Starting An E-commerce Business in Nigeria can be daunting and tasking for any newbie. In Africa, most people pay on delivery and sometimes they cancel at anytime.
Some E-commerce business agencies have lost millions just chasing people who showed interest and never turned up to collect the business they ordered, others start arguing on price of something they previously ordered online, a third set, simply switch of their mobile phones.
That said, starting an e-commerce business while very profitable comes with a myriad of challenges you must navigate and overcome if you’re going to be successful. There is a common among among E-commerce business owners that the business isn’t for the faint-hearted.
Let’s look at 6 things you know before starting an E-commerce business in Nigeria or any other African country.
1. You must understand your customer.
“There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else”.
SAM WALTON – TRAVIS BIGGERT
Understanding your customer is truly the gold of marketing and sales. If you can understand what makes your customer remove his hard-earned money and pay for a product or service, you have the key to selling anything on earth.
But when it comes to e-commerce in Nigeria however, understanding the customer helps you just as much as them. Customers can be very wonderful. After placing and confirming an order, on transit to the delivery point, the customer can simply switch off his mobile.
This has happened times without number, other time, on getting to the delivery point, the customer simply beings to negotiate on price. Understanding the customer helps you to develop the much needed patience and fortitude required to prosper in the E-commerce business in Nigeria.
2. You must understand the product
” Don’t find customers for your products. Find products for your customers.
What does your product do for your customers? What are the angles you can use to market your products? Who would be attracted to images of your products? What different ways can you use your product? What are people already saying about your products?
Knowing your product inside out is one secret that will help you to be able to convince your customers in your sales pages and make them know why they must get that product and get it today.
The better you understand your product, the easier it would be to market it.
3. Your pricing
Pricing is one of the most important things to take seriously when starting an e-commerce business. This is because it would determine whether you make profits, break even or losses.
You’re into business to make profits and you’ll easily run out of funds if you don’t replenish operational funds used.
Some things that affect pricing that you must consider include
• Advertising cost
• products cost
• delivery cost
• profit margin
• management expenses
Understanding all these would help you know how much your pricing should be.
Pricing will also help you determine what type of products to sell us some product you can actually sell 2X, 3X or 10X the original price, while others would only sell at 1.2X or 1.5X the price.
4. Choose The Location You Can Comfortably Cover
Like everything else, Delivery within Nigeria has its troubles. Most startup E-commerce business do the same mistake of attempting to deliver nationwide without first understanding and putting in place systems to ensure efficiency.
This usually leads to undue stress on the business and the business person pulls out. In Nigeria some areas are not easily accessible and require a higher amount to reach. By attaching a fixed price to all products as delivery fee it might not be enough to cover for some specific areas. This definitely means you will start to run at a loss or money will be deducted from your profit.
When starting an e-commerce business in Nigeria, choose a suitable geographic area you can cover comfortably. This would definitely be less stressful and would help you understand the profitability of the business before attempting to scale.
5. Choose a singular role – outsource the rest.
A big mistake most e-commerce business persons do is trying to do everything by themselves and get all the profits. This is the surest way to lose the business.
Trying to do everything yourself with where you can and the purpose of doing the business becomes defeated.
The best thing to do is to divide your business into functional parts and understand the number one rule you should play in your business for you to be profitable and for the business to continue and outsource every other thing.
You could decide to manage a business and outsource call the other component parts such as delivery, product sourcing, packaging, and advertising. Doing this enables you to stay longer, endure less stress and effectively run and manage the business.
Never attempt to do every part of a business by yourself.
PS if you are looking for an e-commerce expert to help you run Facebook or Google ad, I’d recommend Sean B Samy
6. Learn directly from The Experts
Most people wake up and decide to go into a coma without any prior training or understanding the perks of the business. This is one surefire way of losing money.
When attempting to go into an e-commerce business in Nigeria and show you learn from an expert or someone who has been there and been successful. Like a mentor once told me “there are some things you can never learn on Google”.
Learn from experts, buy trainings and YouTube. The more actionable, practical knowledge you have, the less mistakes you make.
Click here to learn more about starting a profitable E-commerce business in Nigeria.
Now that you know exactly what to do to start your e-commerce business I wish you great success.
What has been your down experience in e-commerce. Kindly tell us in the comments section. We are dying to hear from you.