A study has warned ecommerce platforms to pay more attention to the pain points of their customers so as not to lose them at critical times. The report titled “Exploring Key Issues Affecting African Mobile eCommerce Applications Using Sentiment and Thematic Analysis” and published in the IEEE Open Access Journal focused on the views of customers on the ecommerce platforms in selected African countries.
Specifically, the multi-country study focused on Jiji Nigeria, Jumia, Jiji Kenya, Konga, Takealot, Kilimall and Jiji Uganda with an attempt to understand both the positive and negative sentiments that those who patronize them have for or against them. The study identified three pain points around business, legal and technological frameworks within which the ecommerce platforms operate. Analysis also indicated the preference points for the customers. An earlier report has identified price value and trust as significant influences on intention to purchase online.
On the customer’s positive perception, the report identified the ease of use, fast delivery, affordable products, convenience, cash on delivery and good aesthetics of the platforms and their products. Customers also enjoyed the discounts, fast delivery, user-friendliness of the applications and the speed with which some of these applications allow them to sell.
The report equally noted the pain points of the consumers of the ecommerce platforms to include delivery mistakes, issues on tracking their purchased items, poor product tracking culture, insufficient product information, poor customer service, unfriendly return policy and Application crashes. Other negative issues include poor search algorithm, high shopping list, sudden cancellation of order without notice, poor quality of items bought, payment issues, non functioning product filter and too many notifications. The report made recommendations on how the platforms could address some of the major customer complaints in the study.
It would be recalled that Shoprite, a South African Mall Franchise, has been trending online for the wrong reasons. The company has been battling a complicated rumour surrounding its continued operations in Nigeria. Analysis has indicated that major sentiments do not favour the company staying in Nigeria despite more than a decade of operating in the country. Observations of comments and online disposition of Nigerians who are actually rooting for the exit of the shopping mall giant might not be divorced from pre-crisis unaddressed complaints they have about the company.
Analysts have queried the continuous negative reviews and lack of sympathy from Nigerians whose patronage Shoprite has enjoyed for 15 years. This may be due to poor public relations and inability to conduct consumer research that would have likely yielded some of the issues arising now.