Konga, Jumia, Jiji, Olx, and more are some of the websites with the highest traffic in Nigeria, according to Similarweb. 

This level of engagement can only indicate that Nigerians are more and more shifting to an online consumer population. With that said, starting an online retail shop in Nigeria presents a huge opportunity for those who want to dive into this market.

If you are looking to start an eCommerce business in Nigeria, then this article is for you. We’ll share the different steps to take to set your online business and start selling. Keep on reading.


8 Easy Steps You Must Follows To Set Up Your Online business In Nigeria


1. Register Your Online Business In Nigeria With Corporate Affairs Commission


What is CAC?

CAC is an autonomous establishment proclaimed in 1990 to monitor and adjust the creation and management of businesses and companies in Nigeria. 

By registering your company or business with CAC, you’ll be able to open a bank account that is entitled to your business and receive other legal papers that are essential to help you run it.

As a new online business owner, you need to find a unique name for your business. And the only way to see whether the name you chose is already used in the market or not is by conducting a corporate affairs commission (CAC) search.

Once you check your business’s availability and confirm that it is unique, you can proceed with the next steps.

Generally, the nest steps  include:

  • Reservation of the name
  • Pre-incorporation
  • Post-incorporation

 PS: You’ll need to create an account in order to proceed with any of the above steps. For more information, check out this page here.

PSS: the cost can vary and can reach up to more than N10k.


2. Identify potential products

Identify potential products

 

You probably have thought of some products you want to sell while thinking of starting your business, which is great! However, it’s no brainer that your chosen products are sellable and demanded in the market. 

How do you know what on-demand is in the Nigerian market? 

Simple, you have to do some market research, know your audience; what do they like, what they don’t like, what category of products they purchase the most online, and what they want to see more but they can’t find. 

By conducting detailed market research, you will be able to develop at least the top 5 products you can sell in your online store. 

Here are some questions to ask yourself when deciding on the final product:

  • Are there many people purchasing this product?
  • How many ads can you find about this product?
  • Are there demands in popular online marketplaces in Nigeria like Jumia? 
  • What problem does your product solve? And would people be interested in buying it?


3. Find a reliable supplier for your online business in Nigeria

reliable supplier in Nigeria

 

Once you figure out your ideal and potential product, it’s time to look for reliable wholesale suppliers for your eCommerce business. Trust me, finding a good supplier is not an easy job, and it requires some good research and lots of patience. 

One thing for sure is that Google is your friend. You need to dig deeper and see where other online business owners in Nigeria are getting their products.  

Some of the most popular suppliers you can find out there include Alibaba, Aliexpress, IndiaMart, Salehoo, DHgate, and more. You want to find a supplier who will offer you quality products at the best price. If you go to any of these websites, you want to see previous buyers’ ratings, shipping and returns costs, and policies. 

Make sure to have some questions about the supplier’s products, working hours, language, and any other services you may need for your business. 


4.Choose your online store

This is another crucial step in any business; choosing the right online store that meets your needs and budget. And while some may require technical details that you need to go through to set your store, others are usually easy to create. Nevertheless, no coding knowledge or website development skills are necessary. Having them is only a bonus.

There are a variety of tools that you can use to set up your online business, including WordPress, Woocommerce, Shopify, Squarespace, and more. Shopify and WordPress tend to be the most popular ones in Nigeria. 

While WordPress is an open-source platform used to create varied websites, Shopify is like an all-in-one solution where almost everything is set for you. You can choose from over 70+ themes and bring your custom domains. It’s important to highlight that WordPress can be way affordable compared to other fully packaged online solutions.

 


5. Set your website

By setting the website, we mean uploading pictures of your products and creating valuable marketing content. High-quality and attractive photos can play a significant role in how your website is portrayed to buyers. It can either bring their attention to know more about the product or simply just pass by it. 

Before even thinking about content and product description, your product photos need to be in the best light from all angles. Even if you have the crappiest product, these pictures can sell amazingly along with some good marketing. 

