Tuesday, March 28, 2023
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How to Start an Online Store Without Money in Nigeria

Do you want to know how to start an online store in Nigeria? Whether you want to sell a single or many products. You are on the right page to get the necessary information for your journey to the e-commerce world. 

Gradually and steadily, Nigerians are getting comfortable with buying things online. Jumia, Konga, Jiji are on top of the list of the most visited websites in Nigeria.

One of the lucrative online businesses you can start in Nigeria is online stores. You make money on day one you begin the business. Profit is made every time a customer makes a purchase. 

There is no better time to start selling things online than now. 

If you can remember in 2020, in major cities in Nigeria, during the COVID-19 Pandemic total lockdown measures were put in place to limit the physical interaction of people, most especially, in public places where you have a large number of people at a time like markets, shopping malls, banks, clubs, schools, recreation centres, etc. People had no option to meet their needs other than to order products and services online. 

The number of online shoppers is skyrocketing. People who used to be sceptical about online shopping are changing their minds when they discover how easy it is to buy online. 

People are buying products online from the comfort of their homes. 

Globally speaking, Amazon sales spiked as the pandemic boosted online shopping. 

Setting up an online store like Jumia, Konga in Nigeria requires some level of handwork and perseverance. After deciding what you want to sell, you have to also think seriously above the technical side of building a functional online store. It’s kind of tough work. 

Assuming the store is up and running. The next thing to think of is how to maintain and manage it,  and how to also ensure that it’s available 24/7 to serve your customers. This is the prong where most people turn back from owning an online store business in Nigeria. 

In some situations, you see some people who already purchased products they want to sell online in Nigeria. It’s difficult for them to just drop the business idea, even if they do, what will happen to the products they have already bought to sell? Dash them out? Use them themselves? Big loss.

They end up selling them poorly on the Internet platforms. When they manage to sell all the products they have, they close down the business straight. 

Technology is making things easier every day. And I can tell you for a fact that you don’t have to invest heavily in technology to power your online store like the market giants— Jumia, Konga.

With minimal knowledge of using online tools, you should be able to set up an online store for people to buy products/services from you at any time of the day. 

In this blog post, I will provide you with complete information on how to start an online store in Nigeria for free. 

Let’s go: 

What is an online store? 

An online store is a website or mobile app through which customers visit or use to buy products and services.

Think of an online store as a regular physical shop where people come in to buy any product of their choice. The only difference is an online store is a virtual one. People need an Internet connection to visit online stores from anywhere they are to buy from you. 

You can think of starting an inked store business today and begin the business the sand day, while it can take you months to launch a physical store business. 

Now, people who have a physical store business are coming online to sell and deliver orders to their customers. 

Why you should consider starting an online store business in Nigeria

  • The online store business is easy to start than a physical store and you can scale the business the more you want. 
  • Having an online store business means you can sell your products to anybody anywhere they are. Location is not a barrier. Unlike a physical store business where you are limited to sell to people within your geographical area.
  • Your store is open 24/7. No weekend. No public holiday. No closing time. While you’re asleep, your online store is taking orders from customers. 
  • Nigerians like to buy anything at any time they want to, it’s always good to have an online store to serve them. 
  • You can run the business from anywhere you are. You can carry the business to anywhere you are going to. As long as you are connected to the Internet.
  • It’s very cheap to expand the online store business to serve more customers.
  • Nigerians are getting comfortable with buying online. They buy from  as far as China. 
  • Unlimited number of products to see in your online store. 
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List of the items that can be sold on an online store in Nigeria 

Here is the list of some of the products you can sell in your online store in Nigeria:

  • Computer and accessories.
  • Mobile phones and accessories.
  • Meals.
  • Medicine.
  • Physical books.
  • Furniture.
  • Services.
  • Automobiles and parts.
  • Arts and crafts.
  • Food.
  • Electronics.
  • Wears.
  • Health products.
  • Cosmetics and accessories.
  • Baby products.
  • Groceries.
  • Games and accessories.
  • Ebooks.
  • Stationeries.
  • Office electronics.
  • Cooking utensils.
  • Softwares.
  • Cryptocurrency.
  • Gift cards.
  • Toys and games.
  • Beverages.
  • Toiletries.
  • Portable gadgets.
  • Sports, etc.

