Kushal Dutta, Managing Director at Jovago, the online hotel booking platform has told Technology Times that Nigeria consumers need online orientation to drive e-commerce lifestyle in the country.
According to the MD of Jovago, Nigerians do not have the online payment attitude, a development that underscores that “we need to educate people enough that buying online is more convenient, safe and secure.”
With 30% of its Nigerian customers now make their hotel bookings and payments online, Dutta believes that Nigeria is still lags behind and he says his company has ambitious plans to change the behaviour of its local customers towards e-commerce.
“We have launched apps for our customers to make booking very easy. We have Android app and IOS app. And we also have launched the app for our hotel managers, which helps them always to accept booking or decline booking, and to see their business performance”, Dutta told Technology Times in an exclusive interview at Jovago’s corporate headquarters in Lagos.
The two apps, Extranet app and the Jovago Hotel Booking app, are designed to enable easy transactions between the company, the hotels, and its customers.
[quote font=”georgia” font_size=”22″ font_style=”italic” align=”left” arrow=”yes”]According to the Jovago Nigeria boss, “the challenges of our country here are two: one is customer behaviour. Because the customer behavior is not very much aligned with ‘when I wants to buy something, I go online and click and I trust that I buy the product online and it’s brought right to my house’. This is where in Nigeria, and Africa as a whole, customers need to love advancement.”[/quote]Dutta explains that for the online hotel booking platform, “we have two aspects of the challenge. One is making the customers use Internet more to book, and we are doing as much as we can. Also, our secondary customer, which is the hotel, to enable them and equip them to use technical tools to do business, which is a new thing in this country.”
According to him, “this is our next step which we call ‘Automation’ that we want both our customers and all hotel partners to use technology as a tool to do more business.”
According to the Jovago Nigeria boss, “the challenges of our country here are two: one is customer behaviour. Because the customer behavior is not very much aligned with ‘when I wants to buy something, I go online and click and I trust that I buy the product online and it’s brought right to my house’. This is where in Nigeria, and Africa as a whole, customers need to love advancement.”
Jovago has placed certain mechanisms to help check online fraudulent transaction attempts and to protect customers from falling victims to cyber fraud and that it never disclose the financial details of its customers to any third party, Dutta adds.
To succeed in online business in Nigeria, business owners need to have an offline platform to complement the online version as Nigerians want to see the organisation they transact business with before they make any transaction, the Jovago MD says, explaining that this has given the online hotel booking the local market strength it has garnered in the country today.
Jovago was founded by Africa Internet Group (AIG) and is backed by MTN, AXA, Millicom and Rocket Internet, with the aim of bringing different available accommodations onto one online booking platform.