In brief, to ensure that your products are great here’s what you need to keep in mind:

  • Relevant, high-quality pictures, 
  • Products proper size, 
  • Several angles shots, 
  • Include each color or option, 
  • Display materials and details, 
  • Offer a sense of context and scale, 
  • Let users zoom the products, 
  • And why not consider a video.

When it comes to content, offering valuable and truthful information about the product is essential. Any false information about the product can put your business at risk. Buyers will leave negative feedback on your page, and that can damage your reputation and business.

New and potential buyers are always eager to learn about other people’s experiences with your products. And the only way to do so is by reading reviews and people’s ratings. 

Keep your product description short and precise. Do not exceed more than 400 words. Use bullet points to highlight the benefits of your products without forgetting the features. Tell the full story and make sure to speak in a natural language and tone.

Besides product descriptions, you need to work on your website pages. These pages include “homeé, “about us”, “contact us”, and “FAQ page”. 

If you are an excellent writer and feel confident in delivering your brand message to your audience, it will be ideal that you write it yourself. It’s time and money-saving. However, if you don’t have the skills to do so, you can hire a prefessiçonal copywriter to handle it for you. 


6. Choose your payment gateway

Despite the open challenges in the economic transition, there is no doubt that Nigeria has made its transit to the cashless culture like most nations of the world. 

According to Adewale, “A cashless society rightly illustrates a gradual movement of the entire payment system of an economy from the use of physical cash for all levels of personal, corporate, governmental including local and international commercial settlement activities to a systemic adoption of other non-physical cash mode payment in settlements of all types of the transaction both in public and private sectors of an economy.” 

With that said, it makes sense that more and more people in Nigeria are open to online payment than paying in cash. That’s why you have to learn about the different payment gateways available in Nigeria that you can integrate into your eCommerce store. 

Here are some of the top online payment gateways in Nigeria for eCommerce businesses:

You can start by researching each of the payment mentioned above solutions, comparing them, and picking the right one that matches your needs and business structure.

PS: We still recommend applying the use of both online and offline payment methods for your business as some buyers still prefer paying cash on delivery.


7. Set up the means of Delivery

You need to plan carefully on your Delivery and consider different shipping options for your customers.  In this case, you have two options:

  • To create and manage your own in-house delivery service
  • To outsource it to a third party logistics

Choosing the right one for your business will depend on a number of factors. 

For example, if you operate within a limited geographical location with a very- focused target audience, managing an in-house delivery system can benefit your business. It can be cost-effective. It allows you to have quality control over the whole delivery experience. 

Moreover, in-house Delivery can reduce communication barriers with your customers. By training your staff, you’ll be able to interact and answer your customer’s questions or queries directly. And likewise, you’ll be able to get their feedback on your products/ or services and improve things along the way.

However, there are a couple of things that you need to keep in mind. Creating and managing an in-house delivery system indeed demands money and expertise. 

You need to invest in delivery carriers, staff, gas, storage & transportation, and packaging (preferably environmentally friendly). You need to compare and choose a reliable payment gateway and a tracking system that’s right for your business. 

If you are going to sell people inside and outside of Nigeria, then a reliable third-party logistic service can do all the work for you. Besides delivering your products to your customers, 3PLs can increase your exposure to other potential buyers.  

And likewise, you can grow your reach significantly. Moreover, these companies come with comprehensive resources and expertise that can help you scale your businesses seamlessly. They can offer you not only shipping but also warehousing and consulting. You’ll be able to focus on other core competencies of your business that demand more attention. 

However, with the sheer number of 3PLs, you want to make sure that you are choosing the right one. Your candidate should have robust technology, omnichannel expertise, great customer experience, and other important factors.

Here are a few of logistics services in Nigeria:

 


8. Develop an effective marketing plan for your online business in Nigeria

With everything else set, marketing and promoting your website remains another essential aspect in starting your online retail shop in Nigeria. With the active promotion, more buyers will visit your website and start discovering your brand. 

Using Facebook, Youtube, and Instagram, which are the most popular social media platforms right after WhatsApp, to market your products and your brand story is an effective way to do so. Start by creating a strategic marketing and promotion plan, decide on your target audience, execute it and most importantly, evaluate the process. 

Check out this article: Top Amazon & eCommerce Trends for 2021

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