This article takes a look at how to make money online in Nigeria with dropshipping, which is basically a hugely popular online business model.
Dropshipping has produced lots of millionaires online, and you can be one of them. But first, let’s see exactly what dropshipping is, and whether it is the right business for you.
What is Dropshipping?
Dropshipping is an online based ecommerce business where an entrepreneur is the middleman between the manufacturer and the consumer. In other words, if you own a dropshipping business, your role is to connect the manufacturer to the buyer using either a website or offline shop.
How does dropshipping work?
Dropshipping involves connecting buyers to manufacturers or wholesaler. You act as the middleman who sources for products, presents it to people who are interested in the products, and sell to them.
Once you are paid, you simply place an order on the manufacturers or wholesaler who in turn ships the product to your customer using your brand name.
Dropshipping involves running an online store where you display products, or even a Facebook page which also has the products you are marketing.
Your customers can make purchases on the web store, and checkout using the integrated payment system.
- What is Dropshipping?
- How does dropshipping work?
- Is dropshipping profitable in Nigeria?
- What you need to start dropshipping in Nigeria
- Best dropshipping websites for Nigerians
- How to start online dropshipping in Nigeria
- Why some dropshipping stores don’t succeed in Nigeria
- Advantages & disadvantages of dropshipping
- Concluding thoughts
Is dropshipping profitable in Nigeria?
To a large extent, yes. Dropshippers can make good money if they can find winning products and market it to a hungry market. There is no limit to the amount of money one can make with dropshipping in Nigeria.
What makes the dropshipping model lucrative is that you can charge your own prices for your products, especially if the product is not common in the market. This enables you to charge much higher prices for your products than they are really worth.
What you need to start dropshipping in Nigeria
If you want to start dropshipping in Nigeria, you need the following:
- A website or Facebook page
This is where you will display your products. Owning a web store gives you some level of credibility than running your dropshipping business off of a Facebook page. This guide focuses on running a dropshipping business using a hosted website.
- A payment processor
This is a company that will collect and process payments made on your dropshipping website. They usually charge a small commission for each sale. The best payment processors include Paystack and Flutterwave.
- A laptop and smartphone
You need both devices to be able to effectively run your business. The smartphone should be like your mobile office, while you need the laptop for more complex tasks of running your business.
- Some knowledge of digital marketing
A knowledge of Digital marketing is necessary in order to be a successful dropshipper. Without this knowledge, you will end up spending money on your business without commensurate returns.
- Patience and determination
Just like with any other business, you need a generous dose of patience and determination to be able to succeed in this business.
Best dropshipping websites for Nigerians
There are lots of dropshipping platforms for Nigerians, but the major ones available to Nigerians are:
This is one of the most popular dropshipping websites in the world. They offer millions of products, both new and old. Products are denominated in dollars, but can change based on your location and currency.
This is mainly a Nigerian based online marketplace. It is Nigeria’s version of Amazon which stocks hundreds of thousands of products. Products are denominated in Naira.
Konga is like Jumia, and is also Nigerian-based. Konga also stocks hundreds of thousands of products which are also denominated in Naira.
This is a worldwide shopping marketplace, just like Amazon. They have been around for a while and command traffic in the millions every month.
This is a relatively new dropshipping platform. The website is designed with Dropshippers in mind. They offer fast shipping times and tools with which Dropshippers can supercharge their business. Highly recommended.
Alibaba is designed for buying stuff in bulk. It is a marketplace where one can find suppliers who sell in bulk. Alibaba is the parent company of Aliexpress.
Amazon doesn’t need an introduction. It is the biggest marketplace on earth. You can dropship Amazon products from Nigeria, and you can be sure of the quality of the products.
Last but not least, Shopify allows you to set up a dropshipping business without the hassles included. You only get to pay a monthly fee to remain on the platform. This is not recommended for those on a low budget.
How to start online dropshipping in Nigeria
If you want to take up the dropshipping model as a business, then there are steps you need to take. They are outlined below.
- Conduct proper research
This is the most important aspect of the whole dropshipping business. This is because if you miss it at this early stage, you might end up with a white elephant web store that is not generating sales.
At this early stage, you need to find out the kind of products people will be willing to buy without hesitation.
You should not take on a product that people can easily get in a regular shop. This is one of the key mistakes newbies make.
The key to success here is to go for uncommon products, which are not to highly priced. Products in the N5000 – N10,000 price range is ideal.
You can find the interest of Nigerians in a particular product using Google Trends. If the interest is very low or non-existent, then don’t bother.
At the same time, the product may be a new product which the interest is not there already. In this case, ask yourself the following questions:
Is this product going to solve a real problem?
Is this product easy to use and easily affordable? Can you price it reasonably?
If you can answer this questions in the affirmative, then you have a winning product.
- Choose a niche
A niche is an area of interest. When choosing a niche, don’t try to be too specific. On the other hand, don’t go for a too broad niche.
