Mrs. Joyce (not real name) recently got delivered of twins, and she has found it more tasking to run her grocery store which is about 30 minutes away from her house and caring for her three-year-old son alongside her newborn twins.
Madam Keth, as her customers fondly call her, finds it inconvenient to leave the house very early to beat traffic and get to a popular market where she gets consumable goods for her store. She also moves with fear of robbery because of the amount she goes to the market with.
These in addition to opportunity costs, dangers of travel, lack of financial advice, inadequate transport for purchased goods are part of the ordeal for women who are engaged in retail business experience due to Nigeria’s economic and social terrain.
Founder of Alerzo, a leading B2B e-commerce company said that majority of their retailers are women, 70 percent of whom are primary breadwinners contributing to Nigeria’s economy and Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
It is worthy to note that the emergence of e-commerce platforms creates an environment where retailers no longer have to deal with these issues, as the landscape for micro businesses is changing. These platforms provide opportunities where retailers can restock online through or offline through USSD.
They also provide warehousing and fulfilment solutions to suppliers while also delivering ordered goods at free cost to retailers, for example Alerzo has been providing free delivery services to retailers for over two years. Nothing less than 200 vehicles and 20 warehouses are owned by individual e-commerce B2B firms so as to serve thousands of retailers on their platforms.
B2B e-commerce platforms intervene in the areas of providing authentic goods and pricing as they prevent their customers from buying adulterated goods and being affected by unreasonable price-hikes especially by unapproved intermediaries. The interventions also include providing loans and financial literacy to these retailers which further eases the way they run their businesses.