With the advent of increasing smartphone users and internet penetration in Nigeria, the e-commerce industry has witnessed a tremendous growth since 2010. The e-commerce and m-commerce industries are set to record even higher growth in coming years.
The popularity of online shopping sites like Jumia, Konga, Payporte, and Yudala have encouraged many to tap the e-commerce opportunity. Besides, with the advent of a much more stable economy and cheaply available tools to launch and grow an online business, 2018 is a great time for small business owners to consider going into the online retail industry.
In this article, we look at the procedure for starting a successful e-commerce business in Nigeria.
1. Register Your Business With CAC
Before you get started you must get your business or company registered with CAC (registration steps with CAC) so that you can get a bank account opened in the name of the business and obtain other legal documents that will be required in running the business.
Most online payment gateways and marketplaces you may want to work with requires that a business is legally registered especially as a means to fight against cybercrimes that may result from buying and selling of goods and services online. A great way to start is to register as a business name with CAC and as your business grows, you can register as a limited company.
2. Setup Your Own Online Store
When it comes to setting up an online store for business, we recommend using popular tools like WordPress Woocommerce, Shopify, Squarespace etc. These tools allow users to easily set up an online store without any prior knowledge of coding or website development.
For businesses that can not afford the cost of setting up their own online store, joining an established e-commerce marketplace is an easy way to start. Basic technology requirements such as web development, marketing, payment gateway, logistics, etc., are taken care of by the marketplace, reducing the workload on the seller. In addition, sellers can often join multiple marketplaces to sell their products.
3. Get a Secured Payment Gateway
There are a few basic types of payment gateways (Flutterwave, Paystack, and Co.) available for e-commerce businesses in Nigeria. Compare the various gateways available and choose one which suits your business structure and revenues.
Even though cash payments are still a popular and convenient mode of transaction for many, having an online payment infrastructure makes the checkout flow for customers extremely easy. We advise you employ the use of both online and offline payment method for your business.
4. Implement A Marketing Strategy
Social Media Marketing, Email Marketing, Content Marketing / SEO – these are some of the most common digital marketing channels a small business owner can easily leverage upon to reach a particular target audience.
Even if you’re not up and running yet, it’s a good idea to set up social media profiles for your brand and write niche contents on your blog (Why every small business needs a blog?) to drive free and organic traffic when you finally launch.
5. Be more productive with the right software
Technology can make so much of your work easier, so before you start your eCommerce business, play around with customer relationship management, small business accounting, project management, and email marketing software that you can integrate into what you’re doing once you launch.
Small business owners are notoriously busy, often juggling multiple tasks at once, making it difficult to stay on top of everything without unnecessary stress. Luckily, there are many tools out there that can help even the busiest small business owners get on top of their schedules.
Building your own e-commerce business is no easy task but if you’ve got the elbow grease and time, you could launch a profitable online store for a few thousands of naira per month.
There’s a lot of bumps and challenges along the way. However, following this basic step by step guide should provide you with a clear roadmap to help you build a profitable e-commerce business.