Published on August 8th, 2012 | by Segun Olojo-Kosoko2
Sabunta.com: A Review Of E-Commerce Startups in Nigeria
Its no news that on-line shopping or should I say e-commerce has birthed in Nigeria – home to over 160 million people: even though we do not know who counted it nor where the stats came from. With ideas and regulations like that of a cash-less society, its only a matter of time Nigeria would be proud to say we reached the pinnacle of being cash-less or experience a true e-commerce environment. Therefore you would agree with me that this is just the teething days for the Nigeria e-commerce industry.
I won’t want to give an excuse for enabled environment and infrastructure as we are sure not where we used to be 5, 10, 20 years ago. If at the brink of the year 2000 a prophet, prophesied that Nigerian would shop or make payment online; the prophet would have been named a false prophet. Howbeit, here we are 12 years after, and we are glad we can.
However, I have decided with the help of other writers do some review of the e-commerce sites currently trending in Nigeria today. I would like to sound a note of warning: that this write up is not in anyway to discredit the efforts of the online business that would be under review.
Sabunta would lead the pack for this review. In my own opinion a wonderful site layout. Everything is in your face from the home page which is a good experience for online shoppers. Items are clear; picture quality is fantastic; font style and font size for me is accurate; colour distribution and brand execution is also very distinct with no colour rivalry. Now that is the look and feel for shopping experience.
Next is the actual shopping experience. Having completed my shopping, and proceeded to checkout, I had to confirm security certificate for the site as I got a warning risk. This would be as a result of the transition from http to https which is a more secured interface. From there onwards it was a smooth ride to placing my order. Delivery options were clearly stated, payment method were clearly started as well the quantity, name of product and price of product, removing any ambiguity.
Having said all that I would like to state the following:
To keep the home page and subsequent pages simple and shorter in length; “Top Brands” information should be moved to a separate page. Reason is not far fetched. The Brand list would definitely grow, which would mean the pages would increase in length which in my opinion would not be a good experience as each brand are adequately advertised in each product.
In the payment and order confirmation page, the product image should be shown and not a shoe image for all products. If that is not possible, listing would do, knowing the name of the product is correct.
Reaching the customer service to make enquiries was not an easy task. In my experience I made a call to 08189783110 to make enquiry if indeed Sabunta honors American Express cards. To my suprise what I heard was in a lady’s voice: “You have reached the customer service of Sabunta. Please drop a message and we would get back to you.” Then the operators message notification: “Please leave a message after the tone“. This alone could turn away a customer. On a second attempt, the same messasge voice message was played back into my ears and I decided to drop a voice message requesting with my contact number expecting to be called back.
After 2hrs I did not receive a call, I decided to call back. Now this time I was able to speak to a customer care assistant who was quite polite on the phone even though was not completely sure if Sabunta honors American Express cards. Then I understood that my first two calls would probably be due to a busy customer service line. I would have preferred a response in the line of: ”At Sabunta, your call is important to us, however, our customer service agents are fully busy at the moment, but if you could leave us your contact number we could get back to you or hold on the line for an available agent, your other options is to chat with us online at www.sabunta.com. Thank you“
In Summary, I love what I see at Sabunta and am not paid to do this.