By Jonah Nwokpoku
Ecobank Nigeria has unveiled an online marketplace, www.mymall.com.ng targeted at driving the growth of the small and medium enterprises sector in Nigeria. Speaking to journalists at the sideline of the unveiling in Lagos, Head, SME Business for Ecobank Nigeria, Sunkanmi Olowo, said: “Mymall Nigeria is an online platform where our customers can open a shop online. We have developed a site where they can rent a shop and then be able to sell to the whole world.
Today you hear of Jumia and Konga, that is the kind of thing we want to do for our customers so that SMEs who do not have the money to build an ecommerce platform, by virtue of belonging to Ecobank SME club, they can have a shop which the bank has developed for them through a partner and run their shops and sell to the whole world. By doing that, they are able to expand their businesses instead of just opening brick and mortar shops, which are more expensive, with this platform; they can do a lot more.”
To trade on the online mall, he said: “First, you have to belong to an Ecobank SME club. This requires the customer to have an SME account with Ecobank. If you have any of our SME accounts, you are qualified to join our SME Club online mall. But even if you do not have an Ecobank SME account, all it takes is for you to approach an Ecobank or go to the website and then apply.”
Also speaking, Deputy Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Tony Okpanachi said: “Mymall Nigeria is a website where customers can post their goods and services online and sell. It is a way of giving access to our SME customers to be able to reach more of their customers across Nigeria. We are creating a platform for our customers who necessarily do not have to have their own websites like Jumia and Konga.
They can rely on the malls we have provided for them. We also provide payment platform and logistics for them so that they do not have to invest in having their own infrastructure before they trade. We also know that as a bank, our outreach is so wide, so we make it possible for them to reach more markets and enhance their businesses.”
On what motivated Ecobank to venture into e-commerce, Okpanachi said: “Every customer these days wants convenience. Convenience is all about easy access to be able to do your transactions. The days when people go into the physical malls and offices to do transactions are almost over, people want to sit in their offices and homes and be able to do their transactions.
Given that, we know that e-commerce is now the way to go because people have their electronic devices that they want to transact easily with and still get the same kind of experience and satisfaction that they would have derived if they had done it offline. That is the trend that is taking over the world.”
And both for the consumers and sellers, it is more convenient than the physical presence that they used to have before. So as a bank, we are also aligned with what is more convenient for our customers and that is why we are adopting ecommerce.”