Jumia, which is among the largest online marketplaces in Nigeria, anticipates that by 2024, the country’s thriving e-commerce sector will be valued at $22 billion.
On Friday in Lagos, the report titled “Jumia’s E-Commerce in Rural Areas in Nigeria” was used by the company to make a disclosure.
The e-commerce digital revolution was observed to be extending beyond busy urban centers and making a significant impact on the lives of millions living in secondary cities as well as rural areas, albeit silently.
According to the report, it was this decision that led the company to lead in rural e-commerce.
The statement indicated that the company plans to expand its operations beyond Lagos and Abuja in order to reach untapped communities with a plethora of online goods and services, which will ultimately help close the retail divide.
Before the emergence of companies such as Jumia, which enabled consumers to buy goods without being limited by geographic boundaries, purchasing certain commodities often involved extensive journeys with associated risks from unsafe roads and increased expenses.
With the widespread use of smartphones and internet, e-commerce has experienced a significant growth in the past ten years.
According to the statement, the widespread usage of smartphones allows customers to easily reach e-commerce websites and buy products from any location across the globe.
According to the report, as more rural Nigerians gain internet access, the company has strategically expanded into secondary cities and remote regions.
The report stated that it required the formation of logistical networks, collaboration with local agents and businesses, as well as customization of product offerings to suit the specific demands of rural communities.
Jumia launched the JForce program as a grassroots initiative to extend e-commerce services to secondary cities within Nigeria, addressing this requirement.
Under the JForce programme, Jumia has implemented a proficient delivery system with support from local logistics service providers and by utilizing community pick-up stations. As per the report, this infrastructure has enabled deliveries to every corner of even remote villages efficiently.
Enabling numerous rural communities to surpass economic and geographical obstacles, this initiative has proven vital in promoting growth and development for targeted societies as well as the e-commerce sector.
According to the statement, Jumia’s impact extends beyond just benefiting communities as it collaborates with local entrepreneurs through its JForce program. These individuals are trained and employed as agents to assist in online purchases and deliveries thereby generating employment opportunities and driving economic growth within these communities.
Despite the accomplishments, challenges continue to persist as identified in the report such as barriers posed by inadequate internet connectivity and electricity along with low digital literacy levels particularly among rural communities which serve to impede adoption.
Jumia is taking proactive measures to tackle these hurdles. In the preceding year, Jumia collaborated with Starlink, which provides satellite internet services and made available for sale in Nigeria the Starlink Residential Kit. This was aimed at overcoming digital exclusion by linking up remote areas that had hitherto received poor quality internet service through provision of high-speed and low-latency connectivity offered by Starlink.
Jumia’s Gross Merchandise Volume for physical goods in five countries saw noteworthy expansion during the third quarter of 2023, which can be attributed to its amplified presence in rural regions and smaller cities.
The company’s current objective in Nigeria is to carry out expansion initiatives, following the appointment of a new CEO with plans to reproduce the triumphs enjoyed by the organization across five other nations.
Jumia stated its intention to double down on the expansion strategy by widening its outreach and connecting more customers with e-commerce beyond major cities. The company plans to enter untapped regions within the country.