In this guide, we are delving into the eCommerce website in Nigeria. I will show you how to create one for your business, and the things you need to start making money almost immediately. Additionally, I will show you how to scale from the first customer to your thousandth client.
Let’s get right to it then.
What is an Ecommerce Website?
An eCommerce website is a digital store that sells goods or services directly to consumers over the internet. The business can be a physical store, an online retailer, or a service provider.
This means that you can still have a physical store, say in Lagos, and still sell over the internet.
While that’s true, it doesn’t mean you need an existing physical store to make money with an eCommerce website in Nigeria.
The beauty of an online store is that you can start and run it anywhere you are, even without prior experience.
I know that sounds far fetched, but wait until you see what’s possible.
Types of Online Stores
When you hear an online store, it actually means a lot of things. There are two types of online stores: a marketplace and then one you own.
A marketplace is a type of eCommerce website in Nigeria where you don’t actually own the traffic. You don’t own the website. All you do is upload your products and share the revenue with the owner of the marketplace.
Here are some good examples of popular marketplaces in Nigeria:
- Jumia.com.ng – here, you can open an account, upload your product images, and whenever there’s an order, Jumia will ship the product directly to the customer.
- Konga – This is another one of the popular eCommerce websites in Nigeria. Konga also allows small businesses to sell their products on their website.
Another type of eCommerce website is a classified website. This is a website where businesses go to advertise their business. A good example of this is Jiji Nigeria.
Such a website acts as a link between the seller and buyer. They make money through boosted advertising (where a business pays for their advert to be shown to more people on the website).
And then there is now a type of website where you control everything from product uploads, maintenance, marketing, and shipping.
This is a type of online store that you own, which means you control everything.
Why would anyone build an eCommerce website in Nigeria when there are existing marketplaces like Jumia Nigeria?
Benefits of building an eCommerce website
Some of the benefits of building an eCommerce website are:
- You will have a better chance of reaching your target audience. While a marketplace like Konga can still put you in front of your audience, there is competition. Remember you are not alone.
- You’ll be able to create a brand for yourself and achieve a level of recognition.
- You’ll be able to reach out to your customers in multiple ways, like email marketing and social media marketing.
- You’ll also have more control over how your brand is presented, which will allow you to have more creative freedom when it comes to designing your site.
How to Set up Your First ECommerce Business
Setting up an e-commerce business is not as difficult as it seems. With the help of a few simple steps and a lot of patience, you can launch your own online store in no time.
1). Choose Products
The first step to starting an eCommerce website is deciding what type of products you will be selling. There are three types of products that you can start with: Physical products, digital goods, and services.
The decision on which product category to choose depends on your company’s goals and market strategy.
- Physical product products – These products are tangible, they have a physical appearance and can be seen. The most common examples of these include clothing, food, cosmetics and jewellery.
- Digital goods – These products are digital in nature and cannot be seen but must be experienced before purchase. This includes software applications, books or music sold online.
- Services – This type of product is intangible, it cannot be seen and includes services like medical treatment or consultations. The most common example of a service is a car wash.
Your decision should be based on your goals.
2). Register a domain name
The next step when starting an eCommerce website is choosing a name for your store.
The eCommerce industry is growing at a rapid rate. The number of online stores has increased by more than 300% in the last five years.
It is not surprising that you would have a hard time choosing a name for your store.
To help you out, here are some tips on how to pick the best domain name for your business: First, you need to pick a name that is catchy yet not too similar to other domain names. You don’t want your customers to be confused by your company’s name.
You also need to make sure the name is available and safe from infringement. It should not contain any trademarked words or sounds that can create confusion with another company’s brand and product.
For example, if you’re opening a cologne store, your choice of name is “Cologne Store.” However, if you’re opening a skateboard shop, your name may be something like “Skateboarding Shop.”
It’s important to keep your brand and product in mind when deciding on a company name.
Once you’ve registered a domain name, the next thing you need is a hosting space. This is where your eCommerce website files will live.
And that is where Truehost Nigeria comes in.
We have the perfect hosting package for your eCommerce website in Nigeria. It comes with all the resources you need to start and scale your online store to the 1000th customers we talked about earlier.
3). Get an eCommerce Platform
You will also need an eCommerce platform to start selling online.
An eCommerce platform is a software or a website which helps online retailers to sell their products.
Now, the use of an eCommerce platform is many times determined by the size of the business and the needs of the business. Large businesses often have their own in-house e-commerce platforms while small businesses often use third-party platforms such as Shopify, BigCommerce, and WooCommerce.
But the one I would recommend for anyone building an eCommerce website in Nigeria is WooCommerce.
What is WooCommerce?
WooCommerce is an e-commerce plugin created by WooThemes. It is a free and open-source solution for building an online store or any digital shop. The plugin uses the WordPress platform, which means it’s easy to install and use with no technical knowledge required.
This means that you need to first install WordPress on your domain, which should be easy or even ask your hosting provider to help with that.
Once the WP is installed, proceed to install the WooCommerce plugin and activate it. And then follow instructions to set up your store.
Remember, you don’t need coding skills. Just make sure you have product images, descriptions and prices to get started.
4). Find a supplier
Once you have completed the store set-up, go ahead and find a supplier for your products.
The easiest way to work around this is to adopt the dropshipping model. What is dropshipping?
Dropshipping is a business model that allows retailers to offer products without owning an inventory. The retailer only purchases the products from manufacturers when they get an order and resells them through their online store.
If you are using the dropshipping model, you will need to find a supplier who offers dropshipping and inventory management. This is not as easy as it sounds, but if you have the time and patience, then this model may work for you.
The process of finding suppliers in Nigeria has been made easier with the use of online platforms.
There are various online platforms that have been created to help business owners find and contact suppliers, but two that have proven to be more successful are Alibaba & Oberlo.
Companies, who wish to purchase locally, can find suitable suppliers on these platforms that are reliable and cost-effective.
5). Drive traffic to your eCommerce website
Thus far, you have registered a domain for your store, installed WooCommerce, and even secured a supplier for your products.
What is remaining is getting eyeballs to your store. Remember, zero traffic means no sales.
Driving traffic to your eCommerce website is an essential part of any online business. This can be done through a variety of channels, including organic search engine optimization, social media marketing, and email marketing.
The following are the methods that you can use to drive traffic to your eCommerce website:
- Organic Search Engine Optimization: This involves optimizing your site for high ranking in search engines like Google.
- Social Media Marketing: This involves using social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook to build relationships with potential customers and share content that is relevant to their interests.
- Email Marketing: This involves sending out email newsletters or content updates on a regular basis so that your customers know what’s new with the company.
- PPC Campaigns: This involves generating traffic through paid advertising campaigns where you pay to have your ad shown on search engines.
- SEM Campaigns: This refers to Search Engine Marketing, which is PPC with a focus on SEO.
Go ahead and follow these steps to start an eCommerce website in Nigeria. And if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to mention it in the comments below.