Fun fact: Did you know that there are 4.62 billion people on social media? WhatsApp alone has 2 billion monthly active users, outranking WeChat at 1.2 billion users, and Facebook Messenger at 988 million global users. Imagine opening a market to this online-based audience. With the right strategies, it would be a boomer.
Surely, you must have heard these terms: brand marketing, social media marketing and digital trading and marketing.
But what exactly do these mean? They all refer to the use of social networking sites to advertise a product to consumers and grow a business.
With the world turning into a global village, several aspects of life have transformed online. There is telemedicine, e-learning, e-commerce, neobanking, virtual meetings, and several other online-based aspects of life. It is only natural that trading and commerce moves online.
Small and Medium-sized Enterprises are taking their businesses online.
In Nigeria, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) contribute 48% of national GDP, account for 96% of businesses and 84% of employment, says a PwC report. When we think of SMEs, most of our thoughts are channeled towards a physical infrastructure but 21st century entrepreneurs are challenging that notion. Following the Covid-19 pandemic that shut down businesses across the globe, the internet has become the new business node to facilitate trade.
Statista reported a 50% internet penetration rate amongst its population of 206 million with WhatsApp being the most used social media in Nigeria. The reason for this is not far fetched given the simplicity, convenience, ease and cost effectiveness of the messaging platform.
This makes the platform a fertile ground for SMEs who are increasingly adopting online marketing. A major sway being the cost efficiency of online businesses. It costs less to build a brand online than a visible marketplace where the cost of house rents, taxation hike up the prices of goods.
And building an audience on WhatsApp is no arduous task
WhatsApp, a leading global messaging app has built a business oriented version of its application. With WhatsApp Business, users can customize their business profiles, showcase products and auto-reply messages. You must have messaged a friend and had a chatbot reply in your friend’s absence. The chatbot engages customers in conversation in the absence of the user and they provide an interface between a consumer and a business. The platform is also relatively cheap compared to other social networking sites as only roaming data apply.
Business owners are constantly seeking to attract more customers and engage them.
We mentioned earlier that given the right strategies, an online business would boom. What are some of them?
• Giveaway referral contests: e-traders use this method to canvas for a wider audience by paying whoever brings in the most customers.
• The use of incentives or giveaways.
• Discount and promos for purchases and for certain occasions, maybe a festive season
• Posting reviews from customers. Sometimes, posting a negative review from a customer helps establish faith in customers about an Etraders transparency.
• Regular checks on customers and a customer care service.
• Building a community with customers by taking them along your growth process. It works!
• Bonus tip: share memes that relate to your business.
After two years of selling his phone accessories via WhatsApp, Manasseh Gotish said that faithfulness and integrity fuels trust between the merchant and the buyer.
He also stated that he does not limit his operations to WhatsApp but includes Facebook to boost his visibility. The reason is because “there are a whole lot of people on Facebook. If I’m going to operate on WhatsApp alone, I’ll be very limited,” Gotish said.
With WhatsApp, customers can easily ascertain his operations. So, basically, Facebook attracts a wider range of customers and WhatsApp establishes trust.
E-commerce in Nigeria is estimated to be a $12 billion industry and Statista reports that there are 76.7 million online shoppers in Nigeria. This means that the enormous potential of the sector remains largely untapped.