Starting an online store in Nigeria or an online business all boils down to two things. The type of online store you want to have. The cost of creating and maintaining the online store.
While you still have to choose your niche/product, do market research and have a business plan/strategy. The biggest bone of contention is choosing a suitable platform that fulfills our needs and automates a lot of processes like collecting customer information, collecting payments and even making logistics easier.
Here are the different steps you can take to start an online store in Nigeria:
Step 1. Start an Online Store in Nigeria for Free
You can start an online store that lets you just sell without stress and hassles, which makes selling online easier for you.
You can just upload your product, add prices and sell while money goes straight to your bank account.
There are platforms in Nigeria that allow you to start and have an online store in Nigeria without spending a dime building one.
You can start a free online store in Nigeria with Flutterwave stores and Paystack Storefront.
Note: for now you cannot use your own domain name for a paystack or flutterwave store.
Fluterwave store is an e-commerce solution by the online payment company, Flutterwave, for Nigerians and other Africans to launch an online store for free that accepts payment from anywhere in the world.
You dont need to create a website or know how to code to launch a Flutterwave store.
With a Flutterwave store, you can set up an online store in Nigeria where you can upload products (physical or digital), set prices and start collecting payments in minutes.
Flutterwave also has an integrated delivery partner that you can choose to use for delivering your orders from the store.
To create a Flutterwave store you need to sign up for a Flutterwave account here. After which you can set up your Flutterwave store by “clicking store” on your Flutterwave account dashboard.
Paystack, another popular payment company in Nigeria also offers a free online store solution.
The Paystack storefront is a simple and beautiful solution for Nigerians (Africans) to create an online store in Nigeria.
Paystack storefront is part of the Paystack commerce toolkit, which aims to help African creators bring their ideas to market.
To create a free online store and start selling with the Paystack storefront, you’ll need to create a Paystack account and set up your Paystack storefront.
Step 2. Start an online store with Shopify in Nigeria
Shopify is one of the biggest e-commerce solutions in the world that allows you to create an online store for selling, shipping and managing your products.
For a subscription of $29/month, You can use Shopify to start a functional online store in Nigeria that you can use to sell physical and digital products.
Shopify alsso offers an unlimited free trial period. You start to pay the subscription when your trial finishes.
To start an online store with Shopify you have to sign up for an account, customize your Shopify store settings, add products to your store, integrate a payment gateway for collecting payments for your online store in Nigeria (Paystack or Flutterwave).
You also have to add a domain name to your Shopify store.
Step 3. Build an Online Store from Scratch
The other way to setup an online store in Nigeria from scratch. You can either do this yourself if you can code or you seek the services of a software developer or a web designer.
You can also create an online store in Nigeria without the need to code by using website builders like WordPress (woo-commerce) Wix, or Magento or any similar e-commerce platforms for building online stores. You can go on youtube to learn how to use any of them.
You’ll also need to buy a domain name as well as a hosting plan.
Step-by-step Summary on How to Start Your Own Online Store in Nigeria:
Step 1. Find Your Niche
Finding a niche means deciding on what you’re going to sell and who you’re going to sell it to. It is coming to grasp with your business idea and its marketability.
If you need help with finding a great niche then you should check out these 10 foolproof strategies for choosing an e-commerce niche.
Step 2. Conduct Product and Market Research
Next, you want to go into the more distressing details like shipping, cost of goods sold (the cost of having a product(s) to sell). Then you want to also validate your product(s) by using strategies like keyword research and trendspotting.
You also need to analyze your target market. Who are your ideal customers? Who are they and what do they like? How can you tailor the experience of your online store to appeal to your ideal customer?.
Then there is the issue of having the actual products you want to sell. Are you going to manufacture them yourself? Are you going to have to get the products from a supplier?
You need to know the answers to these questions.
Step 3. Source your Product
You’ve done your research and you know there’s a demand for this product. You’ve done the hard work of finding out who your customer is, how your e-commerce business is going to look and feel.
You even know how you’re going to acquire the products you want to sell.
All you have to do now is get your products in hand and ready to deliver to customers.
Step 4. Choose the Platform for Creating your Online Store
All of the above doesn’t matter if you dont have an online store for beautifully displaying your products, collecting payments and keeping track of inventory.
You can use Paystack Storefront or Flutterwave store for creating your free online store in Nigeria. Or pay someone to do build one from scratch for you.
Step 5. Launch your Online Store & Start Driving Traffic
You have your product and you’ve built your online store using your preferred platform.
Now you have to let the world know about your store and start driving traffic to the store to get more visitors in order to start having sales
Step 6. Measure Your Online Store Success
You need to measure how your online store is doing overtime. Is there growth? Wha t is the main driver of growth? Best selling products?
These are things you need to pay close attention to in order to maximise the potential of your store.