Let me explain what I mean. If you go for a too narrow niche, you run the risk of basing your online store around 1 or 2 products. A good example is a store selling kitchen knives. Here, you are limited to just a few products on your store. Customers are impressed if there is a wide variety of products to choose from.
However, if you go for a very broad niche like household items, then your store will probably have too many products and customers would be overwhelmed. A good niche is kitchen supplies.
- Get a domain name and hosting
Now you have chosen a niche. The next step is to buy a domain name and hosting. There are several things to bear in mind when choosing a domain name.
Choose a brandable domain name, not just something generic. A good example of a brandable domain name is fionacares.com, instead of choosing a domain name like besthairextensions.com. In this case, we are taking about a website that sells women’s hair and accessories.
My recommended hosting is Sharkhosting. They are based in the UK and offer fast cloud hosting at a very competitive price. My favorite is their £8/year unlimited hosting. Follow the link to buy.
Other reputable but more expensive hosting companies include Hostinger, A2 Hosting, Siteground, and Hostgator.
- Create your website
Now that you have bought a domain name and hosting, the next step is to build the website proper. Your best bet is to go for WordPress with Woocommerce. WordPress is a great tool for creating blogs in Nigeria, and just about any kind of website.
If you want to use Shopify, then understand that you have to pay monthly which you may not be able to afford now. However, the Shopify platform gives you the advantage of handling everything for you, from setting up your store to payments and marketing.
The cheaper option is WordPress with Woocommerce. If you have no idea how to install WordPress and configure your store, you can hire a developer on Fiverr or any other freelancing website to set up your store.
- Connect a payment processor
You need a payment processor to receive payments. A good payment processor should have a WordPress plugin which you must install in order to set up payments on your store.
- Import products
After this, the next step is to import products. You will need a WordPress plugin to achieve this, and there are many of them.
However, the most popular ones are quite expensive, like Alidropship. By standards, this is the best dropshipping plugin available. With a onetime fee of about $89, you own the plugin for life.
Your best bet is to invest in Alidropship just once and reap the benefits.
The plugin offers an integrated solution for dropshipping, and even has themes bundled with which you can design your store with.
Other plugins like Dropshipme, WooDropship, WP Amazon Shop, Woocommerce Dropshipping, Spocket are available, some have subscription payments, while some have one-time payment.
- Run promotions
Once your shop is properly set up, you are ready to receive visitors to your store. At this stage, you focus mainly on marketing and promoting your online store, in addition to customer service.
Why some dropshipping stores don’t succeed in Nigeria
Let’s look at some reasons some dropshipping stores in Nigeria are not profitable.
- Not choosing winning products
Choosing to dropship a regular product that is available in stores is a surefire way to failure. This is because customers do not see enough reason to order the product and have to wait for up to a week before getting it, when they can get it immediately in a store close by.
- Not choosing reliable suppliers
Unreliable suppliers can wreck your dropshipping business. The best way to combat this is to research and network with seasoned Dropshippers, probably on Nairaland. They will give you information on the best suppliers on dropshipping websites like Aliexpress.
- Long delivery time
When choosing suppliers, it is best to choose suppliers that can deliver to your customers in a matter of days to a week. There is no sense in choosing a supplier that will take a month to deliver a product, which can lead to frustrated and angry customers who will probably demand a refund. Credit card payment processors don’t like this. So at the end of the day, your business suffers.
- Lack of customer service
It is best to maintain communication with your customers. The best policy is to send out emails every single day, keeping them updated on the status of their shipment, or better still give them a tracking number.
When customers receive your emails in this manner, they will not complain much because you show them that you care.
Advantages & disadvantages of dropshipping
Finally, let’s look at the pros and cons of dropshipping as a business model.
Advantages of dropshipping
- Low entry cost
You can start a dropshipping business with a low budget, depending on the plugins you want to buy. However, if you go the Shopify route, you will have to pay a monthly subscription.
All the same, it cannot be compared to setting up a regular brick-and-mortar store.
You have to rent the store, employ staff, stock up the shop, among other things.
- No inventory to stock
You do not have to buy products and stock them up in your warehouse. You simply import the product information to your web store, and that’s it.
- Wide margin of pricing your products
You can price your products as you like, meaning that you can decide to price it high or low, as much as you like.
- No physical shop to rent
Like mentioned earlier, you don’t have to deal with the hassle of renting a physical store.
Disadvantages of dropshipping
- No control over quality of products
As a middleman, you have no control over the quality of products you are dropshipping. It is all in the power of the manufacturer.
- Payments don’t usually reach you immediately
When customers buy from your store, your money doesn’t reach you immediately. The payment company will usually pay you after some days, so you have to set aside a substantial amount of money to purchase goods on behalf of your customers.
This wraps it up on this article on how to make money online in Nigeria with Dropshipping. Share the article with friends and family using the share icons. Also check out our article on how to make money online with YouTube, or by creating an online course.
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