The Influence of The Internet on Nigerian Businesses
By Anerobi, Chimezie Lotachi
The presence of telecommunications devices in almost every daily activity is a clear sign that the World is currently operating in the technological era and has found some way to include everyone on the surface of the planet. For most families who can afford one, owning one form of telecommunication device like a smartphone, laptop and now, even a smart watch has grown to become a sort of common necessity when one needs to or has to perform duties and also keep abreast of all happenings across the World. Therefore, it is safe to say that the World has become technologically connected to one another.
Agreeably, it is the current generation of kids and youths that are in a way responsible for why the growing trend of improved and sophisticated telecommunication devices keeps increasing on a daily basis. I mean even a five-year old child in kindergarten class has a smartphone to keep in touch with his friends and family and may even most likely know more about the in and out of the gadget than his parents. After all, he/she has been born into an era where understanding gadgets is practically like eating or putting on clothes. Plus, more kids are getting excited about technology and are diving more into programming to become part of the new innovation drivers.
Nowadays, using telecommunication devices has gone past the stage of just taking pictures, making phone calls or just receiving text messages as we noticed from the earlier breed of devices released into the market. Using it as a strong tool for business transactions and reaching clients is basically what it has evolved into over the years.
Take social media applications when it first started out for example, the end game was just to upload an awesome picture of you to the internet, meet some new friends and expand your phone contacts’ database, but it has become more. Business minded folks at some point discovered that one could use this medium to reach prospective clients; sure, you would still be meeting new folks, but the difference now is you would be meeting people that will add to or grow your business. It gives the whole idea of networking and socializing a more lucrative foundation for most users.
Look at the current technology trends in Nigeria, most prospective clients rely on social media to gather more information on any seller of service they would like to patronize. The ease of transferring information becomes easier; businesses can put out their contact numbers, email addresses and even physical addresses on these platforms for people to find them; frankly, I do not think you would be wrong if you would like to call it a kind of e-business card.
You cannot argue that telecommunication devices and the use of internet data has contributed to most businesses thriving and growing into becoming successful establishments because they harnessed the current trends and statistics figures effectively to boost their businesses.
In the fourth quarter of 2017, Nigeria recorded 98,391,456 active internet subscribers after the quarterly telecommunications report was submitted by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Nigeria. That means if a business operator can utilize their various locations to create an effective online presence, it would will be possible to reach over ninety-eight million people out of the current population of the country.
Looking at just the numbers from the last quarter of the previous year, more than half of the country’s population are active on the internet and can be reached if the right campaigns and content are used. This goes to show how much the telecommunications industry can greatly influence the business market and turn in profits for business owners.
Owning a laptop, smartphone, an email address and a social media account gives one all the tools needed to boost their business’ revenue. It is basically the easiest form of marketing for any company to implement, and asides this, it could also be your business.
The country also has quite a large number of online businesses popping up at every turn to provide customers with the services they need. This choice of creating a virtual-online business platform is not because getting a building to stack up all office computers and some cables might be a difficult thing to do, but the potential possibilities of being able to reach a client at any time and location is beginning to trend in the whole client-seller relationship.
In Nigeria, using telecommunications to build businesses has become the most common use for the sector. Each business wants to achieve visibility which will in turn lead to patronage and profit. Every person who uses the social media platform has one product they would like to market and that is why taking the marketing strategy on these platforms becomes a serious deal.
Although, telecommunication is doing so much for Nigerian businesses, it still requires a lot of work to reach its fullest potential in terms of marketing and aiding publicity. This is an issue that looking into more advances in the current technology and investment by service providers to make sure that the best services are being rendered can solve in the long run.
Since most users make use of their devices to surf the internet and gather information about the businesses they would like to patronize, there are still some certain hindrances that can stand in the way of customers getting what they want and business owners reaching their clients.
One of such hindrance to optimizing the potential of the telecommunications industry is usually the quality of service provided. The quality of the services rendered can either improve or destroy how much businesses can progress with their clients or prospective clients.
This is basically one of the reasons for the massive porting of users from one network to another network in the last quarter of 2017. 9Mobile (EMTS) was one of the largest beneficiary of incoming porting activities in that quarter because of the quality of data services provided.
With this, we can surmise that not having stable internet service being provided can frustrate users and pull them away from the businesses that need their patronage.
The telecommunications industry in Nigeria is one of the country’s largest sectors and hence, a sizeable amount of attention should be put into it to ensure that the best is provided for both clients and business owners. If that can be achieved, the country can take control of its business promotions and bring transactions into a new successful era.