How to Create an Online Store in Nigeria: Guide to Launch Your Own Shopping Site

Do you want to create an affordable and profitable online store in Nigeria but don’t know how to get started with it? In this blog post, I will show you the easy way to launch your dream eCommerce website using a flexible CMS platform and reliable web hosting.

Oh…  are you thinking right now that what is CMS and web hosting? Well, I will explain that to you as well. 

But why create your own online store in the country?

In the last decade, the world has witnessed quite some changes in some of the ways people do things. One such change has been in terms of commerce. Before now, we had the physical stores with inventory scattered around, that we choose to shop from, today we have online stores all around the internet and they’re slowly taking over.

Recommended: Top Online Shopping Sites in Nigeria

Here’s a solid reason you need to launch your own store now;

Research done in 2017 has it that; “55 percent of commercial activities are carried out online worldwide”. In Nigeria, we’re all getting awakened to the idea of online shopping, and it’s expected to be a big industry in a few years to come.

With all these in mind, what stops you from owning your online store? Well, maybe you think that ‘to create or set up a profitable eCommerce website will cost you a fortune’, but that’s not true!

I’ll be showing you how to create an online store in Nigeria using some pretty cool platforms and tools, which are absolutely affordable – at least you don’t need to spend a million naira ($3,000) before you can get your own dream online shop!

Now, let start;

How to Create a Profitable Online Store in Nigeria – Complete Guide

Before heading to these platforms, you need to have certain things in place, in order to maximize your level of profitability in the e-commerce world. These are simple, yet often taken for granted, but they go a long way in growing your brand. 

To build a profitable online store in Nigeria, you should follow the following steps;

1. Define Your Niché

There’s no need to start diversifying, you’re probably on lean resources at the moment, and you’re pretty not sure if this business is going to be a success, you only hope it does.

Focusing on a Niché helps in channeling your resources on that Niché. This you should do because you’re starting up, you shouldn’t diversify because the top guns are doing it. You’re not yet at their level, as your business grows, you could make plans for expansion.

I mean, you shouldn’t copy the likes of Amazon, Aliexpress, or Jumia (for now). Start with one product and try to dominate that niche to an extent, then you can think of leveraging other products.

When choosing, make sure it’s viable, and products in such a field are in great demand. In an eCommerce business, your niche doesn’t necessarily have to be something you’re passionate about, you could learn the ropes of such a niche as you forge ahead.

2. Choose your form of inventory

Many e-commerce firms today have inventories in various places, but let me tell you an easy way – Dropshipping!

You’re going into this business to maximize as much profit as possible, both forms of inventory have their pros and cons. Although you get to pay certain fees for hosting and more online, they are less expensive than having a physical inventory.

If you’re a fashion designer, you can sell your clothes in your online store in Nigeria and make more money by dropshipping related products. This same method applies to those who sell Smartphones, computer gadgets, and their accessories etcetera.

To learn more about how dropshipping works in Nigeria, check this guide

Now. let’s talk about the next step.

3. Get a Brand Name

Another important step to abide by here is picking a brand name. Now, don’t just go about choosing any name, you wouldn’t want a situation where you’ll have to change your name often, it devalues your brand. Your name should be well thought out, it should also serve as your domain name and your social media usernames when you finally launch online.

A piece of advice on brand name choosing: Endeavor to choose an English word or phrase if you want to see real success. Not everyone will be able to write or pronounce your native name or phrase correctly, and this is bad for marketing. 

Since English is the official business language in Nigeria (offline and online), I think you should have this in mind. The key here is to use simple words or phrases that’ll be easier to recommend to someone from another region of the country. Additionally, you could integrate a native word with English to make it much better.

You may decide to register the unique brand name with the government, in order to avoid anybody using it. Click here to learn how to register a business name in Nigeria

Just make sure you get a unique and brandable business name! Now, let go into the practical steps in creating your (profitable) online store in Nigeria.

