The expanding youth population in Nigeria has had a significant impact on retail growth. It is estimated that 60 per cent of Nigeria’s population is under the age of 25, making it the youngest country in Africa. As this demographic continues to grow, so too does the demand for consumer goods, services, and retail offerings.
The influence of this younger demographic is evident in the rise of shopping malls, chain stores, and convenience stores across major cities such as Abuja, Lagos, and Port Harcourt. Shoprite Nigeria, the largest retail chain in Nigeria, for example, has 25 outlets in 12 states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and with each outlet comes other social outlets like cinemas and food courts filled with various restaurants.
These outlets provide viable shopping opportunities for young people, creating more jobs and stimulating consumer spending. Furthermore, the emergence of e-commerce in recent years has enabled young people to access a diverse range of products and services without having to visit physical stores.
The youth population in Nigeria is also increasingly turning to digital payment mechanisms for retail purchases. Apart from traditional payment methods, young people are now using digital banks, mobile wallets, gift cards, QR codes, and cryptocurrency. This shift is revolutionising the way Nigerians access, buy, and sell goods, opening up easier and more efficient ways of making payments.
In 2020, digital payment transactions in Nigeria amounted to 204.9 billion naira, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). This figure is expected to grow significantly over the next few years as mobile money, online payment apps and other digital payment mechanisms become widely adopted by the population.
According to the Nigerian Inter-Bank Settlement System, mobile money transactions increased by 600% in 2020, demonstrating the increasing reliance of citizens on digital payment technology. Additionally, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) reported that 89.2 million Nigerian citizens use mobile payment systems, with debit cards and Point-of-Sales systems being the most commonly used methods. Overall, digital payments are increasingly becoming part of the everyday life of Nigerians and will continue to be an important element of the country’s retail market in the future.
In addition, the expanding youth population has created an opportunity for start-ups and new businesses to enter the retail market in Nigeria. Young people are able to draw on the resources available in the country, such as mobile money, to create innovative retail solutions catering to the growing demand.
With the rise of digital technology, more young people have also turned to entrepreneurship and are establishing retail businesses to take advantage of the growing domestic market. From fashion stores to tech hubs, the Nigerian youth are leveraging their ingenuity and creativity to make waves in the industry. As more entrepreneurs break into the market, they are driving growth and creating innovative business models. This increases the range of options available to customers, boosting economic activity and encouraging more young people to partake in the retail market.
The rise of social media has also opened up new possibilities for retail in Nigeria, particularly for its young population. Retailers have, in recent years, begun to use social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp to display their products and services in a way that is engaging and attractive to young shoppers. This has enabled retailers to reach out to a larger audience, driving sales and increasing visibility. Additionally, it has provided the young people of Nigeria with an easier way to access and purchase these products, fueling the growth of retail in Nigeria.
In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, more Nigerians resorted to online shopping on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp due to restrictions on movement and an increase in health concerns. As a result, retailers experienced a spike in sales as well as an increase in the visibility of their products and services.
This shift in consumer behaviour towards digital retail has allowed retailers to stay afloat during these trying times and has also opened up opportunities to reach out to a wider customer base. The ability to shop online has encouraged consumers to purchase items they may have otherwise not been willing to purchase in-store. Overall, the pandemic led to a boom in retail online and has been a win-win situation for both retailers and consumers in Nigeria.
Overall, the increasing youth population in Nigeria presents many possibilities for retail growth in the country. As this demographic continues to grow, so too will the opportunities for sustained economic growth and expansion. With the right investments and policies in place, Nigeria’s young and rapidly growing population can become an engine for the country’s economic prosperity.