Wabi, an e-commerce ecosystem that seeks to transform the way consumers buy their products, has launched Wabi2b in Nigeria to digitise the existing traditional trade channels and empower women. The launch was held at the Nigeria Bottling Company, Mushin.
Wabi2b, the B2B arm of the Wabi business is a marketplace that allows all wholesalers and distributors in the FMCG space to sell their products directly to retailers and traditional stores. A McKinsey report titled “Africa's growing giant: Nigeria's new retail economy” estimates that from 2008 to 2020, there is a $40 billion growth opportunity in food and consumer goods in Nigeria.
According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), at least 142 million people work in the retail sector in developing countries. Retail employment accounts for an average of 10 to 15 percent of the job market in any given country. Considering that the retail industry is vital to Nigeria's economy, the opportunities would be doubled down by bringing the traditional stores online.
Country Manager, Wabi Nigeria Omolara Adagunodo said: “Wabi2b is a brainchild of the Coca-Cola Company but the benefits are not limited to coca-cola. We aim to digitise route-to-market for all FMCG companies. Most importantly, we want to help our retail partners including the small shops on the streets that are selling FMCG products.
“These are the people we are most focused on because they are the ones that need help in being digitised first. When we think back to the COVID era, people were too scared to go visit stores to shop. As such, it was convenient for them to shop online. This puts small grocery shops at a great disadvantage. They were not online and because of this, they lost to businesses who had the capability to be online and sell/buy products.
“Wabi2b is, therefore, an ecosystem that was designed for such a time as this will ensure that all retailers no matter how small have access to transact online. We are doing this to empower millions of families and women across Nigeria. 95% of our retail partners are women. These are the people who need to buy and sell on a daily basis. These are the people we work tirelessly to make their purchasing process seamless so that they can increase their revenue and become competitive in a digital era. Wabi operates in Lagos with plans to expand to other states next year. You can download our app on Google Play Store.”
Head of Wabi2b, Chimezie Ugwuzie said: “Wabi2b is a digital platform where wholesalers can sell directly to retailers. We have over 10,000 retailers on the platform. We promise them 48 hours delivery. Also, on the platform, retailers can compare prices and make profit. So Wabi2b gives retailers the opportunity to buy at the best price and as a result, they make incremental sales.”
On the impact of Wabi2b on businesses, a Wabi2b Wholesaler, Bayo Adepoju said, “If you are familiar with the FMCG industry, you would know that it is a game of numbers. It is all about targets and at the end of the quarter, we get little profit. However, since we started working with Wabi, we have had an increase in month-on-month sales. Wabi has created a niche for us to reach retailers. We are excited to be partnering with Wabi Nigeria.”