Five Years of Jumia: The Shoppers’ Story


With broadband penetration heading towards 30 per cent by 2018, Nigerian online market is expected to assume a competitive position in the global scene according to the predictions of technology experts.

 Indeed the online shopping model has come to relieve the stress that comes with the activities of physical buying and selling, thus a preferred option for an average shopper.

 The initiative is however gradually losing flavour contrary to experts’ predictions as only a few of the sophisticated population have a good testimony from their experiences with the operators.

 Not that Nigerians are displeased with the business model. In fact, it is a most welcome development as confirmed in a research conducted by MasterCard Worldwide which reported that 92 per cent of Nigerians hold strong and positive sentiments towards online shopping.

 With a long list of online shops in Nigeria, consumers’ report from various angles has further proven that operators, especially need to up their game.

 For Jumia which is presently painting the town red on the occasion of its fifth anniversary in the marketplace, it is not total condemnation. Its numerous, yet innovative efforts at redefining online shopping trends in Nigeria have paid off.

 According to the Chief Executive Officer of the company, Juliet Anammah, despite environmental obstructions such as poor delivery infrastructure, i.e.  lack of well-functioning postal system and effective logistic systems inhibiting the  sector  in Nigeria, it had been able to get out of the woods through different strategies.

 But for the ardent online customers, Jumia may not be the best option. Their dissatisfaction ranges from substandard products (delivery of items not true to displayed pictures), delayed or no refund on suspicious products, exorbitant prices of goods, delayed delivery and poor customer service amongst others.

 While these complaints are not peculiar to Jumia, it seems to be taking the lead in the protest brackets.

 One of the worriers, Lara Wise, narrated her ordeal on the platform.

According to her, she ordered for a  particular brand of bag and paid before delivery, but what was delivered was an adulterated version of what she ordered which caused her to call for a refund. Even though she called for a refund within the company’s 7 days return policy, the refund didn’t come not until she raised the alarm.

  Another customer, Bayo said he trusted the platform with his bank details but doesn’t get to deliver as promised.

 Although, an arm of the company, Jumia Travels recently released a statement saying that ‘investors are happy with the company’, such may not be the true picture in reality as Marketplace encounter with shoppers on the platform proved otherwise.

 When contacted on this, the company maintained that it was constantly improving its processes to meet the yearnings of the consumers.

 “We are here to serve the customers better and that is why all the departments in the company including the customers service, quality control and quality checks among others are not leaving any stone unturned to deliver satisfactorily. We will not hesitate to delist any vendor who supplies us with substandard products, yet the quality check department ensures that whatever goes out in our name is not below standard.

“Our seven days return policy has not changed, we keep our words. Once a good is returned within 7 days of order and in good shape as delivered, nothing stops us from refunding the customer’s money as soon as the necessary checks have been carried out”.