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Taafoo.com is Defining Online Shopping in Nigeria

Photo: onlineshoppingeveryday.com

According to reports from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), 28% of Nigerians are actively using the internet, a percentage that is inching closer to the world’s average of 30%. From 4.5 million users in 2000 to 45 million at the end of 2011, this growth has been phenomenal, and the statistics have placed Nigeria as the country with the highest number of internet users in Africa.

With this rising growth, e-commerce retail is still some sort of a novelty among Nigerians, and is treated with much skepticism. But one company is making a difference in the way Nigerians shop online. taafoo.com is an online retail service that enables you to shop, play and explore online. It started off as a social network and e-commerce hybrid: connecting people with celebrities and making it easier for users to purchase products online. It has now grown into a full-fledged online retail store—still with that social edge—stocking various products ranging from clothes, shoes, and handbags to jewellery, accessories, kids items, and luxury designer pieces, and so much more.

What makes taafoo.com different from other online retailers in Nigeria? They have taken just about the best qualities of an e-commerce business, fused it together, and created a brand that inspires trust and spells good quality. That’s a feat that is hard to achieve especially in Nigeria with issues of fraud, and consumer confidence at its lowest when it concerns online transactions. With quality products at affordable prices, a classic user-friendly website, various flexible modes of payment, FREE shipping nationwide, great deals on amazing products, and a wide range of options for shopping and delivery, coupled with an aggressive marketing campaign, taafoo.com is a brand on a mission, to define e-commerce retail in Nigeria.

Perhaps what makes taafoo.com even more reliable is the fact that they have a real presence. They’re not sitting up in the cloud somewhere; their head office is at 7 Church Street, Opebi, Ikeja, Lagos. For buyers whose skepticism still exists, who go by the maxim “seeing is believing”, they have the option of picking up their purchases, and even shopping, at the head office, and paying in person.

Unlike other online retailers, taafoo.com works with the maxim Shop Early, Act Quickly. There is a timer on each product detail page which tells you when the deal expires. At the end of the deal, the price is reviewed upwards. The timer is reset until either the item is purchased or the actual retail value is reached. As a buyer, to get the best prices and deals on products, the earlier you buy, the lower the price you will pay.

To shop on tafoo.com you need to visit the website, browse through over 300 product departments and thousands of items. Or if you’re looking for something specific, like a dress, go to the Clothing department tab, then the Women’s Clothing category, and then the Dresses sub-category to view all the dresses which are in stock, and make your choices. When you find what you’d like to buy, click on the image to get more detailed information about the product. Then you click on the Buy Now button to add it to the shopping bag.

Screenshot of taafoo.com home page. Photo: taafoo.com

Making payments online has been one of the greatest challenges of many online retail businesses. With the onset of debit card fraud, most sites that sell online would expect a buyer to make payments at a specified bank, and show a bank teller as proof. This takes away the ease and convenience that online shopping should be known for. Now with companies like Verve, Visa, and Mastercard, and the gradual building of a cashless society, e-payment is getting easier.

Paying for products has been made easy on taafoo.com. There are flexible payment options to choose from. If you’re not comfortable paying online, through Paypal, or using your Interswitch-enabled debit/credit card, by Mastercard or Verve, you may also pay into any of their accounts in Zenith, First Bank, or GTBank. You can also pay with MTN recharge cards (for items under N1600), pay cash on delivery (within Lagos only), or pay in person, at the head office.

Another challenge used to be authentication of payments, how to confirm a genuine transaction. You can shop with confidence on taafoo.com as the information you enter into the site is verified, and encrypted and transmitted without risk, using a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol.

One sweet thing about buying on taafoo.com is that delivery is FREE nationwide. Your purchased items are shipped to you via courier. Within Lagos, delivery takes 1-2 business days; outside Lagos it takes 3-5 business days. You can also pick up your items, if you prefer, directly at any of their offices.

Another great benefit of visiting taafoo.com is that you can send bulk SMSs’ at the rate of N1.90 only, no matter the volume sent. taafoo Bulk SMS is a web-based portal that lets you send SMS messages from taafoo.com to your customers, friends, family or anyone else that has a GSM (Airtel, Etisalat, Glo & MTN) phone in Nigeria. To do that you will have to join the taafoo Network. As a member you can save your shopping activity, make friends with other shoppers, easily manage & track your online activities, and be the first to know of amazing deals and bargains soon as they come up.

If you’re wondering how to go about returning or exchanging a product you purchased, click here to view the exchange and return policy.

Merging e-commerce and social networking has never been this good, buying quality products over the internet has never been this easier, and taafoo.com has set the bar high for online shopping in Nigeria.

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Lulu Oyigah trained as a geologist. She is passionate about nature, writing, arts and crafts, and interior design. She writes, and edits, for connectnigeria.com.

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