An Economic Impact Study conducted by Facebook in partnership with Morning Consult Brand Intelligence has revealed the growing importance of digital platforms to Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria.
The report shows that 91 percent of businesses using Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram to trade said they recorded increase in demand for their goods and services, both home and abroad.
The study which surveyed over 1,000 SMEs across a number of sectors including, Technology, Services, Manufacturing, Retail and Healthcare, revealed interesting insights into usage, potential opportunities for local businesses and the effectiveness of social media as a growth tool.
Commenting on the research, SMB Sales Manager, EMEA, Abi Williams, said: “With rising access to the internet across Nigeria and the low cost of smartphones, digital platforms such as Facebook’s family of Apps have become incredible mechanism to build communities and foster relationships. With more SMEs leveraging digital tools to communicate and engage with existing and potential customers, there have never been so many opportunities to maximize growth and connect with relevant customers locally and globally.”
According to the study, 82 percent of entrepreneurs said that they used Facebook for business purposes with 60 percent highlighting their usage as several times a day. 68 percent believed that the platform have had a positive impact on their local community with 56 percent saying that it has helped to create jobs and economic opportunities locally. On financial impact, 64 percent explained that their profit margin increased significantly.
Meanwhile, 89 percent maintained that they used the platform because they are able to attract customers in other countries thus increasing sales opportunities for them.
The report confirmed that 69 percent of respondents agreed that they used WhatsApp to provide information to their customers several times in a day while 74 percent said they use the messaging platform to address the challenges they have in the area of finding and working with their suppliers. 70 percent said they use the service to increase revenue with 51 percent believing that it has helped to secure funding for their business.
In the case of Instagram, 66 percent disclosed that the platform has helped them to address the challenges of finding and working with suppliers with 45 percent saying that they have been able to secure finances for their businesses.