E-commerce business is one of the surest ways of making money in Nigeria as we speak, the accessibility of about 80million citizens of Nigeria to the internet with a population of about 180million people, has contributed immensely to the success of E-commerce business in Nigeria. In this blog post, I am going to discuss with you How to start an E-commerce Business in Nigeria
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E-commerce business gives room for starting small and growing from there. You don’t have to think of having a huge startups fund like Jumia or Konga before starting and running a successful E-commerce businee in Nigeria.
How does E-commerce Business works in Nigeria?
E-commerce commerced when the used of electronic data was introduced in the 1960s. The word eCommerce means selling online.
Types of E-commerce Business and their Features
In Ecommerce business, we can have business to business (B2B) type of business, where transactions takes place between businesses. We can also operate Business to Consumer (B2C) where business transactions are between business and the final consumers. It is also possible to operate Consumer to Consumer (C2C) type of E-commerce business where business transactions are between the consumers themselves. When individuals alike exchanged goods and services between themselves online via a third party platform like OLX or JiJi
Also, eCommerce business operates when an individual renders his/her services to companies which can be referred to as Consumer to business (C2B) type of E-commerce business. Another form of eCommerce business happens between businesses and the government where private companies can be providing services to the government or public administrations called Business to Administration (B2A) form of eCommerce business. Another form of eCommerce business is when individuals alike render their services to the government which can be referred to as Consumer to Government (C2G) type of eCommerce business.
E-commerce business can take any form, it all boils down to selling online. You don’t really have to start with big amount before recording success.
Ecommerce business involves creating a website around a particular business idea. Remember, most of the transactions are done online. Once you have a business idea and your Ecommerce website, intergrated with a payment gateways is ready, then you are good to go. You can refer to my previous article on how to create an eCommerce website/online store with wordpess and woocommerce or you can simply get a custom store or a third party web buider like shopify or bicommerce.
In other to operate a successful eCommerce business in Nigeria, it is important to follow some procedures.
1. Secure Your Domain Name and Hosting Plan
To operate a successful business in any niche, it is important to create a website around that business in order to have an online exposure. You can do this with any domain name registrar of your choice. But I would recommend bluehost (for a free domain name and a reliable hosting services) and some of our naija domain name registrars like smartweb with a .com, .com.ng, .ng, .biz etc. extensions.
2. Register Your Business Name with CAC
Corporate affairs commission allows you to register a business name of your choice. This would give you an edge in certain areas like if you would need to get a loan or grants for your business. And the good news is that CAC is running a promo of 50% off your registration fee of N10,000 after securing the business name with N500. It is important to choose your business name carefully cos if the name is not available, you will need to pay another N500 for name search. In choosing your business name, make sure it is unique and can easily be registered in the mind of your customers.
You then make a payment of N5000 (Promo for now) instead of N10,000 once your name is reserved.
3. Write Your Business Plan
Having a well written business plan would help in guiding you towards achieving your set goals without deviating from your business goals, this would protect you from unnecessary loss because you already have an original business plan to work with. Thus, a well written business plan is necessary for more success in your eCommerce business journey.
4. Stock Inventory
Having secured a business name as well as a website with a reliable hosting services, the next step is start stocking your physical store with products for those that would be selling physical products. You can learn how Mini Importation business works and start importing your products into Nigeria without middle agents.
You can start by using your apartment as your store for now since you are just getting started and if you can afford it, you can get a physical store or warehousing for your products.
5. Partner with a Logistic Company
The importance of logistics companies in any eCommerce business success cannot be overemphasized. Deliveries of your products to your customers would require the help of one or two logistics companies so it is very important to partner with the reliable ones that wouldn’t jeopardize the reputation of your business brand.
6. Marketing of Your Business
For your business to be known to people, you will need to market your business brand and let people know what you do or the services you render. You will need to create the awareness of how your products can help in solving people’s problems.
You will need to learn how to run a successful ads using most especially Facebook and search engine in order not to waste money on ads that wouldn’t convert.
Benefits of Starting an E-commerce Business in Nigeria
E-commerce business in Nigeria has some pros and a few cons but I can tell you that the benefits of starting outweighs the cons.
- Cost of Operation is Low: on like when you are running a physical business when you will need to pay one or two bills including your rents, with an eCommerce business model, you can operate the business from any where in the world, even in your own apartment without paying extra cost. It also lowers the number of employees required in running your business online.
- Global Reach: with the eCommerce business model, you can sell to any customer in any country without restrictions. You can reach a wide range of people both locally and internationally across the national market. With eCommerce business model, it is possible to automate the whole process from billing to check out, inventory management etc.
- E-commerce business model also allows you to get closer to your customers. Which brings about an increase in productivity.
Cons of e-commerce in Nigeria
There is no business without its challenges. Some of the problems associated with eCommerce business in Nigeria are as follows;
- Online Payments:one of the problems online sellers do encounter in selling online in Nigeria is the problem of payment on deliveries which serve as a set back in operating eCommerce business in Nigeria to some extent. Customers don’t trust the sellers so they prefer to pay after seeing the product. Some customers may even reject the product after seeing it and refuse to pay.
- Logistic Problems:Some logistics companies are not reliable by not delivering the products to the customers as stipulated by the sellers posing a threat to their brand’s reputation.
In running a successful eCommerce business in Nigeria, it is important to note that you are going to be competing with a lot of brands out there, so you have to be unique by running your business differently and still achieve same results. Remember, it is not about what you sell, it is about how you sell it.
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