Many persons worry about the limitations of online marketing in the Nigerian environment. The growing number of Nigerian internet users coupled with the effects of COVID-19 on businesses has forced many businesses to move online. On the positive side, as of December 2020, Nigeria had more than 126 million internet users. However, the question remains: how much of your business, if any should you move online and why? What are the challenges online businesses in Nigeria have to contend with?
Limitations to Online Marketing
As a developing country, Nigeria has many issues with regard to internet usage, and these can place limitations on online marketing. First, there is the issue of power supply. With irregular power supply, the devices with which people come online cannot be used as extensively as the individuals would wish.
Another challenge is the issue of poor internet connection. Even though most Internet Service Providers charge a lot, network outages are common. Sometimes, you may need to be in a particular (often uncomfortable) spot in your house or office to be able to maximise the use of the internet.
And then there is the issue of penetration. Over 60% of Nigeria’s 200 million population having access to the internet sounds huge. But when you begin to dissect the numbers, you will find that only 27 million Nigerians use social media. A report by MTN shows that “57% of their users consume between zero and 5MB/month”. This shows that the percentage of people who can be marketed to is far fewer than those with access to the internet.
Other Challenges to Online Business
Nigerians are more inclined to do in-person transactions. They have a general distrust about anything they cannot see, touch or, experience with their senses. This can limit online marketing since the core of it, is that customers do not necessarily have to physically experience whatever they are purchasing.
This distrust is not unfounded because too many people have ordered goods online and gotten things that are completely different from what they ordered. These experiences are popularly posted on social media platforms like Twitter as “What I ordered vs what I got”.
Tied to this distrust is a fear that products may not be delivered when they are expected to be or worse, products may never get delivered. Too many people have been defrauded of their hard-earned money in this manner and it has left in its wake, a wariness for online marketing.
There is also the fear of data security by many. Online transactions are not considered completely safe especially when it involves the use of debit cards and personal information that can be accessed by dangerous third parties through hacking.
How to Overcome the Limitations to Online Business
Despite these limitations, organisations are moving online and reaping huge benefits. So, what can you do to overcome the limitations of online marketing? We will discuss two suggestions:
1. Have a clear plan for your online marketing. Identify why you are online, who your market is, and have a plan about how to reach them. This would include knowing where on the internet your potential market is and the tools you need to put your business before them in non-intrusive ways. For example, in Nigeria, the top three social media are Whatsapp, Facebook, and YouTube. A study of the demographics of the people on these platforms will help you decide if they are your prospects. You may be on social media without directly selling but building goodwill for in-person sales.
2. Create strategies around the limitations: Which of the limitations outlined above will particularly affect the size of your market? Once you identify the limitations, then you can think of a walkaround. For example, is the problem trust? What is the root of this distrust? Most of the time, it is a lack of communication. If you are selling a product or service, invest in good descriptions and follow up your descriptions with professional photos. Most sellers do not properly describe their products or are too lazy to update their pages. This erodes trust.
At Slvr Wlf Digitale Limited, we can show you how to overcome the limitations of online marketing in Nigeria. Our team of professionals is ready to offer you practical advice that will help you beat your competition and stay on top. Why not reach out to us for a free consultation on how to enhance your digital presence and promote sales today?