5 Proven Steps to eCommerce Success in Nigeria

As humans, there are things we have tons of evidence for and aren’t doing. And there are things we have no evidence for and we keep doing anyway. For instance, bodily exercise/workout has been proven to improve human health and well being yet a lot of us don’t do it . On the other hand, there is no evidence to prove that spending more than you earn leads to riches, but a lot of people keep spending excessively anyways. These are basic, fundamental principles that most people take lightly.
The steps below also are basic and direct – no bullshit steps that if followed, leads to eCommerce success. Now whether or not they’re followed is entirely up to you

1. Price

Without doubt, one of the most important decisions that drive Nigerians to buy anything online is how much it costs. Everyone is looking to find the best deals and known platform or online store for the best prices would definitely succeed. There is no point listing your item online when your price is way more than the average because buyers would check other platforms to find the best deals.
If you are looking to start an online store or you already have one that has a low conversion rate, my first point of call would be for you to do a price check and review your prices if you find them higher than the average across platforms.

2. Assortment

This means you have a wide range of products that customers can choose from. For instance, you don’t want to sell just one type of bag because you have decided to sell bags. Why? Because customers get bored when they come online to see the same item over and over again. When buyers come to your store and find new items at good prices, they are compelled to buy. If you can’t stuff various types of each item at the moment, you can list various colours of the same item. My advice to anyone who wants to retain customers would be to always increase assortment. This has been proven to increase customer retention. You need proof? Ask Amazon, Alibaba, Tencent.
brands on Instagram

3. Logistics

Lets assume you have got the best prices & assortment for your store, then you get an order from a buyer in a far location, next is to ensure the item gets to the customer on time. When selling online, its important to deliver to the customer on time. You would have to seek out a reliable logistics company. Thankfully, a lot of transport companies are now pivoting to “ecommerce logistics” in Nigeria because they commute to various locations across the country more often.
Tips for choosing a shipping company:
– Number of attempts: Ask them how many attempts they make to deliver an item to the customer – 3 attempts is okay.
– Remittance timeline: Ask how long it takes them to credit your account once delivery is made – 5days max.
– Returns process: Ask how long would it take to get back your item if your customer rejects it – usually 7 days.

4. Mobile Optimization

Since 65% of internet users in Nigeria use their phones, its highly recommended that your online store is optimized for mobile phones & tablets. Usual trend for most sellers online is to create a desktop website first and then optimize for mobile later. I strongly advise that your go live on mobile first. Let Nigerians be able to place order on Opera, Chrome or Mozilla from their mobile devices. Trust me, if you are not optimized for mobile or your products appear blurry or disorganized on mobile, you are missing a lot of customers. Here’s a good example from Karen Ubani
mobile-optimized ecommerce website

5. Social Media

Facebook & Instagram are thriving channels to bring new customers to your site. Create Facebook & Instagram accounts for your store. Post clear images & description, share tips related to what you sell. Buy Facebook ads for your store. Market your store through these channels when you have a price slash. This should be a never ending engagement platform. Take debras grace for example, they have learned over time to effectively push engagement on Instagram.
These steps are not shortcuts or easy ways to instant success, they are challenging and require a lot of time. But if I were to share the proven keys to selling online with my younger sisters, it would be this post.

Philip Ayomide

Philip Ayomide

Ayo Philip is an ecommerce advocate that loves to help newbies with simple, practical steps to selling online. He lives in Lagos where the red light doesn't mean STOP to bikes & tricycles.