Research has shown that digital trade has become a key driver of business growth worldwide, and Africa isn’t exempt as a huge number of young Africans are involved in the digital revolution happening across the continent. It can be argued that e-commerce has spurred innovation and become a catalyst for dramatic economic transformation across the continent.
The digitization of the economy continues to create exciting opportunities for young people in developing countries, Nigeria was recently ranked as the 35th largest market for e-commerce globally and signposted as having recorded a yearly growth of 42%.
This is clearly evidenced by the rise in digital marketplace activities across the country. A 2020 report claims that 26% of Nigerians bought products online even as platforms like Jiji have seen monthly active users increase to about 12 million and employ a team of over 400 people to engage consumers. This showcases the huge economic benefits – job creation, economic empowerment, and value creation, derived from these digital marketplaces.
One key attraction of these digital marketplaces is the triple-edged advantage in providing vendors with a platform to sell their products to consumers anywhere in the country, as well as the visibility required to scale and grow their small businesses while saving costs on operating expenses.
In a recent media chat with the PR and Marketing Head of Jiji Nigeria, Majolie Obaje, she said: “We are driven to continually find new ways to deliver value for our customers. We are consistently improving our platform to ensure that people get everything they want and the best deals easily. With us, people can sell or buy products and services based on their needs and budgets in a safe and secure manner.”
It is against this backdrop that we examine the Black Friday phenomenon and ways to make transactions safer and more secure.
Black Friday, the day after US Thanksgiving, is regarded as one of the biggest shopping events of the year and is marked by increased online shopping activities. In 2021’s Black Friday, following the pandemic of the previous year, news reports estimate that 154.5 million people purchased goods and services worth about $8.9 billion in value in the United States.
According to Gal Ringel, cybersecurity expert and CEO of Mine, sadly, “up to 30% to 50% of the annual average of data breaches happen in November and December alone”. Clearly, the frenzied and frenetic nature of Black Friday presents an incentive for fraudsters to carry out their nefarious activities.
Because knowledge and caution are tools that protect you from being deceived, here are four tips to keep your online transactions safe during this year’s Black Friday:
1. Never give out your financial information
Under no circumstances should you give out your bank account details, ATM PIN, online banking OTP, or any other sensitive information that could be misused by a third party.
2. Check the website link properly
Fraudsters can sometimes use cloned websites to trap victims, so check the spelling of the website’s URL and check that it uses the https:// protocol on the address bar. You could also check for reviews and ratings of that marketplace site.
3. Be careful of what you click on
Since messaging apps have become common, you must exercise extra caution in clicking on links on your phone. This is because hackers can insert malicious code on a website that extracts your online payment details. These hackers also send phishing emails, links or forms that also try to achieve the same objectives. So, think before you click.
4. If it appears too good to be true, it probably is
Imagine that a vendor offers you an item at a ridiculously lower cost than everyone else. Stop and think before you part with your cash. Check other vendors or sites for a comparative price benchmark for that product, and try not to pay ahead before seeing and inspecting the products.
Those are some actions you can take to ensure you never get scammed. Still, it is not all doom and gloom on Black Fridays as reputable marketplaces offer real sales. For instance, Jiji provides vendors an opportunity to make discounts on their products this special season. You can find up to 60% off deals on their dedicated landing pages. As long as you stick to the safety tips, you have a great chance of grabbing the best deals ever!