4. Choose a Good CMS Platform, then build

There are many CMS platforms available to help you create your online store in Nigeria. The word “build” might sound stressful but not to worry, it’s a simple process. 

Quick Tip: CMS means “Content Management System” – You can read this Wikipedia article to know more about it

Although, the level of simplicity varies depending on what platform you choose. In fact, some platforms are automated; you only have to make a few clicks on your PC. Some other platforms let you use your already existing site, you just have to install a few plugins and you’re done.

There are quite a lot of platforms to build eCommerce websites, but I recommend using either Woocommerce or  Magento. Because they’re both;

  • Affordable
  • Flexible to use even, if you’re a beginner
  • Very friendly and reliable
  • You take control of your stuff and many beautiful reasons.

Let me talk about these two amazing CMS platforms and how you can set up your dream online store in Nigeria with them;

How to Create an Online Store with Woocommerce (WordPress) in Nigeria

Woocommerce is one of the most used platforms for e-commerce, they have a huge percentage of users in the e-commerce world. This is due to WordPress dominance on the internet – over 30% of websites are powered by WordPress. 

This is why Woocommerce tends to be a much popular choice. There are other reasons why Woocommerce remains at the top. It’s pretty easy to set up, it’s open-source which makes it easier for customization, SEO friendly, and it’s totally free – you only get to pay for other external features. 

Setting Up An Online Store with Woocommerce

It’s very easy to build an online store with Woocommerce, with your WordPress site, you’re good to go. Here are the steps to take.

  • Buy a Domain Name and Web Hosting

A domain name is an identification string that makes you unique on the web. 

I will not feed you with technical jargons, a domain name is like the house address that people can use to locate you easily. For example, Gbolamedia.com is a registered domain name.

To create a successful online store, you need to buy one! After the domain name, you need to buy web hosting as well.

Web hosting allows you to make your online store accessible via the World Wide Web. A web hosting stores your website files (the text, images, and anything you upload to your store). It is like your house where you can have your possessions stored.

There are a lot of web hosting companies out there, but I recommend buying from  LiquidWeb.

Why Liquidweb of all web hosting companies?

Liquid Web is a very effective and reliable web hosting provider that offers the best hosting services to consumers of various kinds. With Liquid Web, you get up to 99.9% server uptime, next-generation dedicated servers, and much more. 

The web hosting company is suitable for various professions, from freelancing to agencies, and businesses of every kind.

They’ve also got great customer support on various channels, with less than minute response time. These and many more you get to enjoy when you choose from any of their hosting plans below;

Here’s a deal: 

  • Use this Coupon Code >> GETONLINE to get 25% off, on 3 months Managed Woocommerce or WordPress Hosting.

  • or use SAVEBIG to get 50% when you buy a Dedicated or VPS Servers

  • Click here to Buy your web hosting now – the link will open in a new tab so that you can navigate back here.

After buying your domain and hosting, it’s time to build your site.

  • Install WordPress, then, Woocommerce plugin

After buying your domain and web hosting, you’ll be given a Cpanel. From your Cpanel (Control Panel), Install WordPress app.

Note: You can always ask for help from the Liquid web Customer care, they’re ready to assist you.

After installing the WordPress from the Cpanel, Login to your WordPress admin dashboard;

>> Then go to Plugin 

>> Click on “Add New” and search for Woocommerce

>> Finally Install and activate the Woocommerce plugin

The Woocommerce plugin was designed specifically for e-commerce, it tweaks your site to make it great for an online store you’re dreaming to launch. It’s mobile-friendly since most people access these platforms via their mobile. 

After installing Woocommerce, with just a few clicks, some sections of your site will be automatically created. These sections are pretty much mandatory on all e-commerce platforms; sections like Cart, Checkout, Store, My account, etc. You could further customize these, add other sections, and personalize your store.

The next step is to design your online store beautifully! 

  • Install and Custom a Good WordPress Themes

Remember I said “Domain name is your Address” while a “Web hosting is your house”? Don’t you think it will be cool to paint the house beautifully and do some decorations to make it stand out?