Step by step guide on how to start an online store in Nigeria

Step 1: Decide what to sell

The first step to begin an online store business in Nigeria is to decide what to sell to people in exchange for their money. You cannot run an online store without knowing the products to sell. 

No doubt, almost everything can be sold in an online store in Nigeria. You still have to decide on what products you want to sell to make profits on. Do you want to run a multipurpose store or do you want to sell a single category of product? 

Picking and selling products that are high in demand and can be easily shipped down to customers puts you on the path of recording success quickly in this business. Not only do you have to sell what’s high in demand, but you also need to be passionate about the product(s) to an extent. 

If you have no idea about the products that are high in demand and people also feel comfortable buying online in Nigeria, you can do research. And you will discover the real facts.

Also, you have to make sure that the products you choose to sell will give enough desired business profits. There are some good numbers of high-demanding products you can sell but the profit margins aren’t worth what beginners can dive into. 

For beginners who don’t want to be stretched too thin, you can begin with a single category of product and expand later on.

Step 2: Decide between stocking your own products or dropshipping

After you have decided the products you want to sell online in Nigeria, the next step is deciding whether you want to hold your own products or dropship.

It’s mostly common to stock products to start an online store in Nigeria. If you want to be stocking products to sell, figure out where to buy at a low rate/wholesale rate to sell at a profitable price to customers. 

Some products are cheap when you import them while some are better to buy locally.

You need to do some findings to discover traders who sell at good rates. Once you have gotten where to buy from, then you stick to the products. 

Dropshipping e-commerce is still new in Nigeria. The headache that comes with it deters the majority of people from the business model. However, there are some wholesalers in Nigeria who do dropship now. It just takes time and effort to find reliable ones to deal with. 

What’s dropshipping? You may ask. This is how dropshipping works: the customer purchases an item from your online store at your listed price, you forward the order to your supplier/wholesaler, you pay him/her, and he’ll ship the products to your customer. That’s it.

You don’t stock the products. You only pay when the customer makes a purchase. You don’t own inventory. You don’t need capital to purchase your items. No storage costs. You can list more items on your eCommerce store at zero risk. 

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If you are new to e-commerce in Nigeria and you want to test the water before investing in the business. And you also want to learn without losing much. Dropshipping is the business model to start with only if you have a reliable wholesaler/supplier. You know when they screw up, your customers will be pointing fingers at you. But if you handle your fulfilment in-house, it’s easy to apologize, rectify the problem and move on. 

Step 3: Choose a name for your online store 

You have to give your online store a name. Think of Jumia, Konga and others, you are going to decide on a befitting name for your online store. You can run a physical store without a business, but for an online store business, it’s impossible. Your store cannot be found online. 

Your business name will be used to register a store domain name. The domain name is the address of your website that people type in their browser URL bar to visit your online store, e.g www.YOURONLINESTORE.com.

Your online store lines in a server, so the domain name is the address people can use to locate the store online. 

I know for sure that you already have a name in mind. Before settling with it, you need to do some searching online to check its availability. Google is your number one tool to find some information about your desired name. Simply type the name in the search bar and click on the search button and wait for some seconds to see the results. 

You will discover in the results that someone or an organization has already registered the name. If this is the case, you will have to ditch it and think of another name. 

Once you have gotten a free name to use, head to Namecheap to check for the availability of the domain name. Input the store name you want to use in the search bar with the .com extension. You will see whether it’s available or not. 

The journey doesn’t end here. Visit the Corporate Affairs Commission website to do a record search. This has to be done to be 100% sure that the business name hasn’t been registered in Nigeria already. Once you pass this phase, the rest is easy.

It’s good to pick a name that’s easy to pronounce. The name should sound so well that people can easily spell it without missing a letter. See the e-commerce giants’ names, Amazon, eBay, AliExpress, Walmart, Jumia, Konga, all of them have something in common—they can be easily spelt and pronounced. 

