This is the Era of online shopping. Online Prostitution. Online Banking. And nearly everything else going online. Worldwide, people are ordering things as diverse as tomatoes to pizza to automobiles, to hookers. The convenience is not in contention. And clearly, for the merchants, it saves a lot of costs… warehousing and personnel costs. And for the consumers, it saves lots of headaches, energy and particularly, time aka money. More significantly, it enhances efficiency in the distribution of goods and services.
In Nigeria, we have been slow to catch up, but things are looking up. From Jumia to Konga and others, Nigerians are slowly jumping on the online bandwagon. Banks are not left out. You can open an account (in some banks), online, and regularize physically, later, in Nigeria. This didn’t use to be so. As a matter of fact,in places like Germany, Cyprus and Mexico, you can open an online account without even visiting some of the special banks that offer such facilities, or visiting the country of domicile of the bank in question. You can stay in Nigeria, and open your bank account.
You recharge your phone at any time of the day or night, pay your cable and satellite TV subscription and a host of other things.
Evidently, it is not only that the robots are coming and systematically destroying jobs (livelihoods) worldwide, brick and mortar businesses are also systematically and inexorably getting eliminated.
Perhaps you own electronic vending shops in Alaba International Market, Lagos, or you have a bank sited in Alabama, USA and limit yourself to opening accounts for only customers resident in Alabama. There is news for you. Your business is being “stolen” by competition, and that competitor may not even be resident in your city or country.
How about that poor woman selling recharge cards in a kiosk? Or,that software engineer who doesn’t realize that his most formidable competitors are in far away New Delhi or Shenzen.?
Perhaps you have been wondering why ‘market is not moving’ like before? No, it is not the the result of the voodoo deployed by witches and wizards in your village. The reason folks are no longer asking for N200 MTN recharge card as frequently as before is because most customers you are waiting for in your shop have probably logged unto QuickTeller, and bought credit before you could say ‘rule your World’ or ‘come alive’. Or, he got his phone loaded while also withdrawing cash for the weekend night in town from the ATM.
Convenience. No more wading through traffic to pick up that OLED Tv. see?
Perhaps you are a Prostitute who stands in the red light zones like Allen Avenue or Victoria island in Lagos at night. Come on, put on your female condom, and be wise. Prostitution is now high tech. Your savvy mates now peddle their ‘weapons’ on Facebook and via other Instant messenger (IM) like Whatsapp. That way, you are more efficient in discharging your womanly services, escape those policemen looking for ‘free meat’ while pretending to fight prostitution.
It is time to wake up and devise a different strategy. If you sell anything, anything at all, including cerebral or intellectual items, or services and you have no online presence yet, you would only be eating crumbs… crumbs left over by your more savvy competitors with online presence.
You say you sell beef and ‘fresh fish’, and you are thus immune from this whirlwind of change? Wake up and grow whiskers, people are already selling bean cakes and roasted plantain online. Point, click, and delivered, yessir. So, never say never.
These numerous words should be sufficient for the wise.
Could a Barrister, Accountant, Database backup Company or Doctor run a strictly online consultancy? Would I pay good money to listen to medical advice from Doctor Sanjay Gupta of CNN? Are you kidding me?