November 2nd, 2016
SME Series 101
How to triple your business growth using digital marketing.
A key ingredient for the success of any business is to have a constant flow of paying customers. Today, those customers do not have to work into a physical store to patronize your business, they can simply do that via the internet; especially through their mobile devices.
One of the most impressive yet sad case studies of companies not leveraging the internet to grow their business in good time is the classic Barnes & Noble vs. Amazon case study. For so many years Barnes & Noble had dominated the retail bookstore market but didn’t catch on early to the potential the internet had to increase reach and revenue. Then came Amazon; now the largest online retailer in the US, with its online bookstore and by Year 2000 Amazon had a turnover of $2.7Billion, whereas Barnes & Noble had a turnover of $320Million. This highlights the potential the internet has to grow almost ANY business.
According to InternetWorldStats.com as at June 2016, there were over 92 million online unique connections but penetration is ~30% in Nigeria; the highest number in Africa and also within the European Union; including the United Kingdom. That number grew astronomically over the last 10 years.
This growth effected similar trends in the e-commerce sector. Online retailers like Jumia, Konga etc. have enjoyed their fair share of this growth. In December 2015, Konga.com reported about N1.2Billion in sales during their 2-day period Yakata sales; their version of the famous Black Friday albeit according to recent data from ~200,000 unique customers. That’s a small fraction compared to their sales figure all year round.
According to PayPal; an online payment solution, Nigerian mobile shoppers reportedly spent N128.1 billion ($610 million) in 2015 using PayPal, and on target for N172 billion ($819 million) this year. Yes, you read that right, Billions.
While e-commerce definitely has its challenges from a business model perspective and Nigerians’ PayPal transactions maybe predominantly cross-borders, the main takeaway here is Nigerians are spending money online.
So, what do all these mean; the Amazon case study, the Nigerian internet population and the billions of naira in online transactions done by Nigerians recorded by PayPal? It means that every business; from small to medium and large need to start asking the question; how do I use the internet to grow my business?
Businesses the size of Konga or Jumia are not the only who have benefitted from these trends; I’ve had the opportunity to meet small and medium scale business men and women who have built multi-million naira businesses using just Instagram.
With millions of Nigerians online and the willingness of some to spend money, there has been no better time to take your business online than now.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be showing you some of the easiest ways to do this. It’s so easy, you would wonder why you haven’t done this for your business. I’m excited about the idea of helping your business become all that it can be and I sure you are too.
Look out for the next article on the SME Series 101 where I will be covering one of the easiest ways to take your business online which is Google My Business – How to keep your business open for 24hrs……..you don’t need a website to do this.