The Online Retail Explosion Represents A Massive Opportunity for Advertisers
By Tintin Imevbore, Regional West Africa Manager, Ad Dynamo by Aleph
Over the past few years, spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated lockdowns, online retail has witnessed an African explosion. Faced with stay-at-home orders, many people started shopping online for the first time, while experienced shoppers increased their purchases. Those behaviours have largely stuck too.
Take Nigeria, for example. In 2021, its e-commerce market grew by 30%,and in the years leading up to 2027, e-commerce revenues are expected to grow 11.31% annually. By that point, the sector (currently worth US$7.63 billion) is expected to be worth US$11.71 billion.
It’s clear then that anyone interested in growing their retail presence should have some form of e-commerce offering (even if it’s just having a presence on a third-party marketplace). But growth in the sector doesn’t just hold promise for anyone selling products or services online. It also represents a significant opportunity for digital advertisers.
Be where your customers are
One of the biggest benefits that online retail offers advertisers is visibility. A large platform like Jumia, for example, can see more than 10 million unique visitors a day. That’s a lot of people. Beyond sheer volume though, they’re also people who are looking to spend money. Even if they’re just browsing today, chances are they’re on those sites looking to buy something at some point.
It’s also worth pointing out that people browsing online stores spend much more time on them than on other websites. On average, people spend between 45 and 54 seconds on a website. By contrast, people can spend more than seven minutes at a time on the world’s biggest e-commerce sites.
That means that if you’re advertising on the right e-commerce platforms, your product or service will be seen by a large number of people, and those people will also be exposed to it in a setting where they are not restricted to time since online shopping is usually a leisure-based activity, meaning that people are going to do it after work hours or on the weekend. The fact that most big online retailers break their sites up into sections also makes it easier for potential customers to see advertising that’s most relevant to them.
Given that one of the key tenets of online advertising is reaching the right people with the right message at the right time, there’s clearly a strong case to be made for advertising on e-commerce stores then.
Partner with experts
It is worth noting, of course, that advertising isn’t the primary revenue source for any e-commerce platform (although Jumia’s advertising offering recently overtook fulfilment as a revenue source). That means they’re less likely to have the same seamless, plug-and-play advertising solutions that many of the biggest social media platforms have.
As a result, it’s even more critical to work with media representation partners who can ensure your product or service is seen as much as possible by your target audience. The right media representation partner should also offer transparent pricing and be able to help with brand strategy.
They will also ensure that any advertising you do on an e-commerce platform is tailored to that specific platform while complementing your advertising efforts on other channels. You don’t have to be a major advertiser to enjoy those benefits either. A good partner will work with the rates you can afford and grow with you as you expand.
Embrace consumer shifts
Ultimately, if businesses are to be successful, they need to understand and embrace shifts in consumer behaviour. And there are few shifts as significant and as fast as the move to online shopping since the pandemic. It’s also crucial for businesses to follow those shifts holistically.
This means not just having an online retail presence but also utilising online retailers as advertising platforms. Finally, it’s critical for businesses to realise they don’t have to take that journey alone and can potentially see much greater degrees of success by engaging with the right partners.