Electronic commerce is gradually becoming the trend for businesses in Africa as many ventures are now taking advantage of the social media proliferation on the continent. More businesses are migrating online and using Twitter as well as Instagram to market their goods and services and even deliver to customers across cities, states and countries. This year appears to be the one for this kind of migration for the popular Balogun market in Lagos state, Nigeria.
The local market, which is known for its sale of clothes and accessories, recently went online, giving fashion shoppers the opportunity to get their preferences delivered right to their doorstep. According to Globalization Partners International, the online marketplace is one of Africa’s e-commerce niche markets.
The vendor collation center, according to tweets by the platform’s twitter account, is located at 23-27 Abibu Oki Street, Breadfruit street junction, Lagos Island. Balogun market, one of the largest marketplaces in Nigeria and even West Africa, boasts of the best bargains on various pieces of fabric – laces, ankara (traditional clothing material), office and social fashion items and shoes.
As at November 2015, Nigeria topped the list of internet countries on the African continent, validating it as a viable environment for the success of balogun market.ng, regardless of the economic downturn the country is currently going through.
With the emergence of online shopping through Balogun market, customers can now get the goods they need without leaving the comfort of their homes or workplaces. This is also a way of tackling the issue of overcrowding at the market especially during the holidays and times of celebration.
Around this time last year, the Lagos state government demolished a part of Balogun market that had been gutted by fire earlier, thereby displacing traders who had no alternative to the shops they had in the market. Also, the Lagos state government demolished the Owonifari, Oshodi market last month, further displacing more traders.
However, if all local marketplaces were given the option of selling directly to customers via an e-commerce platform, the issues of displacement and demolition of physical places would pose less challenges to Lagos traders. Like the balogunmarket.ng twitter account states; “shop direct from traders in the West African fashion hub of Balogun Market Lagos via this platform, delivered to your door,” the traders will tend to gain a lot from this further expansion of the famous Balogun market.