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Flutterwave Introduces Flutterwave Market, A New E-Commerce Service To Scale SMEs Growth

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Flutterwave Market- Investors King

Africa’s leading payment company, Flutterwave recently announced the launch of its new e-commerce service, Flutterwave Market. The newly launched e-commerce service is “an extension of its Flutterwave Store service – that will bring together a collection of merchant stores in one place”.

Flutterwave market was launched with the goal of helping merchants increase their sales and revenue, and also onboard new customers. This new development will enable customers to have a seamless shopping experience from a wide range of different products and services offered by merchants on the Flutterwave store.

According to the payment company, “the Flutterwave Market will display Flutterwave stores across various product categories and countries. It will include features such as product search, category display and country filter to help enhance the shopping experience.

“The solution will display product categories such as men and women’s fashion, beauty, and food—in line with the preferences of most shoppers on Flutterwave Store. Shoppers will be able to order products and have the products delivered at their preferred locations”.

Flutterwave store was launched at the peak of COVID-19 in April 2020, to help small businesses set up online shops following the nationwide lockdown. Since its launch, the online store has seen over 30,000 businesses registered on its portal and also added features like discount codes and multiple product uploads.

Olugbenga ‘GB’ Agboola, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Flutterwave said, “This is an exciting next chapter for the Flutterwave brand, and we’re excited to introduce this new marketplace experience to our merchants worldwide, Flutterwave Market is a fully functional e-commerce service that serves as a megastore where buyers can purchase a variety of goods from multiple sellers under one roof.”

GB continued: “Since the successful launch of Flutterwave Store, we have listened to our customers and acted on what they need to scale their businesses. Launching the new marketplace will transform their business, taking it to the next stage of growth. Flutterwave Market is for us a way to create endless possibilities for our Flutterwave Store users. We’re not merely aggregating existing stores, we’re positioning them to make more sales.”

Recent data from Statista shows that as of 2020, the number of digital buyers in Africa experienced an increase to 281 million. The number of e-commerce users in the continent is also estimated to grow significantly, reaching over 334 million in 2021. By 2025, they could be roughly 520 million, almost doubling the number in 2019.

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E-commerce

Nigeria’s E-commerce, Still Has Vast Room for Growth – Coronation Merchant Bank

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E-commerce - Investors King

The demand for mobile data usage as well as increased network coverage has increased the potential of Nigeria’s e-commerce market. Based on data from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), as at end-2021, mobile network coverage was estimated at 102% based on a population size of 190 million. However, internet data penetration via GSM was at 74.5%.

A thriving e-commerce market will enable small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) across the country benefit from increased business activity and reduction in operational costs, which would translate into increased profit margins. The role of e-commerce was reemphasized following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. There has been a visible boost to online marketplace activities.

In 2020, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) B2C index value for e-commerce in Nigeria stood at 46.2 points (the 8th highest in Africa). The index measures an economy’s preparedness to support online shopping and takes four indicators into account. They include, (i) the percentage of the population with bank accounts or that have accounts with a mobile money service provider, (ii) the percentage of the population that use the internet, (iii) the postal reliability index, and (iv) the presence of secure internet servers.

According to industry sources, the e-commerce market in Nigeria is estimated at USD13bn (N5.4trn), with at least 87 Nigerian e-commerce platforms (including, Jumia, Jiji and Konga).

In 2021, based on ranking from Statista, Jumia was the most popular online marketplace in Nigeria, with an estimated 147 million visitors. According to Jumia’s FY 2021 financial statement, the e-commerce platform generated 34 million orders and revenue of USD177.9m (N7.4bn), compared with 27.9 million orders and a revenue of USD159.4m (N6.6bn) recorded in 2020.

Coronation Merchant Bank noted that in general, food, personal care, fashion, beauty products, and electronics were the most common items purchased online.

It is worth highlighting that logistics plays a key role in the e-commerce value chain (which includes processing, packaging and delivery of orders). This value chain generates employment for logistics personnel and services. Coronation Merchant understands that in 2021, Jumia shipped 8.3 million packages to at least c.1,500 customers. This is compared with half a million packages distributed to c.270 customers in 2020.

The latest data from the Nigeria inter-bank settlement system shows that Nigeria recorded a total of c.160 million bank accounts as at May ’20, while the number of active bank accounts stood at 111.5 million. The advent of the eNaira (a digital currency issued by the CBN) as well as the development of mobile money given the CBN’s approval of Payment Service Banks (PSB) like MOMO, Smart Cash, Money Master and 9PSB, is expected to improve financial inclusion.

The latest data on e-payment channels from the National Bureau of Statistics reveals that 3.5 billion transactions valued at N356.5trn were recorded on electronic payment channels in Q4 ’20.

For e-commerce to attain its full potential, technology infrastructure needs to be enhanced and logistical challenges need to be addressed. Furthermore, forward-thinking solutions with regards to cyber security issues are required in order to boost consumer confidence.

