This article is about how to start e-commerce business in Nigeria this 2021. If you are interested in knowing about this business and setting it up then you have come to the right place. We will enlightening you on what e-commerce entails and intimate you on the step by step processes to take in order to establish yours. Do kindly continue reading to find out more.
E-commerce business is simply the business that involves the buying and selling of goods and services via the internet. It can also be referred to as online business or internet business. The rise of e-commerce business is directly proportional to the increase in the number of smartphones and smart devices the world has witnessed since the early 2010s and as the world becomes more and more of a global village, it has made it easier, faster and more convenient for people to transact business via trusted e-commerce platforms.
In Nigeria today, the desire to venture into e-commerce business stems from the success recorded by various online shopping websites, chief of which are Jumia, and Konga. This has inspired many other people to venture into this business with the belief that they can also become successful, although not instantly because it requires careful planning and execution, but eventually.
Technological advancement has made it all the more easy to set up an e-commerce store with the many available cheap tools at one’s disposal, giving many the opportunity to tap into the profitability associated with owning an online store where people from all walks of life can purchase goods and services at affordable prices. As we proceed, we will provide a detailed guide on how to launch an e-commerce business in Nigeria today, this should interest you if you desire to have one running in the nearest future.
IMPORTANT REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD LAUNCH AN E-COMMERCE BUSINESS TODAY
The following are the reasons why you should start your e-commerce business in Nigeria today:
- E-commerce bridges the gap of geographical limitations. Even if you have never been to certain places before, your e-commerce business can get your products there, giving you a wider reach than what is obtainable only in your area.
- E-commerce business gives you a wider reach as earlier mentioned and your customers can be in any part of the world.
- E-commerce business is very cost effective. This means that you do not require very huge capital to start. You can start it even with a low budget and grow from there. Also, the cost effectiveness of e-commerce business enables you to save money that you may have otherwise used to pay rent in a physical, offline store.
- The beauty about e-commerce business is that you can run as a second business even while you have a full-time job.
- E-commerce business helps you to keep records of your customers and you can easily reach out to them if you have a detailed database. This helps you retain your customers and add more in your already existing list.
STEP BY STEP PROCESSES ON HOW TO START E-COMMERCE BUSINESS IN NIGERIA 2021
The following is a step by step guide on the processes to follow when opening an e-commerce business in Nigeria today:
REGISTER YOUR E-COMMERCE BUSINESS WITH THE CAC
First and foremost, in order to begin your e-commerce business in Nigeria, you should register it with the Corporate Affairs Commission of Nigeria (CAC). Once this is done, you can then proceed to open a corporate bank account for your e-commerce business, also endeavour to obtain other legal documents that will be very useful to the way your business is run.
It is true that many people believe that registering their e-commerce business is not really necessary as they can run it without visiting the CAC and doing the needful but they forget that many online payment gateways and marketplaces they will need for their business require that the business is legally registered. This is a very important precaution that has been taken in the e-commerce industry in Nigeria to clamp down on cybercrimes that before now, posed a very big problem for unsuspecting victims. You can start by registering your business name with the CAC alone before proceeding to register as a limited company in the future.
One very important reason why you should register your business with the Corporate Affairs Commission of Nigeria is because many customers in the country are very sceptical when it comes to paying into a private account, and one wouldn’t really blame them when you factor in the increasing rate of online scams. The registration of your e-commerce business makes it very credible.
PREPARE A COMPREHENSIVE BUSINESS PLAN FOR YOUR E-COMMERCE BUSINESS
The place of a business plan can never be overemphasised when you want to venture into a new business, especially as it involves e-commerce. Your business plan gives you focus as it captures the strategies and objectives of your business. Business plans point you in the direction of the very things to do in order to steer your e-commerce business forward in achieving your long term goals. Your e-commerce business plan should include things like company description, market analysis, organization and management, service or product line, narketing and sales, financial projections, etc.
