Saving Money in a pandemic era; the role of online shops

The past 18months or so may seem like a forgettable nightmare for many around the world. Truly, the entire globe was plunged into a dark bubble of pain, sorrow, uncertainty and a general unrest. News of bulk infections coupled with high mortalities hit several well developed countries. This created fear and panic among the less developed countries and life in general was at a standstill. However, in every gloomy situation lies an iota of goodness and hope. For the world, ecommerce identified itself as that hope. It gave us something to hold on to while our leaders and researchers sweated to find a long lasting solution to the pandemic. Online shopping as well as digital payments did not only help everyone stay safe but also played a major role in cost saving. Jumia, Africa’s leading ecommerce ecosystem, flashes back at the critical role online shops and services played in helping everyone save money during and after the high waves of the covid-19 pandemic.

Reduced Shipping fees – During the lockdown phase, people struggled to access essential products and services. How do they buy groceries and toiletries. How do they get meals from their favorite restaurants or even pay for any utility / entertainment bills? Things were hard and quite expensive. However, online shops played a key role in ensuring that many people got their orders delivered safely. To top it all, shipping fees were reduced greatly to encourage the use of this safe method. Additionally, lots of eccommerce companies introduced contactless delivery services as well as pick up stations from which customers can pick up their orders without having to spend huge sums of money.

Discount Sales – Discount sales have been in existence since time in memorial. From the regular mini reductions to the physical shop clearance sales. Many customers benefit from these and save a lot of money. Quite recently online shops have come up with very innovative but effective discount sale campaigns that allow customers to purchase their desired products and services at far less rates than they normally would. Sometimes these discounts are as high as 80% or occasionally a bit higher. Examples of such campaigns include Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Tech Week, Foodfest and Jumia Anniversary sales which kicks off from the 14th – 29th of June this year.

Budgeting & Price Comparisons – Knowing what to buy, when to buy it and exactly how much of it you need at a given time is a key skill that helps you save a lot. Especially in these times when economies have been greatly affected, it has become imperative to draw up your budget and do a lot of price comparisons before you actually buy anything. Online shops provide the platform to correctly compare prices vis a vis the quality of items and help customers make informed choices and budgets. In the end, you don’t overspend and you get to enjoy the best prices on top quality products and services. The wide range of category options is a story for another day.

Freebies & Giveaways – How about buying online and getting another very essential item for free? Sometimes because of budget constraints, you may have to drop one or two of the shortlisted items on your shopping list. Usually almost everything you have penned down to buy is really important and dropping some may prove to be very difficult. Even when you prioritize, you realise that you cannot completely eliminate that item you thought was less important. Many online shops during the pandemic era gave out freebies to their customers. Imagine buying some groceries and receiving your order with a box of nose masks and a sanitizer. Or ordering for pizza and getting a free drink in addition. You get to save the money that would have been spent on the nose masks, sanitizers and drink. Afew companies also found ways to keep their customers engaged. Through quizzes and trivias, customers could win great prizes throughout the weeks and months. These prizes ranged from large appliances, to mobile devices, food or even gift vouchers.

Time Saving – ‘’Time is money’’. This is a very old adage that is pretty difficult to explain. Shopping online saved us all a great deal of time. In just a few clicks, items were ordered. In contrast, traditionally, we used to jump from one physical shop or mall to the other, going through traffic, filtering shelves and spending quite a lot on transportation. With online shopping comes safety, convenience and time saving. This gave many people the freedom to work extra hours from home, learn a new skill, add extra hours to their job schedules or even become more creative. In the end, money was either saved or made due to time saving.

Although the pandemic seems to have gone down greatly with the introduction of vaccines and people generally protecting themselves better, online shopping opened our eyes to a world of possibilities and cost saving. Beyond the pandemic era, ecommerce companies continue to innovate and evolve to ensure that customers get the best value for their money while saving a great deal of money.

By : Bennet Otoo
(PR & Communications Manager, Jumia Ghana)

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