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Amazon Emerged Best Overall Grocery Retailer In 2021 – Report

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Amazon

For the second year in a row, Amazon.com, Inc was ranked as the best overall grocery retailer in the United States.

A report from research firm ‘dunnhumby’ based on insights from 10,000 shoppers on 57 grocers in the U.S recognized Amazon for offering customers consistently low prices, convenience, and great selection on a wide variety of grocery items sold on the website, Amazon.com in 2021.

Amazon, in its recently released Q4 2021 results, revealed that it partnered with Affirm to offer customers even more ways to pay on Amazon. The company revealed that customers in the U.S. now have the flexibility to split the total cost of eligible purchases of $50or more into monthly payments at checkout with no late or hidden fees.

The report noted that Amazon’s net sales increased 9% to $137.4 billion in the fourth quarter, compared with $125.6 billion in fourth quarter 2020.

Also, operating income decreased to $3.5 billion in the fourth quarter, compared with $6.9 billion in fourth-quarter 2020 while net income increased to $14.3 billion in the fourth quarter.

Amazon’s Chief Executive Officer, Andy Jassy revealed that the company saw higher costs driven by labor supply shortages and inflationary pressures, adding that these issues persisted into the first quarter due to Omicron.

“Despite these short-term challenges, we continue to feel optimistic and excited about the business as we emerge from the pandemic”, he noted.

While appreciating the company’s staff, he stated that the retail teammates have effectively operated in peak mode for almost two years.

“A big thank you to employees across Amazon who overcame another quarter of COVID-related challenges and delivered for customers this holiday season. Given the extraordinary growth we saw in 2020 when customers predominantly stayed home, and the fact that we’ve continued to grow on top of that in 2021, our Retail teammates have effectively operated in peak mode for almost two years. It’s been a tremendous effort, and I’m appreciative and proud of how hard our teams have worked to serve customers”, he said.

Meanwhile, Amazon Style, Amazon’s first-ever physical store for apparel, will open this year at The Americana at Brand, a top shopping destination in greater Los Angeles.

Investors King had previously reported that the clothing store will feature women’s and men’s apparel, shoes, and accessories from a mix of well-known and emerging brands, with prices catering to a wide range of shoppers.

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Amazon to Pay $2.25 Million Fine for Unlawful Price-Fixing

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Amazon, an American leading e-commerce and technology company, has been asked to pay a fine of $2.5 million for price-fixing and ordered to shut down its ‘Sold By Amazon’ program by the attorney general of Washington.

On Wednesday, Bob Ferguson, Attorney General of Washington, announced that “as a result of his office’s price-fixing investigation, Amazon will shut down the “Sold by Amazon” program nationwide.”

Explaining the ‘Sold by Amazon’ program and how the leading brand fix prices of items, Ferguson said Amazon lured third-party sellers on its platform to join the ‘Sold by Amazon’ program by assuring them that they would receive at least an agreed-upon minimum payment for sales of their consumer goods in exchange for their agreement to stop competing with Amazon for the pricing of their products.

Consequently, if sales exceeded the negotiated minimum payment, Amazon and its competitors split the surplus proceeds amongst themselves. For example, if a seller and Amazon agreed to a $20 minimum payment and the item sold for $25, the seller would receive the $20 minimum price and share the $5 additional profit with Amazon, in addition to any fees.

The “Sold by Amazon” program resulted in prices for some products increasing when Amazon programmed its pricing algorithm to match the prices that certain external retailers offer to online consumers.

As a result, when prices increased, some sellers experienced a marked decline in the sales and resulting profits from products enrolled in the program. Faced with price increases, online customers sometimes opted to buy Amazon’s own branded products — particularly its private label products. This resulted in Amazon maximizing its own profits regardless of whether consumers paid a higher price for sales of products enrolled in the “Sold by Amazon” program or settled for buying the same or similar product offered through Amazon.

Prices for the vast majority of the remaining products enrolled in the “Sold by Amazon” program stabilized at artificially high levels. This is because Amazon programmed its pricing algorithm to maintain the seller’s pre-enrollment price as the price floor. This meant participating sellers had limited, if any, ability to lower the price of their products without withdrawing the product’s enrollment in the Sold by Amazon program.

For example, while sellers were once able to offer price discounts on their products, Amazon subsequently prevented many sellers from continuing to offer discounts. Sellers then bore the risk of having their products not sell in a timely manner, or at all, while still paying Amazon for things like storage fees of their enrolled products. Many sellers remained stuck with an artificially high price for their products while Amazon was able to maximize its own profits.

Following the investigation, the court, therefore, said “Amazon must stop the “Sold by Amazon” program nationwide and provide the Attorney General’s Office with annual updates on its compliance with antitrust laws. In addition, Amazon will pay $2.25 million to the Attorney General’s Office, which will be used to support the Attorney General’s antitrust enforcement, which does not receive general fund support.”

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