Online shopping has become very popular among Nigerians with the proliferation of websites like Jumia, Konga and even OLX, where buying and selling take place at the convenience of both seller and buyer.
It has taken the retail business to another level but is it taking over completely? A retail business expert, Alhaji Kunle Hamzat, says no.
Hamzat spoke in Ibadan on Friday during an interview on CEO Africa’s Community Today.
According to Hamzat, online shopping is actually a plus to retail business even though in Nigeria, it is yet to grow to the level of Amazon or ebay. But online shopping can not replace actual visits to a shopping mall or supermarket.
“Online shopping is a plus but there is nothing like seeing the product, feeling it, and having someone to talk to face to face. What you see online is just a picture of the product. But in a shop, you have a complete feel and experience. But I must say that online shopping has offerred a lot of convenience”., he said.
Advising the government to pay special attention to retail business, Hamzat stressed that the benefits of retail businesses are too enormous to be treated just like ordinary buying and selling.
He explained how retail businesses can boost the strength of the naira by saving monies being spent abroad by Nigerians to buy things they can easily get in Nigeria.
His words: “The Retail business industry is very huge and holds a lot of promise. A lot of people travel abroad and when coming back they buy a lot of things at high prices. These things can be gotten here and we can save money and reduce spending abroad.
“It is one way of bring America or UK or France down to Nigeria”.
“Retail business also plays a role in entertainment. You can see this in the malls where you can also watch movies, do window shopping and enjoy a great atmosphere that you may not experience outside the mall”.
The businessman also stated that retailers can help the local industries to grow because “most of the products being sold in our supermarkets are actually locally produced. Only few are foreign products being brought in to satisfy the foreigners in our midst”.
Hamzat however stressed that retail business is much more than what people think it is.
He said: “Anybody can do buying and selling but not everyone can do retail because it involves rendering quality and excellent service to the customers and being ready to entertain complaints. That is what is lacking in ordinary everyday buying and selling.
Hamzat also pointed out that the frowing retail business in Nigeria is now self regulating with the creation of Retail Council of Nigeria, a platform for ensuring excellence in the industry.