The Rise of E-Commerce in Nigeria: Trends and Challenges

E-commerce in Nigeria
Written by Robin Okwanma

The adoption of e-commerce in Nigeria continues to grow at an impressive rate, much faster than during its earlier years. A notable catalyst of that growth is the ever-increasing number of mobile phone and internet subscribers. Additionally, there are a growing collection of alternative payment channels; access platforms; product offerings; and delivery options. These have further boosted patronage for Nigeria’s e-commerce marketplace. With these options available, e-commerce has grown to become a key aspect of Nigeria’s economy.


E-commerce includes the use of all available electronic channels for buying and selling of goods and services. This primarily involves the use of the internet for carrying out transactions, operating payment gateways, coordinating deliveries, and offering customer support. An increasing number of Nigerian shoppers now find it convenient to get their choice products and services on trusted e-commerce platforms. With the proliferation of internet-enabled mobile phones, tablets, computers, mobile apps, websites, and seamless cashless payments, e-commerce in Nigeria has become a rewarding experience.

E-commerce in Nigeria: An Overview

The most popular general marketplace platforms for e-commerce in Nigeria include Jumia, Konga,, Kara, Payporte, Supermart, and scores of others. It is also noteworthy that e-commerce platforms for specific niches like electronics and fashion (such aws SLOT and Wakanow) are now on the increase. Yet again, more Nigerian business entities are adopting e-commerce operations, by building and operating their own websites and mobile apps. 

In 2019, the Nigerian Communications Commission reported an estimated 13 billion US Dollars in revenue across the entire e-commerce sector in Nigeria. In another report, the Nigeria e-commerce market size is estimated to be up to 8.53 billion US Dollars as of 2024. Furthermore, it is expected to attain about 14.92 billion US Dollars by 2029. And with a projected growth rate (CAGR) of 11.82 percent during the period (from 2024 to 2029).

Benefits of E-commerce in Nigeria

E-commerce offers the following benefits to Nigerian consumers and the economy:

  • Greater Access to Local and International Markets. E-commerce allows businesses to reach out to an ever-increasing number of consumers, both within and beyond the country. This includes buyers and sellers located in remote locations; as well as international merchants and buyers. It also exposes consumers to a vast array of goods and services to choose from; with varied levels of quality and pricing.
  • More transparency. With e-commerce, consumers can see and review what they intend to buy, as well as compare different offers. They can check pictures, product descriptions, customer reviews, pricing, availability, and quality before making a decision.
  • Cheaper business operations. One can easily build and grow an online store in the confines of your home. It eliminates the need for a physical store/office, costly equipment, and numerous on-ground support staff. Thus, it is a valuable cost control alternative, especially for startups and small businesses.
  • Greater Accessibility and Convenience. E-commerce platforms allow customers to shop for goods/services at any time and anywhere, on their mobile devices or computers. They also have the option of choosing from a number of delivery options that suit their individual needs. Thus, customers spend little to no energy to get their orders delivered safely.
  • An enhanced customer experience. Shoppers are exposed to several services that improve their overall experience. They include responsive customer support channels, various speedy delivery and payment options, warranty, discounts, after-sales support, and customer-specific services.
  • Higher efficiency. Several business operations can be hastened and further simplified with the use of e-commerce platforms and its embedded tools. Such operations include order and payment processing; handling customer complaints and queries; as well as inventory management.
  • Greater financial inclusion. E-commerce sites have empowered various classes of consumers (including the underbanked and unbanked people) to access numerous payment alternatives. Namely digital banking services; and several online payment alternatives.
  • Job creation. E-commerce has created myriads of job opportunities. They include content creation, advertising, technology, customer support, and logistics. 

The Challenges of E-commerce in Nigeria 

Deficit in infrastructure

Nigerian businesses (including e-commerce providers) face peculiar situations of unsteady and costly energy and infrastructural supplies. Unstable internet and electricity supply; along with high cost of internet data and associated equipment are common problems. There are also locations across the country where there are either poor or no internet and/or electricity connections. They affect both the speed and cost of operations, customer experience, and delivery times. 

Restricted Payment Options

Even though there is an increase in the number of in-country cashless payment options, there are still significant limitations. International payment channels are restricted. Cryptocurrency, credit cards, and many international gateways (such as PayPal, Stripe, and Wise) are not permitted at the moment. There is also a significant upper limit (along with conditions) on international money transfers.

