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Nigerians Spent Up to $1.82bn on Wears in 2020 as Fashion Overtakes Travel in e-Commerce Earnings

Posted On : May 8, 2021

Oscar Alochi


Nigerians spent as much as $1.82 billion purchasing fashion items online in 2020. According to a PayU report, consumers in the country spent more on clothing last year than any other e-commerce category.

Fashion overtook travel and mobility to top consumer spending during the year. Other categories of online shopping expenses include electronic gadgets, video games, food, and digital music.

In 2020, Nigerians expended a total of $8.06 billion on e-commerce products, representing a 6% increase of $480 million compared to the $7.58 billion spent in 2019.

More Fashion, Less Travel

Earnings from the Fashion sector slightly surpassed Travel in the past year, accounting for 22.6% of the total $8.06 billion Nigerians spent on e-commerce sites. Covid-19 lockdowns and curfews meant that many more people were compelled to shop online, leading to greater e-commerce spending among consumers.

Nigerians spent $1.82 billion on online fashion products in 2020, 44% higher than the $1.25 billion recorded in 2019.

Just behind Fashion, Travel amassed the second-highest spend of $1.79 billion, contributing 22.2% of total e-commerce revenue. The travel sector got the highest spending in 2019 ($3.13 billion) but the sector suffered from Covid-19 mobility restrictions and travel bans which shot down earnings by 42.9% to $1.7 billion in 2020.

As part of the wider e-commerce industry, the travel & hospitality sector comprises all payments completed on online platforms for flight booking and hotel reservations such as Travelstart, Wakanow, and Hotels.ng.

Electronic gadgets ($1.34 billion) and Video games ($1.21 billion) were the only other two item categories to record up to $1 billion in consumer spending in 2020. With more people at home for longer periods, there was a higher demand for gadgets including laptops, phones, and PlayStation to facilitate remote work, learning, and entertainment.

Similarly, this also drove up consumer spending on food and personal care products to $484.3 million, up by 59.6% from $303.4 million in 2019.

Nigeria Leads Africa in e-Commerce

Nigeria remains Africa’s biggest e-commerce market with 76.7 million online shoppers, followed by South Africa’s 22 million and Kenya’s 13 million.

More opportunities exist now than ever before for online and omnichannel merchants across Africa. This is especially true for merchants in fashion, beauty, electronic gadgets, and digital goods.

Nigeria’s 50% adult population of 107 million has played a key role in driving e-commerce spending in the country. The population aged between 15-54 years in Nigeria dwarfs South Africa’s 32 million and Kenya’s 28 million. Therefore, the number of online shoppers is expectedly way higher.

However, it is not that Nigerians are spending more than their African neighbours. South Africa, for instance, expended over $3 billion on e-commerce platforms in 2020, with an average $136.4 per shopper. This is higher than Nigeria’s average of $105.1 spent by each consumer.

For context, South Africans and Kenyans have greater purchasing power due to higher minimum wages of $205.9 and $193.54 respectively.

Fashion was the sector with the highest consumer spend in 2020 in Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa, and PayU projects that consumer spending on wears in each of these markets could reach $2.27 billion, $1.48 billion, and $504 million respectively by the end of 2021.

Content courtesy of Tech Next & Nairobi fashion hub 

Oscar Alochi


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