E-commerce means the sale and purchase of goods and services over an electronic system such as the internet. Some people use the term ‘‘e-business’’ and ‘‘e-commerce’’ interchangeably. They both involve business processes carried out electronically, most likely on the internet.
Differences Between E-Commerce And E-Business
In regards to e-commerce as different from e-business, the only valid view to adopt is that e-commerce is a narrower discipline. E-business accounts for all business activities conducted online, while e-commerce is restricted to buying and selling products online.
Electronic commerce or e-commerce is a term for any type of business, or commercial transaction that has to do with the transfer of information across the internet. It covers a range of businesses from auction or music sites, retail sites, to business exchanges, trading of goods and services between corporations.
Origin of E-Commerce
The origin of e-commerce can be traced to the 1960s when businesses started using Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) to share business documents with other companies. In 1979, the American National Standard Institute developed ASCX 12 as a universal standard for businesses to share documents through an electronic network. While in the 1990s, the rise of eBay and Amazon revolutionized the e-commerce industry. Through this medium, customers can now purchase endless amounts of items online.
While e-commerce has proven to be a vibrant source of economic growth in developed countries like America, Europe, Asia etc, e-commerce is experiencing rapid growth in Nigeria and some other African countries including Egypt, South Africa, and Kenya. The emergence of e-commerce has greatly changed the traditional method of shopping. The buying and selling of goods and services can now be done online anytime. While goods are delivered to doorsteps or partner courier service provider, other products like eBook, videos, and audios are delivered electronically. They are affordable and sometimes cheaper than offline prices.
Most times in Nigeria, customers prefer to pay cash instead of using their cards, this is because they are afraid of using the cards online. Why should one be afraid? When we have all, it takes to go automated.
E-commerce has continued to experience growth in Nigeria. it is the same with other Africans and most part of the world. In Nigeria, e-commerce is growing faster, most Nigerians are embracing e-commerce as their preferred platform for buying and selling of goods and services. As a result of its rapid growth, e-commerce has started contributing to the growth of the Nigerian economy. E-commerce is creating job opportunity for the unemployed which will improve the country’s economic system.
Over 20 million youths according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). The ICT industry directly contributed 10.44 percent to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2013. ICT contribution to another sector of the economy is also increasing. If more internet access is provided, this could positively impact on the e-commerce market.
Internet or mobile network use is becoming an important driver of e-commerce in Nigeria, according to Jamia, ‘‘71% of its users in Nigeria now access the website via their mobile phones, compared to 53% of customers in the rest of Africa. In Nigeria, we have exceptional growth in e-commerce volume in the last five years,’’ says Randy Buday, Regional Director for West and Central at DHL Express. ‘‘initially the market comprised mainly traditional internet consumers who are looking for the latest fashion items and accessories where buyers and sellers are brought together.’’
In conclusion, e-commerce is evolving rapidly in Nigeria as a result, we need to embrace new ideas like e-governance, e-learning, e-banking, and e-commerce in order to create exciting opportunities in the aspect of the industrial innovation. However, e-commerce is still at its early stage in Nigeria as the pace of adoption and acceptance is relatively slow. Despite the huge progress recorded in the Nigeria e-commerce landscape, especially with the awareness for globally celebrated festivals such as Cyber Monday, and Black Friday etc, an average Nigerian is still an unrepentant traditional shopper.
However, the solution is to regulate the business of e-commerce in Nigeria. this will ensure that everyone operates on ‘‘pay on the app’’ in order to eliminate ‘‘pay on delivery or cash.’’
Written by Busayo Tomoh