Nigerian internet-based businesses have attracted over 200 million naira or 1 million dollars of direct investment over the last three years.
Wole Faroun, CEO of Webmall, said this is only the beginning of a business revolution in Nigeria. “We are looking at areas of international expansion, there’s a lot of trade that happens between China and Nigeria, as well as Nigeria and America.”
According to Faroun, the local area of business to business value chains is chaotic and he dropped wind of collaborations with one of Nigeria’s prominent banks to develop a business to business E-commerce system. “What that does is to streamline commerce between the manufacturers and their key distributors to go further to [subsidiary] distributors in the value chain.”
The main challenges are payments, inventory control and collections these are problems that Faroun believes would be eased with the implementation of business to business E-commerce.
Faroun shares that on the international side, there is a huge volume of transactions between local and merchant wholesalers getting products and goods from international locations like China.
“If you look at that process, it has huge costs of...inspections and travelling. Payment is an issue and trust is a huge factor," he explained.
The opportunity for an E-commerce player is the space to integrate easily and expose those products to this side of the world.
“We are bringing in technology and services that have been proven elsewhere to work. E-commerce in the US has started 15 to 20 years ago and has been hugely successful and we are trying to bring that into Nigeria but we are localising the solution.”
Faroun believes it is important to consider the “peculiarity” of the market and the way Nigeria is “as a people”.