A fact you need to quickly digest before reading through this post is that every blessed day, a minimum of N40million naira circulates on the internet in Nigeria between customers and e-commerce stores. Do we still need to give you a definition of what e-commerce stores are? Alright, as explanatory as it is made to sound, e-commerce stores are websites that hosts either general or specific products for interested consumers to purchase directly, with cash or their debit card.
To make sales on e-commerce websites in Nigeria, advertised products would always include product details (specifications, colour, shelf life, use, etc.) pictures, prices and offers. Now, the bad news is that there are over 300 e-commerce sites in Nigeria selling different products, offering customers various price offers and actively searching for more customers. Just so you know the competition in case you’re thinking of tapping from the e-commerce goldmine in Nigeria; but there is good news.
The good news is, just like the health sector, the e-commerce sector is a very wide area of the internet. Expert consumer market strategists predict that by 2017, people would have so much adapted to e-commerce patronage, there wouldn’t be enough stores to cater for the needs of every one even if the number of present stores were to be doubled. This means that in Nigeria, more and more people are gradually adapting to buying things online – even housewives would soon start buying meal ingredients from online market places at the comfort of their… kitchen.
To come up with an e-commerce store with fast moving products, a few steps to follow include:
E-Commerce in Nigeria: Market Survey
Before deciding that you would rather sell for instance mobile phones or general gadgets, make a market survey of customer reaction to phones and gadgets. How well does it move? How much do you know about gadgets? How much does it cost to import? What’s the return on investment (ROI)?… Then make your decision.
E-Commerce in Nigeria: Competition
It would be silly to ignore your competition when starting an e-commerce website. There’s almost no product you want to sell that’s not already for sale on some other sites. Make a research on your competition and strategize how to make customers prefer your site to theirs.
E-Commerce in Nigeria: Invest
This where many business enthusiasts trip but won’t fall till a couple of months later. Time is the number thing to invest, then money. Investments are inevitable when starting a business. Time is needed to go around for market survey, offline awareness creation, and so on. Money is needed to pay the web designer, post ads online, import goods and so on.
eCommerce in Nigeria: Marketing
Without publicity/marketing, your business would only be patronized by F&F (family and friends). Marketing is the soul of business. This can’t be overemphasized and it would require as much investment as you can put into it.
After diligently following the above, it is highly imperative that your online office/shop/mall/store or whatever you choose to call it is creatively set up and well designed. There are some e-commerce stores that have vast variety of products and cool prices but the poor site design and it not being user friendly would just potential customers off.
Immediately your site is launched, be sure to adopt every marketing strategy in your inventory to shoot up your site into limelight and the simple way to do that is “make it popular”. Don’t expect to make tangible sales for the first three – four months but with time, sales would definitely go up.