CEO, Jumia Nigeria, Juliet Anammah, has underscored the place of smartphone use in the expansion of the electronic or e-commerce ecosystem in the country.
In a paper on the African Mobile Trends she presented in Lagos, she said about 71 per cent of website visitors on Jumia used their mobile phones. This is compared to 53 per cent of Jumia African customers.
She said one of the main vehicles of this mobile trajectory was the adoption of the smartphone device by consumers. As predicted in our 2016 report, smartphone adoption has continued to rise in Nigeria.
According to her, the mobile phone category continues to be the most popular among Nigerian shoppers on Jumia, in terms of the number of items sold, and revenue generated. The sales of smartphones jumped by 394 per cent between 2014 and last year, mostly driven by an increasing range of smartphones price points.
– Africa mobile subscriptions, internet penetration –
She said there are 960 million mobile subscriptions across Africa – an 80 per cent penetration rate among the continent’s population. Internet penetration is at 18 per cent with 216 million internet users.
While Nigeria’s internet penetration is much higher at 53 per cent, it mobile subscription is similar to Africa’s at 81 per cent penetration (150 million mobile subscription, she said.
Like last year, it was presumed that the unique subscription rate is lower as each subscriber owns an average of two sim cards, she added.
– E-commerce, smartphone diversification –
Anammah said the average price for a smartphone on Jumia is $117, down from $216 in 2014. Correlating with this is a drop in the share of sales of basic feature phones from six per cent in 2015 to four per cent last year, even as the share of smartphones on the website increased, she said.
She said last year Chinese mobile brands held dominance and played a major role in introducing smartphones with lower price points. Infinix, Innjoo, Tecno, Samsung and Yezz are the top five smartphone brands in terms of sales on Jumia. Infinix continues to be Africa’s top smartphone brand across Jumia’s 15 markets. One of their entry level smartphones, the Infinix Hot4Lite was one of the best-selling phones across several African markets including Nigeria.
– High data costs, lower performance smartphones –
Anammah said: ‘’The increased access and affordability of low specification smartphones has also revealed a need for the mobile ecosystem to respond with data-efficient browsers and mobile apps that are optimised for performance and an easy user experience.
‘’Looking at the mobile internet browsers customers use to access Jumia, 50 per cent of customers in Africa come onto Jumia’s mobile site with Google Chrome. In Nigeria that number is just 28 per cent. Instead, the Opera mini-browser is much more popular, with 41 per cent of the mobile traffic to Jumia Nigeria coming from Opera mini.’’
One reason for this, Anammah said, could be that countries with higher levels of income have been found to have more users accessing the internet with heavier browsers like chrome – which typically have higher system requirements.
‘’Opera mini is a lighter browser in terms of data usage and is popular among new mobile internet users who have lower incomes and can’t afford costly internet data packs. A recent report from Opera determined the savings on mobile data costs for Opera mini users in Nigeria has amounted to about $198 million (N39.5 billion) over a 10-month period, due to its data compression technology. This is a clear example of the ripple effect that customer enjoy when a slight change is introduced by one of the digital ecosystem players.
‘’In our end, an immediate key priority is to enhance the desktop user experience (which accounts for almost 30 per cent of Jumia’s traffic and almost 40 per cent of orders placed) by delivering a progressive web application that bridges the gap between conventional web pages and native mobile applications, to give customers a faster web and desktop experience that includes functionalities like push notifications and the ability to browse while offline.‘’
- M-commerce: beyond browsing on mobile –
Anammah said trend since 2013 was for people to use their mobile phones to browse and look up products and then purchase them on their desktop.
‘’Now customers are checking out and paying for orders from the mobile app or the mobile friendly version of the website. This is a trend we foresee growing in the future based on the current figures.
‘Mobile customers (both those who use the Jumia app and those who browse from mobile browsers) account for 63 per cent of all orders on Jumia Nigeria. Across the 15 markets where the study was carried out, that figure is at 47 per cent. With a whopping 2,236,000 Jumia app downloads from 2015 to 2016 (a 128 per cent increase), Jumia app users form a significant portion of the mobile traffic on Jumia Nigeria.