The Nigerian smartphone market has been long dominated by Blackberry phones. However, the floor has shifted in the past few years with new brands jostling for market dominance. In order to confirm this, our team of analysts decided to perform a research on the smartphone industry in Nigeria.
Using Google Trends, we tried to estimate the search volume for the most popular smartphones in Nigeria. Year till date (From January 2016), we were shocked. Blackberry phones are still popular.
We did a quick search on Jumia (leading e-commerce site in Nigeria) to confirm our findings. The data didn’t quite correlate. Before we delve into what we saw, let’s analyze the data from Google Trends.
The most popular smartphone in Nigeria has always been the Blackberry. The youthful age-bracket (18-25) has notoriously played a huge part in this. The strange thing is that even after the demise of Blackberry as a global Smartphone market king, the phone still reigns in Nigeria. The graph below shows the search volume trend for smartphone brands on Google Nigeria from the beginning of this year.
Coming close second is Infinix. You will be wondering why not Samsung or the famous iPhone. It happened that Nigerians prefer low end smartphones and it seems Infinix has managed to provide that price point that is just sufficient to attract many buyers. A customer has this to say about the phone “…this device is great and very affordable at its price…”.
In fact, Infinix phones go for as low as 35,000Naira on most e-commerce sites. With the purchasing power of the average Nigerian getting lower, it justifies the demand for the phone.
Using search volume data from the Google Keyword Planner, we found the result a little bit different .This time Samsung and Infinix came up top. The Samsung galaxy 7 has just been released and Nigerians have a habit of searching on the latest phones even without a purchase intent. However, the Samsung Galaxy S6 showed up as the most searched Samsung phone.
Digging a little deeper, we found the states driving this craze.
Look at that. Sokoto is driving search volume for Infinix but when you take a closer look at the regions, the South-West easily dominates. We have States like Ondo, Oyo and Kwara driving search volume.
It makes more sense given that most business activities in Nigeria are saturated towards the South-West with Lagos and Port-Harcourt leading the pack.
From the data above, it is obvious people want the ‘Infinix Note”. Notice we circled Jumia as a related search; indicating the search volume might be coming from Jumia. Remember Jumia is one of the largest online retail stores in Nigeria. It is quite surprising to see the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 as a related search. The Galaxy note is a high end phone and one would wonder if the search queries are from the same group of users. What makes it such a beloved smart phone?
Who are those driving iPhone Search?
We tried to know where the rich iPhone users were concentrated. Bearing in mind that iPhone searches doesn’t necessarily translate into purchase. But to a large extent it indicates interest and preference. Also, since Google is the most widely used search engine, we are safe to assume people are not mostly searching from another search engine.
From the result above, the searches are more dispersed across the country, with the North and South both having their fair share. For Advertisers targeting iPhone customers, they might be having a tough time allocating their budget.
What happens when we search by specific device type?
This reveals that the Infinix hot note is really leading other devices by a wide margin. The iPhone 6 easily surpasses the Blackberry Q10 while the Samsung Galaxy S6 sinks into oblivion. The techno phone retains its bottom spot indicating a lack of wide appeal by Nigerians.
What this might imply is that people are searching for a wide array of blackberries and Samsung devices while the iPhone 6 and Infinix hot are driving traffic for their brands. Seems people still love those old blackberries (curve bold, javelin).
To understand the region driving the search for the Infinix note, we found something interesting as well.
The southern part of the country dominates once more.It is obvious a lot is happening in the south.
How are marketers bidding for these Keywords?
We used the keyword planner tool once more to get insight into the competition level on these keywords:
Samsung Galaxy s6
The graph below reveals the suggested cost per click for each keyword.
It appears advertisers value the Blackberry Q10 higher compared to other high end phones like the iPhone. For this to be true, the search volume has to be high to justify the price. This isn’t true from the graphs above. We expect the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy to be more competitive. Our best guess is that marketers are slow to respond to change in the mobile phone trends.
How are e-commerce sites competing for keywords?
When we used the Google Keyword planner to search for the coherence between the two e-commerce giants (Jumia & Konga), what we found was chilling. Guess what? The top keyword suggestion happened to be the brand name of their major competitor (Jumia). Jumia was bidding on the keyword “Konga” and vice versa.
Same goes for Jumia
The reason this is possible is because competition is low on brand names .The bid estimate for “Konga” is a mere $0.13. Jumia can afford to do that without feeling the itch. They can also claim it’s because they have nothing to lose. Who cares after all? Also, we found out that these brand names had the highest monthly average search volume. The table below highlights our findings.
The blackberry craze is still on but newer brands like Infinix are taking over the landscape.
The takeaway from this analysis is that price stills remains a huge factor in determining mobile phone preference for Nigerian consumers. Nigerians still largely prefer middle-end phones. However, they might be in market just to review high-end phones without intent to purchase.
Also, from our observation, marketers In Nigeria are slow to respond in kind. We believe a more proactive approach with benefit them. And this involves active keyword research before setting up their marketing campaigns. Marketers should me more proactive to make sure they catch up on the latest trend. This will ensure more return on advertisement spend.