SET UP YOUR E-COMMERCE STORE
Since e-commerce business is done on the internet, you should set up an online store for your business. There are popular online tools such as WordPress, Shopify, Squarespace, to mention but a few, that you can use to set up your e-commerce business site. These various online tools help e-commerce business owners to easily set up an online store without having prior knowledge on coding or website development.
Another way of owning an online store, that is, if you cannot afford the cost of setting up your own store is to join an already established e-commerce marketplace. These marketplaces have already taken care of things such as marketing, payment gateway, logistics, etc., helping you as a business owner to reduces the workload that comes with setting up your own store. You can choose to join multiple marketplaces to sell your products if you so wish.
GET A SECURE PAYMENT GATEWAY FOR YOUR ONLINE BUSINESS
There are very good online payment gateways available in Nigeria, some of which include Flutterwave, Paystack, to mention but a few. These aforementioned payment gateways are accessible to e-commerce businesses in the country. Before deciding on the particular gateway to choose, you can compare them and decide the one that best suits your business. You also make offline payment options available to your customers.
DEVELOP A MARKETING STRATEGY FOR YOUR ONLINE BUSINESS
You should develop various marketing strategies and social media campaigns for your e-commerce business to increase your brand visibility and awareness and to drive sales. Marketing strategies for your online business include search engine optimization (SEO), e-mail marketing, social media marketing, etc.
The most popular of these marketing strategies is via the use of social media, which the most common form of digital marketing in order to reach a particular target audience. Marketing on various social media platforms such as, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter can help you drive sales. You can also take advantage of the many channels of advertising to publicize your business. In addition, you can choose to build a website or a blog where you can write quality contents relating to your business and providing the option where your audience can take action so that you can make sales.
MAKE YOUR PRODUCTS AVAILABLE ON YOUR ONLINE STORE
Physical goods such as electronics and home appliances should be displayed on your online store with their details and prices, and you should provide a button where customers can easily click and take action in order to make purchases and pay via the payment gateway you have provided. If you are offering a service, you can put up graphic designs that give a detailed description of the service that you render.
Be sure to add descriptions which include testimonials in order to encourage your customers and potential customers to patronise your business. The physical goods you’re selling will need to be housed in an offline store or office space or in your house if you have enough space so that once a product is ordered for, it will be very easy to ship such products to your customers. It is still very alright to start without a physical store and as you grow in the business, this can be addressed.
SET UP MEANS OF DELIVERY FOR YOUR GOODS
With e-commerce business, you can sell a particular product to different people at different locations at the same time. This is very possible if you have set up a good delivery system. Your delivery system is very vital to the smooth running of your business and how credible it is. A good delivery system, one that delivers in time will surely help you to become very trusted among your many customers scattered all over the country. Find a good logistics company that you can trust to deliver your products at the right time. The logistics company can also receive payment on your behalf if it is a pay on delivery contract. Once this is set in place, you will not have to worry about this aspect of your e-commerce business unless of course you want to do this yourself.
EMPLOY THE USE OF SOFTWARES IN HANDLING TASKS
In order not to be overwhelmed by the stress involved in trying to do everything for your business on your own, you can make your work very easy and stress free by using the right software. Certain very good softwares that have already been designed to help manage your customer relationship, accounting, project management, email marketing, etc, can be employed to help get your work done. All that is required of you is to integrate these into your business.
LIST OF E-COMMERCE BUSINESSES YOU CAN VENTURE INTO
The following are some select e-commerce businesses that you can decide to start up:
- Mini importation business
- e-book Publishing
- Freelancing (Content writing, Graphic designing, CV writing, etc)
- Mobile Accessories Online Store
- Course Development/Training
- Social Media Manager
- Fashion Designing/Clothing line
- Business Consulting
- Event Planning
- Sales of beauty/Skincare Business
- Software Development/Sales of Software Applications
- Makeup Artistry
- Health care products/services
- Sales of shoes, bags and hair extension products.