How to start your e-commerce business in Nigeria- Practical tips.

How to start your e-commerce business in Nigeria- Practical tips.

This is a sequel to the post on Top 75 business ideas for 2015. If you’ve not read that, please do as that helps you 1st assess if your business idea is a good one or not.

What is e-commerce?

Red shopping basket sign

Simply put, E-commerce is selling electronically via the internet. There are some key advantages of this such as you are open 24/7; you have no geographical restrictions, lower cost as you will not incur major office/warehousing space.

There is a recent adoption of e-commerce in Nigeria. You can benefit from this trend too. To do e-commerce, please note the below:

  1. You must have a reliable e-commerce site. There are many platforms that provide e-commerce service such as Shopify, Big-commerce, open cart, magnento and woo commerce. Key selection criteria for your site should be ‘ease of content management’ and ‘ease of payment through Nigerian payment gateways’. The payment gateway is the application that connects your website shopping cart to your merchant account. The payment gateway is what collects the credit card information from the customer, encrypt it and sends it to the merchant account for processing. An example is interswitch.
  • When selecting a payment gateway you want to select one that is compatible with your shopping cart, offers good pricing, has the ability to facilitate all payment functions (payments, voids, refunds, etc), offers robust fraud protection, is PCI compliant and has an interface for you to run reports on your sales.

Each platform has its pros and cons so be sure to review thoroughly or consult and I.T service provider before selection. You can get an ecommerce site set up with these platforms with as little as $30/month to as much as $190 depending on the storage size, the number of products you can list, the reporting tools. Generally, Woocommerce has an easy interphase and doesn’t require complex programming unlike some other platforms.

  1. Be sure of your supply: Be sure of a constant supply source for your product. The last thing you want is to have customer orders that you cannot meet.
  2. Be clear on your distribution/delivery. Know how you will deliver your products to customers in good timing. You can partner with trusted courier companies to ensure more efficient deliveries within and outside your city of residence.
  3. Have friendly payment terms: In a country like Nigeria, customers tend to prefer payment on delivery as it is more reassuring. Strive to have this option.
  4. Generate awareness for your site. You need to make people aware of your site. The recommendation is to have online ads to generate the awareness of your brand.
  • Another way to sell online is to place your product on e-commerce sites that have a market place option. A good example is Listing on Konga is free however, some commission is charged upon sales.  Refer to for details.

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