You think so? Great, this is why we need a “theme” to beautify your online store.

You can get a lot of free WordPress themes, as WordPress offers lots of themes for beautifying your site, you could choose from the wide variety of available themes – but be sure to use e-commerce friendly themes.

To get a free WordPress theme, follow the steps below;

>> Login to your WordPress dashboard

>> Click on “Appearance”, then “Theme”

>> Click on “Add New”, then search for “StoreFront”

>> Click on Install and finally Activate.

Note: I recommend StoreFront because it is the best free WordPress theme for Woocommerce.

But dear, I recommend buying your own theme! 

Premium themes are so blessed, you will have access to some features that you can’t get on the free themes and you will get premium support from the theme developer.

To buy a theme, go to Themeforest and search for any WordPress theme of your choice.

Quick Tip: If you are going to sell clothes, search for “Fashion eCommerce WordPress Theme”. If you want to sell Computer gadgets, search for “Computer eCommerce WordPress Theme” and so on.

After buying your theme (here), download it and upload it by following the steps you explained if you want to use a free theme. The only difference is that you will “UPLOAD” instead of searching for the theme in your WordPress admin dashboard.

  • Add Your Products + Details:

The next thing is to add your products. Click on “Products” in your WordPress Admin dashboard and flow with self-explanatory onboard screens. Then finally Publish and do this for all the products you will like to upload to your site.

If you need any help, kindly ask me in the comment box below.

  • Finally, we’re done! 

You’ve successfully created a Woocommerce powered and lucrative online store in Nigeria. It’s now time to start adding products to your store.

Okay, let talk about Magento;

About Magento

Magento is another wonderful platform for e-commerce, more and more users are getting to use this platform. It’s pretty new to the business and still has its quirks. Although released initially in 2008, it finally got a stable release early this year, and it’s still undergoing changes which we would see in the future. It’s a good platform for starting out your e-commerce business.

Setting Up An Online Store in Nigeria with Magento

Unlike Woocommerce, you would spend much time and effort in setting up your store, it is more like a manual process.

Note: We will not be talking about all the steps here, as we have discussed in the process of setting up a Woocommerce store. But notwithstanding, I’ll brief each step;

  • Using Liquidweb as our hosting provider for Magento, choose a suitable domain name. I noted some points you should pay attention to when choosing your brand name – this could also serve as your domain name.
  • Install Magento. It’s pretty easy if you follow the prompts, and select the suitable options. Since it’s open-source, you get to customize every single aspect to your taste
  • Styling: Like WordPress, Magento also offers a good number of themes for a much better looking online store. Pick from the available themes and customize your site. You can as well buy premium themes from ThemeForest
  • Add Products: It’s time to start selling, adding product images and description is pretty much easy and shouldn’t break a sweat.

That’s all about setting up a lucrative online store in Nigeria using WordPress or Magento. But that’s not the end, let me tell you a few things you need to do to make your store fetch you pretty income (or profits).

5. Marketing Your New Store

Marketing is the soul of any business. You are supposed to start marketing a little bit earlier before your store fully goes live. You’ve got to let people know what you’re up to, the products you offer, and many more about your brand. 

Marketing has been simplified these days, social media is one huge marketing platform you should take advantage of as the top brands use this to publicize their products. You’ll be saving some money while doing this, you could start paying for a much bigger audience as you grow your store.

Set up an Instagram account and Facebook page with your business name, connect them together (Google search for how to connect Facebook page and Instagram account), and finally, start promoting your products on social media platforms.

Conclusion – Creating an Online Store in Nigeria

These are pretty much what you need for a profitable online store in Nigeria. Setting up an eCommerce store in Nigeria is pretty much an easy task, it’s even much better if you fully utilize the platforms shared above. 

If you’re already using these platforms or will like to ask a few questions, kindly “CLICK TO COMMENT” and I’ll be happy to hear from you.

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