Most Nigerian consumers if not all, would not patronize an online shop for convenience. They would rather patronize an online shop for the pricing of its product. Hence having the right product at the right price would surely ensure a success.
Payments-Methods of payments in Nigeria has been a problem for a while, but the good news is internet banking, bank deposits still work fine. If you can afford the GTB Interswitch, do get them, but they are highely unreliable. The Most reliable way to accept payments in an online shop in Nigeria is through bank deposits, and bank transfers.
Logistics-Shipping your items within Nigeria is quiet cheap. The best approach would be to have special arrangements or contracts with the logisitics companies so that you would be able to lock in the cost of shipment with them.
There are a few local courier services like-DHL Worldwide Express Int. (Nig.) Limite FedEx International or Nigeria.
The Identity-Your shop identity plays a very important role in getting customers to patronize you. No Nigerian would patronize a shop that has no identity. There are two ways to solve this problem, the personal approach or the corporate approach.
The personal approach entails writing a detailed page about yourself and putting down all your contact details. This type of identity declaration creates trust. You do not need a registered company to start an online business in Nigeria, but if you can afford a registration do so, and there comes the corporate approach, where you introduce your company with all the details about your company.
Sales Platform-The sales platform is where you sell the products in your inventory. This involves a little investment on your part. You would need to get a Domain name for your shop and also a hosting account to host the domain name.
Example of opensource shopping cards are Opencart, Oscommerce and Zencart. There are many reliable web hosting and domain registration in Nigeria that would help you in setting up an opensource shop for as little as 6,000 Naira a year. One example of such companies is Nairahost, which is a leading provider of web hosting and domain registration in Nigeria.
Security-Security is also a very important and crucial component to ensuring the success of your online shop. To begin with, I would encourage the buying of a SSL Certificate to secure the transaction process. Consumers feel more comfortable shopping in a shop that has an SSL Certificate, in fact most consumers would not purchase products from a website that has no SSL Certificate. Most Hosting providers would install it for you for free after purchasing it.
Shipping and Returns Policy-This is the section of your website where you explain your policies regarding the shipment of purchased products and the kind of warranties your product has. This is a must as it creates a confidence in your listed products.
Marketing- Don’t spend money advertising on Google or Yahoo or even any advertisement network, this advertisement networks would not be able to deliver your advertisement to Nigerians, and it would be way too costly, for you to convert enough sales to cover the cost of the customer acquisition through this channels.
So what should you invest your marketing budget on?
a. Search Engine Optimisation
– Ensure that your shop is searchable in major search engines, this is a must, there are a few SEO experts in Nigeria, that would charge a reasonable fee in ensuring your shop is search engine friendly and your content are properly indexed in search engines.
b. Paid Review Blogs
– There are many popular Nigerian blogs that would make a coverage on your blog for free, but many would do a thorough coverage at a fee.
c. Specific Blog ads slots
– Some Popular Nigerian blogs have a space for advertisement, like mine, you can enquire from the owners on how you can get your shop advertised by them.
And Lastly consistency, weekly promotions, regular newsletters to your existing customers on your new products and renewing the domain on a yearly basis would ensure that you not only become successful running an online shop in Nigeria but a profitable one.
Consultation-I provide free consultation on internet solutions and business systemization, but I charge on the implementation stage, if required of me. But I would happily guide you through the setup of your online business for absolutely free. So Feel free to use my contact me if you are interested in my free consultation.
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