If I didn’t already mention it, I always wanted to start an ecommerce website. Funny enough, its what got me into digital marketing in the first place. At the time, I was in 400 level in college. This was a time when the only popular websites were guys like 3stitches and Taafoo. I had a grand dream, after watching 1,000,000 videos from Zappos and reading delivering happiness. I knew I could succeed at this stuff if I put my mind to it. And I was ready to take on the world.
Among my many ideas was this grand plan to work with UPS. Why? because Zappos worked with them in the US. Yeah, I was that sold on Tony Hsieh and what he had built. So I sent the cutest mail to UPS Nigeria, with a cute presentation (it was cute in retrospect). The one line I can remember from the mail was something like “We love UPS because we think you’d make our customers happy”. *smacks head*
We did get our meeting with an account exec, went weird, I won’t go into details. But I knew I couldn’t use UPS that afternoon, after spending 10k to and from the meeting. Which was a whole lot of money then.
It’s almost 7 years later now, and the dream is just that now, a dream. But the problem is still as real today as it was then with logistics. And the truth is, ecommerce thrives on logistics, but it’s such a flipping pain in the behind in Nigeria. It’s sad. Imagine that one day you’d be able to order something today and get it tomorrow before 5PM. That’s the dream both customers and SMEs look forward to, and we hope, really hope, that it happens soon.
But in the mean time, we still need as many options as possible for ecommerce logistics solutions, and that’s what I hope to address in this post. So here’s a list of logistics solutions I could find online. And just incase you know one that’s missing or have one, let me know, I’m going to keep this sheet updated.
PS: I left out the (very) obvious logistics & courier companies like UPS, FedEx, DHL and the likes.
List of ecommerce delivery companies in Nigeria
I’d suggest that you go through each website and see what services they offer. Once you settle on a few, send some emails to start negotiations based on volume. Please let me know in the comment box if I’m missing out a few
||Pay on Delivery?
||0909 999 1652
||EMS Speed Post
||Red Star Express
||Ekesons Parcel Services
The important thing to keep in mind about most of these companies is that they offer business rates. So while they might try to keep some rates upfront on their website, it doesn’t guarantee that the rate applies to you as an SME. Most will come to reduced costs once you negotiate shipping volumes.
And if you’re just going into ecommerce without prior experience, here are a few things to look out for in a delivery company.
Do they offer business rates?
This is a no brainer, if they do not offer competitive rates for businesses, they’re not ready for SMEs. This will only be acceptable if the courier only focuses on SMEs, in which case the standard rates should apply. But be sure to at least try to negotiate a deal
How is payment made?
It’ll be operationally difficult to pay for every delivery. having a payment schedule helps you best. For example, paying up at the end of every month, or when you get to a certain amount. And in rare cases, like with ACE, paying upfront. I’d advise against the upfront schedule though, you don’t want to be tied to a company in case they turn out crappy
Cash on delivery services?
Cash on delivery or pay on delivery is a popular payment option in Nigeria. Especially for small businesses that haven’t exactly built trust with their customer base yet. So check to see which company offers cash on delivery and what the service fee for that is like
Like I mentioned in a previous post on returns/refunds, returns is an important part of ecommerce too. You don’t want to wait till you get your first return request before you figure it out. Try to confirm if your delivery company caters for that before hand
Opportunities to scale
As a small business you’re probably looking for a service that can give you cheap costs. However, never compromise on scalability. Can the company that currently delivers 2 products a day keep up with 10? Can they keep up with 100? If no, what’s your plan for a company that can deliver at scale? Always be sure to have a backup plan if your current or soon-to-be partner won’t be able to keep up with increasing scale.
These are some of the major points to think about before going ahead with a delivery partner. Get in touch with a few today and start your selection process. And if you need help, you know where to find us 😉
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