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How Big Spenders Jumia & Konga Are Helping Other E-Commerce Brands In Nigeria

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Now a title like that will definitely get someone who is familiar or related to both brands want to figure out what this article will be driving at, but the thought that will be provided here will shed some light on how some of the “advertising” activities being carried out by the bigger commerce Brands of JUMIA and KONGA are helping other smaller or growing e-commerce brands in Nigeria

Now who has seen/heard the JUMIA and KONGA T.V and radio ads, or the little time pieces found on YouTube, and spread on Facebook, twitter and literally everywhere? At a recent tech event, questions were thrown as to the effectiveness of the more traditional media adverts in drawing real buyers and sellers to the different e-commerce platforms, and whether this was a method adopted in some of the countries that most of the existing brands in Nigeria are being cloned from.

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Now there was silence as people began to think about it, and different people began to raise points and words like “effectiveness” “conversion” “ROI” and some of the traditional tech lingua began to fly around, but I was in a corner smiling to myself because this was a topic I had already researched on and I had come up with a theory on what these adverts were really doing, but I chose not to share it at that meet.


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The first question is: What’s the real purpose of these adverts?

Back in the 1950’s in America or in the 1990s in Nigeria when we had what we would call a “captive audience” on Radio and T.V with fewer stations, and advertisers could actually expect to get phone calls and actual customers walk into their showrooms, and thus get sales, but in 2013 if that is your goal, then I am afraid you are simply living a false dream.

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So what is the real purpose of spending so much money on advertising by JUMIA and KONGA? The answer lies in an eight letter word “INTEREST”, the real purpose of most of the advertising done is to generate enough interest in the brands to get people online visiting their website or searching for their business and what they do. Now if the people at the tech meet had realized this, all they would have been discussing which is a more relevant topic is “How to measure the impact of traditional advertising on INTEREST in e-commerce” (this is a future post from me), now this isn’t the topic of this post, but rather let us trace how this helps other growing e-commerce firms.

Now Nigeria is a country of over 170 million people, and although the internet usage data is increasing among Nigerians, but there are several problems still associated with buying and selling online, problems like lack of trust in online platforms, etc are faced by not just JUMIA and KONGA, but other smaller e-commerce players.

Now in generating leads for JUMIA and KONGA, what the T.V and Radio ads do is to;

  1. Make people aware of their brands and products available online
  2. Tell them about the amazing features such as free/Payment on delivery
  3. Get people to know their business, and trust them.
  4. Get people to know where they are. They know how to find your business if it’s retail or how to get a hold of you for service.

 “Now Great! We have established what these adverts do, but how can it help a smaller e-commerce firm”


Get your competitors to pay for your marketing!

Now that’s the number one secret that I would tap into as an e-commerce brand with just enough money for my inventory.

Look at this; As a potential customer, when I watch a JUMIA or KONGA ad that they have spent thousands or 10′s of thousands of naira/dollars marketing, it generally piques the interest in the possibility of getting things online and these leads him/her to do a search for some goods on GOOGLE or any search engine and as the JUMIA and KONGA products available come up, other competing brands will also come up.

I did a search for “Shoes and bags JUMIA” and other brands like DEALDEY and BUYCOMMONTHINGS also came up, whether in paid or organic search.


So other e-commerce brands that have simply focused in SEO and SEM have as a result of JUMIA and KONGA’s “INTEREST” generation via offline channels benefitted directly/indirectly leading to increased sales and revenue for these brands.

I believe ( and it’s happening already) that more brands will follow JUMIA and KONGA’s footsteps, and this should lead to an elimination of some of the common problems faced in e-commerce in Nigeria like lack of trust, because people will continue to try out the platforms and see how reliable they are, but until that happens let’s see what other adverts will be done by the big boys.

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Ifeanyi Abraham
Ifeanyi Abraham
Ifeanyi Abraham is the Founder,, and The Beverage Room. Entrepreneur, Event Host and Speaker. He has led and consulted on PR, Communication and Marketing at top African companies like Konga, eTranzact, Jumia, iRokotv, etc. In the Middle east, he has led sales and marketing at top recruitment companies and branding agencies. He is also a contributor to CNN, HuffingtonPost, Techmoran and other media platforms. He has hosted over 50 events in 20 cities. A startup believer with his major motivation being to cause positive changes in the evolving world of technology and business with his often crazy/genius ideas and via constructive collaborations.

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