The retail market in Nigeria consisting of micro businesses is worth over 100 billion dollars, reports have revealed. This sector makes up 50 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP), making it the major source of economic growth, productivity, and competitiveness.
However, this market is with its own challenges as it is clustered, with products often overpriced because prices are largely unregulated. Existent are the challenges of adulterated goods, excessive intermediaries, and the long distances some retailers cover to get to the market, especially those in hard-to-reach locations.
With growing digital technology, B2B e-commerce operators are rising to these challenges by empowering micro businesses to grow and maximise profits. Through their digital platform, retailers buy consumable goods at manufacturers’ and authorised distributors rates and even those goods are freely delivered. These automatically save them stress, time and money of having to shop from the open markets.
Micro business owners are guaranteed genuine goods through the services of B2B e-commerce companies like Alerzo for example. This is even made easier for them as they can use their mobile Apps and websites, e.g. Alerzoshop, which allows retailers to order goods and get the goods delivered directly to them. Furthermore, they do not have to spend time for business and profit-making on the road to visit the open market for restocking when they get their goods ordered from Alerzoshop. This has resulted in 85 percent of retailers reducing their two to four times a week restock trips to zero.
The micro business owners have eliminated intermediaries that usually contribute to excessive pricing of goods, as they are sure of buying at the manufacturers’ or legal distributors’ rate when they use Alerzoshop.
Through AlerzoPay, a digital payment and fintech platform for first and third party transactions, retailers no longer have to face the risk of moving around with heavy cash, as it is the case with retailers who shop from open markets.
Also with Alerzo logistics, micro business owners get their goods delivered without making any payments. Meanwhile, in less than four years of its existence, Alerzo, the B2B e-commerce business founded by Adewale Opaleye which focuses on supplying much-needed products to retailers, by sourcing products from manufacturers based on orders from customers has improved the profitability of over 80,000 retail owners.
The firm’s ecosystem of digital product consists of Alerzoshop – mobile App and website that allow retailers to order goods; AlerzoPay – digital payment and fintech platform for first and third party transactions; Alerzo Logistics – end to end logistics service: from first mile to last mile (delivery to retailers).
Largely, there is hope for micro businesses as the e-commerce businesses are passionate about empowering a broad community of micro businesses across the country, with the securing of right investments and partners. They assure continued engagement with governments and regulatory authorities to find the best solutions to challenges in the micro business environments.