jumia... ♪ Yea, almost everybody is singing the Jumia song because of their viral offline advertising campaign which is currently being used to encourage Nigerians to embrace online shopping and of course to promote their brand.
Jumia is reported to have secured about ₦8billion in funding since its launch in 2012 and according to Jumia, orders placed on their site in 2014 alone, when stacked on top of each other, will be 220 times the height of the tallest building in the world (Burj Khalifa).
Jumia is the 6th most visited website in Nigeria (as at the time of writing this) and it clings to the number 1 spot on this list up from number 2 on the 2013 list of the top 5 online stores in Nigeria beating its closest competitor: Konga. It attracts an amazing 377,000 visitors daily (in 2015). Jumia's Facebook fans grew to an impressive 1.1m and twitter followers increased to 44k.
Just like Konga, Jumia also have delivery and sometimes integrity issue as regards displaying out-of stock items.
Jumia has one of the best website in the industry. Its graphic design is top notch and the photography/image of the products on display is of a high quality and standard.
15% of all Nigeria's online shoppers prefer DealDey while 25% prefer Konga and a good 38% prefer Jumia (according to Philips consulting's survey).
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