If you are selling a single category of product in your online store in Nigeria, this doesn’t mean that you should narrow down your business name to your product category, because you may need to expand as time goes on.

Step 4: Set up your online store for free with Bumpa

To set up an online store in Nigeria, if you are doing it yourself, basic technical knowledge is required. How to start registering a domain name. How to build and design your website. How to integrate payment gateways. How to secure the website from hackers. 

You see, it’s real work. This is why many traders are stuck with using social media platforms only to market their products. And this is not good enough for the business. 

Research shows that customers tend to take sellers who own and run their online store more seriously than the ones selling on social media platforms only. 

E-commerce business has a lot to do with trust, especially in Nigeria. Online sellers buy from sellers they trust. Having your own online store puts you ahead of the competition. 

As I said earlier, you don’t have to be a tech guru before you can start an online store in Nigeria. Day by day, new innovations are surfacing in the marketplace. Things are becoming easy. 

To set up your online store with no technical knowledge and money, Bumpa is the best platform to use. 

In just 2 minutes, you should be able to set up your online store with Bumpa for free. 

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Add products to your store. Describe the products you are offering customers in detail to drive sales. Your online store will have a .bumpa.shop extension. This is the default package and it’s free for life. 

However, as time goes on and you’re making sales through your online store. Consider subscribing to any of Bumpa standard plans and pro plans. Both of the plans allow you to use a custom domain name for your online store—the extension .bumpa.store extension will be removed. Both plans have good features to run functional and robust e-commerce platforms like the market giants. 

Step 5# Market your online store 

Finally, you are at the final step on how to start an online store in Nigeria. You now know what’s an online store, why you should consider starting one, how to pick a name for your store, how to source your products, and how to set up your store for free. 

Now, it’s the time for marketing your online store business. You can craft a marketing plan to serve as your roadmap.

Furthermore, hanging an online store website shouldn’t stop you from having social media pages for the business. You can drive tons of traffic to your site through the platforms.

You can also leverage your social influence to market your store online in Nigeria. Tell your friends and family about your business. These are some of the things they can do for you: like your social media pages, sharing your posts with your friends, trend your products on their WhatsApp statuses. 

Word-of-mouth marketing still delivers amazing results in Nigeria. Use it to your advantage. 

If you are ready to spend some money, you can boost your Facebook page post with as little as $5. Just target the audience you want to reach and boost the post. Track and watch the results. Ensure you invite every person that likes the boosted post to like your Facebook page. 

Instagram campaigns drive results too. If your Facebook and Instagram pages are linked, you can be running the same ad at the same time on both of the platforms. 

There are millions of Nigerians on the Internet. Regularly invest your time and energy to create awareness about your online store. The more you do,  the better the results.

Wrapping things up 

Now! You have made it all the way to the end of this long blog post. Amazing! You deserve to take a cold drink! Seriously. Not pulling your legs. 

Now you have all the information you need to start your own online store in Nigeria with no money in your pocket. It’s still the right time to start the business. 

Online stores can help you to make money full-time and on the side. You can use a dropshipping modem if you are a busy person. I can recommend a reliable dropshipper if you need one. You can reach out to me. 

Online store business is surely on top of the list of the easiest online businesses to start in Nigeria. 

I would really love to hear from you. What do you think about this blog post and the online store business in Nigeria? 

Is there anything I don’t cover here that you think I suppose to? please, leave comments below.

Have you ever sold anything on the Internet before? What’s your experience?

Do you face any obstacles in the process of starting an online store in Nigeria using an e-commerce platform or your own custom-made website or Bumpa platform? Share it here by leaving comments below or contact me privately. 

And if you find this post useful, please, help me by liking our Facebook page, subscribing to our Telegram channel, following us on Twitter, and sharing this post with people using the share icons below.

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Usman Atandahttps://starthustlenow.com
My name is Usman Atanda - the man behind StartHustleNow.com. I'm a serial hustler from Lagos, Nigeria. Here at StartHustleNow.com, I cover topics such as Business Ideas, Side Hustle Tips, Business Tips, Side Hustle Ideas and much more. My ultimate goal is to make the building legitimate and lucrative small businesses and side hustle to be achievable.
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