How To Start A Successful E-Commerce Business In Nigeria

In this article, we’ll be going through the different types of eCommerce business and step-by-step guides on how to start a successful eCommerce business in Nigeria.

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Whenever someone mentions the term ‘eCommerce’, we first think about the big names like eBay, Amazon, Jumia, Konga, Uber and the rest of them. This has made the eCommerce appear like one very big billion dollar industry that doesn’t give opportunities to starters with little capital.

While this might be true (let’s assume that for now), have you sat down to study how these big companies started? Something like Facebook was started in Mark Zuckerberg’s Harvard dorm room in 2004. There are many other billion-dollar companies that were started with little o no money at all.
Ecommerce in the real sense simply means electronic commerce, ie buying and selling of goods and services online. Take the internet as a big city where all manner of people come to get information on what they need and probably buy them.
There are more than 3.4 billion internet users in the world, and if you’re able to reach less than 1% of the number to buy your products, you should know what it means to your business.

Types of E-commerce  Businesses You Can Do In Nigeria

Let’s explore the various eCommerce businesses that you can venture into as a Nigerian, after which we’ll see the steps on how to start them.
β€’ Freelancing: In freelancing, you’d be working for yourself as an rather than for a company. It involves taking contract works for companies and organizations. You can freelance as a graphics designer, content writer, app developer, web designer, etc.
You can find out more about freelancing by checking out these 10 websites that can land you freelance writing jobs in Nigeria. We also have an eBook, ‘Freelancing Made Easy‘ that will guide you on how to start earning a living online writing for clients all over the world. You will get it at a ₦500 discount if you use the coupon ‘IGA500‘.

β€’ Course development/training: You can develop and sell courses online to your followers. If you have a skill that people need, they’d be willing to pay to learn it from you.
I’ve seen many people organizing paid WhatsApp and Telegram classes. Imagine charging ₦1,000 for a WhatsApp class and getting 100 participants, you’d be cashing out ₦100,000 from just teaching a skill.

β€’ Fashion designing/clothing line: This is a little different from the ones I discussed above. This time around, you’d have to sell a physical product. You can either market an already existing product or create yours. β€’ Human resource services: Your services as a human resource services will include payroll, benefits, hiring, firing, and keeping up to date with state and federal tax laws.

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β€’ Social media manager: Human resource managers are in charge of representing a company across social channels as the sole voice of the brand. Your job will include responding to comments, compiling campaigns and creating contents.
You’ll also be providing the organization with the guidance needed to enhance their online presence.

β€’ Mini importation business: As the name implies, mini importation business involves importing products in small quantities and reselling them at retail prices. You can make as much as 200% profit per product you market, because of the extremely cheap rates many of them are being sold by the manufacturers.

β€’ Mobile accessories online store: This involves selling mobile accessories like earpiece, chargers, headsets, bluetooth devices and many others. You can import the products yourself or buy them from wholesalers in Nigeria.

β€’ Business consulting: As a business consultant, you’d be helping your clients develop business skills and knowledge. Topics you’ll be covering range from designing a business model or plan, to determining which techniques to use and how to use them.

β€’ Beauty/skincare business: This is also another very popular business I’ve seen people engage in. Due to the nature of the business, your major target will be the ladies. You can decide to buy from other businesses and re-brand or produce the products yourself.

β€’ Sales of shoes, bags and hair products: This is also another hot cake. You can make good money from selling ladies shoes and bags online. You know ladies easily get attracted to photos of designers and can do all it takes to own one. About the hairs, you can read up a detailed guide on how you can start making as much as β‚¦200,000 monthly from hair attachment business in Nigeria.  

β€’ Catering: If you are into cake making business, you can reach even more customers by taking your business online. You can target even more people in your locality at very affordable rates through online ads like Facebook, Google ads and more.

β€’ Ticketing: Ticketing business involves purchasing blocks of tickets for popular events in advance either online or from brokers and reselling then few days to the event. We’d be explaining more about ticketing in subsequent posts.

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β€’ eBook publishing: You can also make money from writing and selling your own eBooks. It can be a fiction, non-fiction or even a guide on how to do something. I’ve seen eBooks of various topics ranging from tutorials, to business tips and even recipes. It all depends on you and your target audience.

β€’ Software development: You can make good money as a software developed even as a Nigerian. You can decide to create and sale the yourself or work with brands that will pay you for your services.

β€’ Food business: This is still an untapped business that any serious entrepreneur can decide to venture into. It involves having a website where people can log-in to order for foods, and you deliver to their doorsteps.

β€’ Event planning: Event planning is simply the application of project management to the creation and development of small and/or large-scale personal or corporate events such as ceremonies, conventions, weddings, festivals, concerts, formal parties and more.
As an event planner, you can reach more people by taking your business online.

β€’ Financial coaching: Financial coaching involves providing one-on-one sessions with clients in order to ‘coach’ performance improvements to meet goals mutually set by the coach and client. It is very special job and well suited to asset building programs because clients often need support and encouragement to adhere to positive financial behaviors.

β€’ Makeup artistry: As a makeup artist, your medium will be the human body and your job will be to apply makeup and prosthetics on others for television, theatre, film, fashion, magazines and other similar productions including all aspects of the modeling industry.

β€’ Domain name brokerage: As a domain broker, you job will involve buying and selling of domain names for others. Domain owners can easily contact you to help them sell their domains while you collect a percentage of the money made.

β€’ Health care products/services: You can also make good money from selling healthcare related products online. Depending on the type of product, you might need to apply for necessary licenses from the regulating bodies.

β€’ Travel accessories: If you have a travel blog, selling travel accessories will be a great way of monetizing it. You’ll upload photos of the products and recommend it at the end of each article.

Guide On How To Start Your eCommerce Business in Nigeria

Below are the guides you need to follow while starting an eCommerce business in Nigeria:

β€’ Draft your business plan

Your business plan should contain your goals, and the methods on how these goals can be attained, and the time frame within which these goals need to be achieved. 
There are many benefits of having a business plan, including helping you solicit funds for your business if occasion warrants.

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β€’ Rent an office Space

Depending on the scale, you might be needing an office to run your business. While you wouldn’t be renting a duplex, your choice location should at least have enough parking spaces for your clients’ vehicles.
It should also be located in an easily accessible area, so you won’t have much issues describing the location to your potential clients. You can start with a medium sized office and expand as the business grows.

β€’ Set up your website

Since we’re talking about eCommerce here, you’d definitely be needing a website. Be it an online shop, a website for your portfolio or even a website for sampling your courses.
You can reach out to us to create the websites at a very affordable, plus speedy delivery. We also offer support after delivering the services and tutorials on how to manage the website.

β€’ Get your business registered

While you can start operating without this, registering your business is very important as an entrepreneur. There are many benefits of registering your business name as an entrepreneur including helping you access loans if the need be.
In addition, registering your business will also increase your chances of getting a visa if you ever want to travel outside the country. You can find out more about business name registration by checking this article on the step by step guide on how to get your business registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).

β€’ Start promoting your business

The only way to get clients is by making them know about the existence of your business. Thanks to the internet, you don’t need to have millions of Naira to start running adverts online, platforms like Facebook will set your ads running with as little as $1 a day.
You can target people based on gender, age, interests, region or other categories. Different places you can advertise online in Nigeria include Facebook, Google, Twitter, Instagram, Nairaland, LinkedIn and blogs like Information Guide Africa and Business Tips Nigeria.

What more?

What did we miss? You can drop them as comments below and don’t forget to share to your friends. You can check out our previous article on

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