Coca-Cola Nigeria says it had witnessed a threefold increase in e-commerce sales this year, especially during the COVID-19 lockdown.
The spike was attributed to a change in consumer habits after the pandemic forced lockdowns in Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economy.
Business Remarks checks revealed that the sales boom can also be traced to the embrace of thriving e-Commerce platforms such as Konga, Jumia which had listed Coca-Cola products and helped deliver the items seamlessly to consumers who were at home as a result of the lockdown. Arguably, the sales spike would have been impossible without Konga and other e-commerce players such as Jumia who were classed as essential services and thus, were able to run skeletal operations during the lockdown, although not without some encumbrances by state actors such as security agencies who were often accused of impounding delivery vehicles, sometimes for days on end.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Alfred Olajide, told Bloomberg that the first month of the lockdown was crucial.
“The first one month of COVID-19 was the pivot point for e-commerce penetration in the company. We have more than tripled the e-commerce business that we have in our portfolio.
Nigeria is seen as a frontier for growth in e-commerce due to a largely youthful population; with an average age of 18 and increased data penetration, Bloomberg reports. Also, the medium says the use of smartphones is poised to rise almost fourfold to 140 million by 2025, according to Statista.com; adding to the number of people going online to buy everything from groceries to garments.
Coca-Cola, a US-based beverage giant, has a number of brands under its portfolio, including Fanta and Sprite carbonated drinks and Eva water; with Olajide confident that its proportion of e-Commerce sales will continue to grow.
“Right now, e-commerce orders as a proportion of sales is still in the single digit. But the ambition for us is to scale it to double digit and make it a very big significant channel of choice for our consumers.
“We are partnering to help the trend grow and you will see more of that coming through in our strategy.”
Furthermore, he has expressed optimism that sales figures will rebound to match pre-COVID-19 highs; in spite of the spiralling inflation rate and reduced disposable income due to the unemployment rate.
In addition, Olajide revealed that Coca-Cola has adjusted prices; while also rolling out smaller, more value-based pack sizes to cater for consumers that have low disposable income. He noted that this strategy has seen sales recover this year after they took a knock in 2020.