The average Nigeria youth and more especially young entrepreneurs desire to have the ‘The Good life’ but like we keep telling every young entrepreneur that we come in contact with that, the ‘The Good life’ sometimes does not just happen something, most just stare it up into operation.

We have all found ourselves in the dilemma of a business blame game syndrome and a quick quitters association. A state where some of us even quit before we actually start, what a mirage. More interestingly is that a lot of young entrepreneurs now spread their failure stories and garnish it with gorgeous metaphors and idioms that the lies in business success is gradually out shinning the truth there in.

My target this week is to again open you up like I do every week to the mirald of business opportunities that are available in Nigeria. And my concern this week will be centered on E-commerce And Retail Business In Nigeria

In the recent time, retail industry has experienced a significant growth in the Nigerian economy, thanks to e-commerce and other online business and services. Arguably, Nigeria has the most internet penetration and usage in Africa; but as it is, Nigerians are not optimizing the merits that come with internet. Though we can partially blame it on the high cost of internet in this part of the world, amidst other setbacks.

E-commerce has been the major sector that has boosted retail industry In Nigeria, and the growth has no projection of nose diving. There is a huge determining factor to the growth of e-commerce and retailing in Nigeria, and that is the internet and its usage. For the benefit of those who don’t really understand what e-retail or e-commerce means, permit me to give a simple definition. E-commerce is simply the buying and selling of goods and services through the electronic channel (internet). The word “e” literally means electronic or virtual in the computer world. For example: e-mail, e-store, e-medical, e-banking etc.

The main purpose of writing this piece is to discuss issues affecting e-retailers, e-store owners and generally e-business in Nigeria. I will highlight some challenges from my own perspective and experience.

Imagine your shop in a small community in Nigeria and buyers who are interested in your goods are calling from other major cities of the world From Lagos, Accra, J’bourg, New York, London, Milan. It means your business was born in Africa but it became a citizen of the world.

This is the experience I have when I started my e-shop ( The first e-store in Abeokuta that sells phones & technology gadgets ). Yes, your e-store can open your window to the world.

What is currently in voke in modern business is mobile business. A business that entails carrying along your business, office and port folio everywhere and wherever you go. This is so,basically because some of our targeted customers are always online.Hence,our shops are now on the social media and we can do business in any part of the world, provided we have access to the internet. The first sale ever sales that i recorded outside my locality was delivered to Ibadan, Oyo State and I met the buyer on Twitter. My location when the guy followed me on Twitter: Lagos. My location when I followed back: Abeokuta. My location when we struck a deal: Abeokuta. Location of the buyer: Ibadan. Yet, the deal was successful. and order was delivered to Ibadan.
He has became a very close friend since then. ( It was payment on delivery mode).

E-store opens 24hours a day, 7 days a week. Even when It is practically impossible to attend to inquiries for all the whole days of the week and round the clock. So, you can only but imagine the rigorousness of the business especially when the good on sale are top on the priority list or on sales list. But it keeps you always on your toes for possible output.

At this point, permit me to cut the excitement on  the numerous advantages of the e-retail business and share some of the major challenges you will  have to face and those the Nigeria E-commerce society is still facing and managing.

Every good business has a particular and unique area of challenges and to this end, my points will not be conveniently driven home until, this most important aspect of the work is brought to bare. We have several Challenges in the E-commerce business in Nigeria and i will just try as much as i can to list out the pressing and demanding challenges here and they are:

The issue of trust: A lot of us in the E-commerce field have lost quit a great number of deals. When your  store is in its infant stage,and  because potential customers a too scared of losing their hard earned money through online shopping. Then, the only payment option available for your small business is advanced payment mechanism. As a matter of fact, buyers are always afraid of paying into personal bank accounts. Since starters don’t have any other platform that could offer other payment options, We always advice that starters try as much as they can to cut the scope of coverage area to their locality, although is not enough for the dream they have for the business but its best they start that way till they understand the business terrain and gain the peoples trust.

Because even professionals,have even had to plead to buyers who have already done business with them to allow them make reference with their names and the deals on their page, share photos of conversation while striking the deals and put their reviews/feedback on their page or their pages.

Marketing competition: Apart from the challenge mentioned above, this is another major challenge that are often  encountered in the business. the fact that we have rivals in the market posed a great threat to every on lookers shivering spine. Believe me,the fact that you sell quality goods, deliver on time and try as much as possible to make full description of the products they wanted to buy is sometime not enough but it sure gives you an edge to have positive feedback from your customers and potential customers and will consequently lead to numerous word of mouth referrals.

This is how to conveniently manage to tackle the challenges of distrust;

1. Have a very good reputation and great number of followership on your personal social media page, so, you can always reference your personal page to your business fan page, which gives potential buyers a level of guarantee that they are dealing with a people or person and a traceable firm.

2. Deal with only authentic products and try to be open as much as possible in all dealings. Please learn to  state clearly all conditions attached to the goods i.e if it’s new or used, US or China, Imported or Locally made, Water resistant or not. Then try and ask customers for review/feedbacks to be posted on you wall or share and also share with their friends.

3. Always offer payment on delivery plus free delivery to buyers in areas closer to your location.

4. Importantly please open a corporate account with reputable new generation banks. ( You need a registered company/business name to do this )

5. You can also negotiate with some Courier firms for escrow service or something close to it.

6. Try to share each successful orders placed and delivered on your personal social media page and fan page.

When you  start offering free delivery + payment on delivery in your locality, buyers from other cities and states who like your products, base on quality, affordability and value for money will start pressurizing you to arrange for delivery coverage to their cities and also look into alternative payment options for buyers outside your city.

Quickly and smartly, try and get a corporate (business account )account activated. Because i know that after you do, that is,After opening a corporate account, the first 2 orders will definitely come and sometime likely going to come from outside your region, more especially from North East (Plateau State ) and the other likely from South East ( Aba,Abia State ).

Lets Pulse here,See you next week!!

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