As Nigeria continues to advance and embrace modern technologies, especially in the area of internet and ICT in general, more business opportunities continue to surface for smart entrepreneurs across the country who wish to take their own destiny into their own hands. Among the top business opportunities that exist today in Nigeria due to “internet boom” is e-commerce.
Basically e-commerce as I want to talk about it in this post is when someone has an online business or store where he sells some products. The products can be physical or digital. Well, that simply is E-Commerce.
If you want to have your own online store where you sell some kind of products or offer some kind of services, this post has got quite a number of important tips that can help steer you in the right direction because before you open that online store to start selling things there are some important things you might want to put first into considerations first. Let’s look at those important considerations.
1. Study the available market for your e-commerce business
There are different kinds of products you can sell in online stores. But, to pick the right product, take your time to study the market to figure out the best services or products to sell. If it is about things you can sell online, the idea can be unlimited. It can be graphics, hand-crafted fashion products, stock photos, cakes, smartphones, jewellery, handbags, spare parts, etc. However, what might limit you is the available market for those products. Even if the market is there, are are there big players in that niche already? Hence, the primary step is to study the available market and find out products that can sell.
Also, ask yourself if your offer is something that can sell on the internet. For example, if the product is already there in physical stores in your city, how successful will it be duplicating it on the internet? What are your strategies here?
2. Searching for the right offer for your e-commerce
Before you pick that niche you are interested, you need to do some extra research to find out a number of things. Those things you need to find out include the big players in that niche, ads cost for that niche, how many people are talking about it, competitors, and how to carve out a space in the market for your e-commerce business.
One of the ways you can find out these is keywords research using powerful keywords research and analysis tools like Google Keywords Planner. For example, a simple Google search on any of the products you want to sell will show some of the market leaders usually at the first page of the search results.
3. Analyze your potential customers
Market analysis is something you cannot overlook before starting any business online. For example, it is true that that many Nigerians people are becoming knowledgeable of online shopping, but, is that true about the area you want to target? Try to know parts of the country where your potential customers are, their demography like, how knowledgeable they are with online shopping, and more.
Therefore, take your time to carry out an in-depth analysis, know whom your offer is for and how they will respond to what you have to offer. Know the estimated number of potential customers available, know their purchasing habits and how relevant your offer will be to them.
4. Invest in your e-commerce business
As funny as it may sound, many Nigerians still think that anything that is not a physical product is not worth paying for. Yes, many do and this is why many don’t believe in spending money on things like SEO, SEM, or hiring a professional web developer to develop or customize their online store.
If you want to your business to succeed, you have to put in the right amount of investment to it. This doesn’t mean spending money without justifying the expenses, else, your business will be dead before you even launch. Interestingly, the good news here though is that launching an e-commerce is now more affordable, thanks to affordable and free software and e-commerce platforms out there.
Therefore, if you don’t have the technical knowledge to properly build your online store, hire able hands whenever you should. Also, invest smartly in marketing. You need to promote your business online to get easily get customers. This marketing plan can include Search Engine Marketing, Facebook Ads, affiliate programs, social media and more depending on your offer. However, every investment you make must be critically analyzed and you are able to conclude it is not an avoidable waste of money. Also discover Top 7 FREE & Effective ways to market your business online in Nigeria
5. Choose the right web developer and tools
Choose the right payment system and, take the time to pick a web development company or a freelance developer that can give you what you need. A good developer should understand your e-commerce requirements, be able to implement the required features on your website and be able to test and check that everything is working correctly. See Top online payment gateways in Nigeria
Alright blog reader, so far we have been able to look at some key things to bear in mind when going into e-commerce business. This is not to say that this post covered everything about starting an ecommerce business, no; instead, the idea here is to point out some of those essential things which usually go to be major factors that can make or mar an e-commerce business. Also read How to choose a perfect domain name for your website in 3 steps!