Logistics Problems

Major issues often arise as far as delivery of goods to end-consumers in Nigeria are concerned. For instance, many roads are in poor condition; and vehicles encounter more difficulties during the rainy season. There are also issues of high cost of fuel, security challenges, and traffic connection to deal with.

Trust Issues Over Cashless Payments

It took the COVID-19 epidemic for many Nigerians to finally embrace cashless transactions. In spite of this, several Nigerians still prefer to pay in cash. Thus, the cash-on-delivery payment option is highly popular. Unfortunately, cash transactions are not as safe as expected. There is the risk of attracting thieves, as well as fraudulent behaviors. 

Unfavourable Government Policies

The e-commerce Nigeria muy grapple with poor government incentives and regulatory challenges for now. It includes having to pay high taxes and tariffs. 

The Scourge of Fake Products

Quite a lot of online product vendors fail in delivering high-quality goods to customers in Nigeria. Aside from offering poor-quality goods, some of them either fail to deliver the goods, or deliver the wrong product. Or else the product may have been tampered with before its arrival. To further anger affected customers, some product vendors may refuse to refund their money.

Existing Competition

The informal markets have always, and will continue to remain popular with buyers across Nigeria. It is very appealing to be able to buy whatever you choose in neighborhood stores, supermarkets, and from street vendors. Thus, e-commerce platforms must continue to improve their services to attract more customers. 

E-commerce in Nigeria: Trends to Watch 

In the face of both the challenges and benefits of the e-commerce sector in Nigeria, there is still plenty of opportunity to flourish. The potential for e-commerce in Nigeria to grow much bigger are based on the following evolving trends:

Increasing Population of Digitally-literate Youths 

The number of  tech-savvy and digitally-literate youths in Nigeria are steadily on the increase. They are also more willing to patronize online banking, cashless payments, and e-commerce platforms than the older generation.

Greater Internet Penetration 

Available statistics have shown that as of early 2024, well over half of Nigeria’s population do not have internet connectivity (whether on mobiles or computers). However, more Nigerians are buying mobile phones and internet subscriptions by the day. This presents an opportunity for e-commerce platforms to reach out to new (and old) customers, as well as expand their operations. 

An Ever-growing Middle-Class

Thanks to more educated and financially capable citizens that have emerged in 21 Century Nigeria. There are now more middle-class citizens than ever before. Many of them prefer to avoid the hustle of going to physical markets, in preference for online shopping.

The Social Commerce Movement

Buying and selling on the internet has grown way beyond using.only e-commerce mobile apps and websites. Now social media platforms (such as Facebook and Instagram) have become hotspots for e-commerce transactions. As such, more businesses are taking advantage of them.

Better Logistics Infrastructure

Over the years, the growth of e-commerce platforms in Nigeria has induced the necessity to improve their logistics arrangements. Some of these companies now make use of different kinds of vehicles – from bicycles to trucks. Thus they can deploy the right vehicle to match each destination (and the roads leading to it). Yet again, some e-commerce companies outsource deliveries to independent logistics companies, to make work easier for them. 

Greater Investment in the E-commerce Sector

The country is gradually witnessing more business owners creating and operating e-commerce sites and apps to boost their business. Furthermore, more investors are gravitating towards e-commerce – as the sector continues to show higher returns on investment (ROI). 

Enhanced Customer Experience

The drive to provide improved customer support, along with customized solutions that satisfy each consumer, is a big boost to e-commerce. Better product quality, good refund policy, quick customer support, better packaging, and faster delivery are now available. Thus,  consumers can now enjoy a more rewarding customer experience.

Technology to The Rescue: Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

More e-commerce platforms are deploying high-end technology tools such as machine learning and artificial intelligence to enhance their operations. They add more value to business operations such as product tracking, inventory management, fraud detection, and customized product recommendations. 






You may not republish, reproduce, or redistribute any content on this website either in whole or in part without due permission or acknowledgment.
Proper acknowledgment includes, but not limited to;

(a) LINK BACK TO THE ARTICLE in the case of re-publication on online media,

(b) Proper referencing in the case of usage in research, magazine, brochure, or academic purposes,.
All contents are protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act 1996 (DMCA).

The images, except where otherwise indicated, are taken directly from the web, if some images were inserted by mistake violating the copyright, please contact the administrator for immediate removal.

We publish all content with good intentions. If you own this content & believe your copyright was violated or infringed, please contact us at [] for immediate removal.

About the author

Robin Okwanma

Hi, I'm Robin Okwanma. Software Engineer || Django, Python || React, React Native || Blogger. Technical Writer.

Exit mobile version