Will Payporte’s move to a brick and mortar store work?


Under the guise of operating as an omnichannel eCommerce platform, Payporte Global System Ltd could have pivoted its operations into a typical brick and mortar store.

An omnichannel retailer offers its services using online, offline and other adjunct means giving its customers the opportunity to access its services using the channel that suits them.

Payporte was one of the prominent eCommerce startups who floated after Jumia and Konga made huge gains in revenue milestones. However, the honeymoon has long been over and Jumia (now a listed company on the New York Stock Exchange) and Konga (has long been sold off by its former owners- Kinnek and Naspers) have been struggling to find a profitable business model

The company announced recently that it has invested massively into floating physical stores across major economic hubs of Nigeria including Lagos, Ibadan, Abuja and an ongoing plan to open a store in Port Harcourt.

Another aspect of its pivoting strategy is that Payporte has now focused on fashion and fashion related products unlike its first four years of operation when it was offering general merchandise like its bigger competitors such as Jumia and Konga.

However, it is left to be seen if Payporte’s strategy would be pay off in the medium and long term. In a news report published on the BusinessDay Newspaper, Eyo Bassey, chief executive at Payporte said the migration into am omnichannel retailing ‘came with a lot of costs’ to the company while still planning to open its international stores in Ghana and Kenya.

It is worthy of note that since Konga was sold off to Zinox in 2018, the company has opened several stores across the country with a major focus in selling mailing consumer electronics. The choice of retail stores sounds very convincing given the fact that more than 90% of all retail sales in Nigeria happen offline. However, opening an offline store does not guarantee success and there are many stores who have gone bankrupt and shuttled operations.

Be it as it may, Payporte will now be reaching more customers more than ever before. However, its plan to focus on fashion will pit the company against established fashion retailers such as South Africa’s MRP, Max as well as other single brand retailers who have been in the business for decades with various business models in stark difference to what powers Payporte.

Known for its massive investment into TV advertising and sponsorships, Payporte was founded in 2014.