A new e-commerce platform, www.ogapatapata.com, is seeking to promote Nigerian retailers online. Founded by Solomon Okpa, the portal which was officially unveiled recently in Lagos, said the brand is geared towards revolutionising the Nigerian digital market.
“I had a deep conviction that one day in the near future, physical shops and market spaces would go extinct and be replaced by virtual shops and markets (e-commerce),” said Okpa in a chat with The Nation.
“We have also created the e-profile and e-shops to accommodate every Nigeria, both old and young, literate and illiterate.”
The name, Ogapatapata, is a Yoruba word interpreted to mean ‘ overall boss or leader’.
The idea of the business was conceived around 2010 and became flesh in October 2015 as a WhatsApp group called “Exchange Items” said Okpa.
“There and then the first site was coined www.exchangeyouritems.com, which later was changed to its present name www.ogapatapata.com in May 2017. It was officially unveiled September 30, 2017.”
He disclosed that it is free to use the website and they just have to create a Vendor account and create a store. Over 150 vendors are already registered on the website.
However, customised advertisements are paid for. Okpa also said the company has not deviated from its initial goal of exchange of goods and services.
“Our USP is Exchange of items – good for good, goods for services or services for services, reinventing the ancient trade by barter system,” he said.
“Take for example someone giving out his garri for soup. I have also exchanged my books for slippers and the list is a long one. The concept is that we need money to buy one thing or the other. What if we can bypass money and just exchange what we have for what we want.”
He however, said the business faces some challenges, especially, in getting its message to Nigerians.
“In a market like ours where people are yet to avail themselves with the online business, much advertisement is needed, personnel to visit market women and other subscribers and to achieve that capital is very essential,” he said.