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Jumia expands e-commerce to rural areas



L-R: Mr Adedamola Giwa, Managing Director JumiaPay Nigeria; Mr Massimilano Spalazzi, CEO Jumia Nigeria and Mr Robert Awodu, Head of PR and Communications, Jumia Nigeria at the launch of Jumia’s ‘E- Commerce in Rural Report’ in Lagos on Tuesday.

Jumia, a leading pan-African e-commerce platform, has reiterated its commitment to driving economic growth through the expansion to secondary cities and rural areas to close the inequality gap.

Mr Massimiliano Spalazzi, the Chief Executive Officer, Jumia Nigeria, said this at the launch of its Rural Area Report titled: “E-Commerce in Rural Areas” on Tuesday, in Lagos.

According to him, the report highlights Jumia’s remarkable achievement in penetrating underserved regions and bringing e-commerce opportunities to overlooked populations.

Spalazzi added that the report showed the company’s dedication to driving sustainable growth, empowering communities, and closing inequality gaps across the continent.

He said that bridging the digital divide and empowering communities with access to a wide range of products and services through online platform was a testament to the company’s mission.

He stated that the company had adopted a two-pronged approach that allowed Jumia to rapidly extend its reach beyond major cities, bringing the convenience of online shopping to even the most remote areas of Nigeria.

The approaches, according to him, are Pick-Up Stations (PUS) and Jumia Force agents (JForce).

“We take immense pride in revolutionising shopping in the country, enabling SMEs to grow, and creating job opportunities for the youth.

“With an unwavering commitment to providing a comprehensive shopping solution, Jumia has successfully established a physical presence across the entire country, including remote areas, through its extensive network of 285 PUS in hundreds of towns.

“By collaborating closely with select logistics partners, Jumia has streamlined its supply chain operations, ensuring seamless delivery of products to these underserved markets,” he said.

Spalazzi explained that the pick-up stations were very convenient because they had been strategically placed at the closest location where customers reside, allowing them to pick their items with less delivery fee.

He added that the report underscored the important role played by JForce, a network of over 43,000 independent sales consultants, in educating consumers about Jumia’s offerings.

“They approach customers, identify their products needs, explain how to place their order on the Jumia app, and support the customer in the transaction till the items are delivered.

“Through localised and offline marketing channels, JForce introduces rural populations to the world of e-commerce, fostering growth and driving brand adoption.

“Jumia has become a catalyst for thousands of young entrepreneurs in Nigeria, offering them the opportunity to become their own bosses through e-commerce.

“These entrepreneurs earn commissions through sales on the Jumia platform, contributing to their economic empowerment.

“We have seen the growth potential in this approach and we look forward to expanding in the coming months,” he said.

Mr Robert Awodu, the Head of Public Relations and Communications, said that Jumia’s online marketplace provided an extensive selection of affordable products, with consumers stating competitive pricing as the major reason for shopping online.

Awodu, presenting the report, cited phones, beauty and perfumes, men’s clothing, furniture, bedding, and men’s shoes as the most demanded categories by consumers in secondary cities and rural areas in Nigeria, with phones being the most ordered communities.

He noted that the demand for accessible, innovative, and affordable online services across various sectors was on the rise, reflecting the evolving consumer preferences and lifestyle changes in the nation.

“Nigeria embraces a dynamic and youthful demographic, with a significant portion of the population comprising tech-savvy individuals eager to explore the benefits of online shopping.

“Recognising the potential impact of e-commerce on Nigeria’s economy, Jumia has adopted a two-pronged approach, utilising the JForce foot soldiers and Pick-up stations across the nation to meet the increasing demand of the populace,” he said.

Awodu added that Jumia’s platform had helped in areas of job creation, digital inclusion and women empowerment.

“Through the use of Jumia’s platform, people who previously had limited exposure to digital technologies can gain digital literacy skills, such as online shopping, online payments, and navigating e-commerce platforms.

“By promoting digital inclusion and literacy, Jumia helps bridge the digital divide and enables communities to fully participate in the benefits of the digital age.

The report also cited cities with the highest population outside Lagos to include Kano (4,103,000); Ibadan (3,565,000); Port-Harcourt (1,865,000) and Benin (1,782,000), with 47 per cent of the population residing in rural areas.

“Nigeria, as the largest oil producer in Africa, is home to a significant portion of its populace, with 47 per cent residing in rural areas, as reported by the World Bank in 2021.

“This makes rural areas a critical segment within the overall addressable market.

“Jumia’s presence now extends across more than 250 PUS located in several towns throughout the country, reaching even the remotest corners such as Modakeke, Ilaro, Offa, Uromi, Nkpor, Keffi and Owo town.

“Additionally, Jumia has a strong alliance with selected third-party logistics partners (3PLs) throughout the country, fostering a streamlined supply chain operations,” the report read in part.

Rukayat Moisemhe

NEWSVERGE, published by The Verge Communications is an online community of international news portal and social advocates dedicated to bringing you commentaries, features, news reports from a Nigerian-African perspective. A unique organization, founded in the spirit of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, comprising of ordinary people with an overriding commitment to seeking the truth and publishing it without fear or favour. The Verge Communications is fully registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a corporate organization.



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