The eCommerce industry in Nigеriа iѕ gаining grоundѕ, with ѕеvеrаl еCоmmеrсе ѕtаrtuрѕ/соmраniеѕ springing uр. Thiѕ fеаt iѕ mаdе easy аѕ a rеѕult оf thе Intеrnеt аnd аѕ ѕuсh, ѕеtting uр оnе thеѕе days ѕimрlу takes not mоrе than a few hоurѕ tо a fеw days.
However, due to the peculiarities of running businesses in Nigeria, it takes dedication to effectively run an eCommerce website.
As easy as it is to get in, success is not guaranteed. And just like every business venture, the only way to ensure success is by dedicating time as well as putting in the right strategies. In this post, I would not be sharing the challenges the eCommerce industry faces, but rather give you 5 general tips on how to successfully run one regardless of hurdles you may come across.
Don’t Launch Prematurely
The mistake many eCommerce startups make is not doing proper groundwork before launch. Just like you don’t just rent a physical space for offline store without plans in place, same it is with an eCommerce site. Don’t just rush into it because creating one is easy.
Choose the product(s) you want to sell, analyse the market opportunity, select how you would obtain your products, test your products, find the right tools to use – these are some of the plans you ought to have put in place before fully launching your site. Even if you have gotten your domain name and space already, you can put a sort of ‘coming soon’ page while plans are ongoing rather than launching an half-baked site.
Market yourself to the World
you until they can find you – put your self out there for people to see. Many entrepreneurs think they would just launch and make millions, but its not so. No one will end up on your site accidentally, the web space is just too big for that.
Have plans to advertise your company – social media influencers, SEOs, PR firms, engage them to publicise your company. Free marketing may not be very scalable, you might have different marketing channels and strategies which of course will cost you money but will definitely pay off at the end of the day.
The bedrock of every successful company/startup is the customer. Many business owners don’t take this step seriously, and end up wasting a lot of their time and resources. Figure out who your customers are, your customers may point out somethings about your business that you may have never thought of (this does not mean you should act on everything they suggest, but you should definitely listen).
Get their feedbacks on your products, offer them appropriate prices, give regular discounts and free shipping, make the payout process easy, have a good delivery system – these are some of the ways you would earn the loyalty of your customers and make them feel important.
The world we live in is dynamic– your best idea today might be obsolete tomorrow. Technology, market trends and customer wants will change, and so must you if you want to succeed. Engage new tools, software, recruit new skills, anything that would make you meet up with the needs of your loyal customers and stay relevant in the game.
While running an eCommerce business in Nigeria offers the potential for lucrative returns over time, it is by no means easy or effortless. You might make mistakes but it’s all part of the experience. Keep your focus, follow the above tips and you may be on your way to becoming a successful eCommerce entrepreneur in Nigeria.