You may have heard something about selling online generally, or setting up an online store. Well, some are true, some others aren’t. Almost everyone of us have at one time or the other dreamt about just resting at home while money keeps pouring into our bank accounts. As an entrpreneur, one should never ever rest on one’s oars. Even if your business is doing great currently, it can definitely do better, unless of course you are one of those not interested in making money. I can categorically tell you that I don’t know of any, do you? Thought as much.
The Nigerian Online Retail Store Business is one of the fastest growing business opportunities you can find at the moment in Nigeria. The results of a recent study done by one of Nigeria’s foremost management companies, Philips consulting, revealed that Nigerians spend over than N1.3 billion monthly on online shopping with Jumia enjoying 38% of the market and Konga coming a close second with 26% among others including dealdey, Olx and Kaymu.
Starting an online store today has become simpler than ever before. Anyone with a computer or even a smart phone can get started within a couple of minutes and you don’t even need any super power skills. You don’t have to be a programmer to start a successful online store. And more importantly, you can sell anything and everything, so far it’s not contraband anyways. As long as you have a personal product that people really want, or some awesome ideas about how to sell useful, original products that other people are making, you’ll always be able to improve your revenue stream thanks to the online retail industry. You don’t even need a personal website. Did I also tell you that you don’t need to have a product you made yourself in order to sell? So, I just did. You can take other people’s product and sell them for commission. There are intermediaries that facilitate that for you. The likes of Amazon, ebay, Jumia and Konga are just a few of the more prominent names in this area-enter affiliate marketing. Service providers are not left out in this either. You can create an online office to showcase the services you offer, whether you are a Caterer, or an interior decorator. This will enable you to project yourself to a whole new category of audience. It also helps to move you higher in the credibility rankings. In case you are interested in starting your own personal online store, and I do recommend that especially if you are a a creative type; fashion designers, artists, and the likes, this next section is for you. You could even be a farmer with farm produce to market, or maybe you just wish to start your own online supermarket.
The following are just a couple of products/services you could consider selling online:
- Paintings and other artworks
- Old Household Scraps
- Electrical appliances
- Mobile gadgets such as Phones, Tablets
- Other home appliances
- Event planning
By following the steps below, you can have your own online store up and running within minutes of reading this blog. I’m not just going to be giving you blind directions. These are tried and trusted steps that have worked for others, and they can work for you too. You can setup your online store with WordPress in 45 minutes or less by simply following the directions in this tutorial.
Six (6) things you will learn:
- Choosing a product to sell
- Choosing a flexible online store platform
- How to Register a free Domain Name and web hsting account
- How to Install WordPress
- How to Create a WooCommerce store
- How to Add Products in your Online Store
Step 1: Choosing the products to sell:
Obviously, if you have decided that you want to launch an online store, the first thing that should come to your mind is determining what and what to place on your virtual shelfs…logical right? If you are responsible for creating those products yourself, then fine. All you have to do is create a couple of your products in advance, as far as your resources will allow. However, if you are going to be selling other people’s products, then it’s a good idea to carry out a background check on which products are available for you to sell. It’s better to go with products that people will actually be interested in, rather than a product with little obvious usability just because of the eye watering profit margin involved. Try to strike a balance between your long and short term profitability. Turnover is the basis of most successful small businesses. You can scale your investments according to your targets. This will ensure that you don’t end up being out of cash just because you placed all your eggs in the wrong basket.
Step 2: Choosing a flexible Online Store Platform
There are two popular e-Commerce platforms that I recommend: Shopify or WordPress + WooCommerce. Shopify is a fully hosted e-Commerce solution that starts at $29 / month. It’s a hassle-free solution where you just login and start selling just like you would open a gmail address. The downside to Shopify is that it gets quite expensive, and your payment options are limited unless you pay additional fees. Also the package is not easily customizable as you are kinda stuck with features that ship with the platform
This is why most users choose WordPress + WooCommerce because of the flexibility it offers. Even though it requires a more technical setup, it’s well worth the hassle at the end of the day. WooCommerce is the world’s largest eCommerce platform. Woocommerce currently runs on is 22,097,921 online stores and counting globally.
In this tutorial, we will concern ourselves with how to setup an online store in WordPress using WooCommerce. To setup your store, you need to have a domain name, web hosting, and a SSL certificate.
A domain name is your website’s address on the internet. It is what users will type in their browsers to reach your website (for example: google.com or smenigeria.info). Web hosting is where your website files are stored on the internet. It’s your website’s residence on the internet. Every website on the internet is being served from a web host.
SSL certificate adds a special layer of security on your website. It enables you to safely accept sensitive information such as credit card numbers and other personal information. This is a prerequisite condition which you must satisfy for you to accept credit card payments on your website.
Normally a domain name costs around N4000 per year, while serious web hosting can be procured for about N1000 per month, and SSL certificate can cost upwards of around N56000 in a year. Thankfully, domainking, one of the most prominent web hosting comapanies in Nigeria offers our users a free domain name and a discount on web hosting when you subscribe for their hosting plans. You can get all this starting from just N3000 per year. Simply sign up here.
Let’s go ahead and purchase your domain + hosting + SSL. If you use the link on this site, you will qualify for 30% discount on your first hosting plan with domainking. That’s apart from the freebies highlighted earlier. Simply choose a web hosting package of your choice and then choose a domain name that you like and is available (nobody is already using it).
You can pay with your Nigerian Debit card or at the bank. It doesn’t matter either way. After payment you will recieve a confirmatory email containing your login details on domainking. The next step is to setup your WordPress site and then your online store.
Step 2. Setting up WordPress
WordPress installation on domainking is a breeze, and its free! WooCommerce installlation also follows the same pattern.
Watch out for part 2:
NOTE: Please be aware that this post contains referral link, and we will earn a small commission when you make use of them. This extra commission does not in any way affect the final cost of your transaction. We would get this commission for recommending just about any hosting company, but we only recommend products that we use personally and believe will add value to our readers. Thank you.
In the meantime you can check out how to register your business name to reflect you unique brand with the Nigerian CAC here.