Digitisation, key to unlocking modern retail in Nigeria
The Chief Executive Officer of FoodCo Nigeria, Ade Sun-Basorun, has called on operators within Nigeria’s formal retail sector to integrate digitisation into their operations to achieve scale and position the sector for optimised service delivery.
Sun-Basorun, who spoke during a recent meeting with journalists, harped on the importance of using digital technology to improve efficiency and reduce operational costs.
He stressed that digitisation was key to closing the deficit gap between the supply of modern retail and demand for the service among the country’s rapidly growing young, urban and sophisticated population.
He said: “The global retail industry has been transformed by digitisation and it is expected to continue to evolve in the coming years. For instance, Walmart, the biggest retailer in the world is significantly upscaling it’s brick and mortar operations to integrate digitisation and Amazon, the world’s most valuable retailer is already a digital native.
“Here in Nigeria, Jumia, the retailer with the highest Gross Merchandise Value (GMV), is also a wholly digital layer. So, we can see that digitisation has a critical role to play in the future of retail both in Nigeria and the wider globe.
“While we are excited about the potentials of technology in facilitating the inclusion of underserved communities as well as catering to the needs of GenZ, who are active consumers of digital technology, the reality is that building a sustainable digital infrastructure calls for huge investments whether in developing and operating an effective social media-based selling platform, successfully managing a customer service framework across a variety of digital platforms or, as in the case of FoodCo’s omni-channel model, seamlessly integrating the different touch points with the brick and mortar stores.”
He continued: “As operators, it is up to us to demonstrate the aptitude and appetite necessary to get it right. A 2019 Omnisend Research showed that integrating technology into marketing campaigns led to a 90 per cent customer retention rate and 250 per cent higher engagement and purchase rates.
“While the organised retail sector has made progress in the area of leveraging technology to drive growth across digital sales channels, there still remains huge opportunities in customer service, planning, forecasting, pricing, assortment selection amongst others. The benefits will be manifold if we get it right.”