10 Steps to Start an Online Store in Nigeria

10 Steps to Start an Online Store in Nigeria

Are you ready to venture into the world of e-commerce and start your online store in Nigeria?

Nigeria has a noticeably growing digital ecosystem driven by the increasing internet penetration.

This is opening up opportunities for entrepreneurs looking to tap into the vast Industry of online retail.

But just before you dive right in, let’s take a look at key steps on how go successfully launch your e-commerce business and nurture its growth.

Benefits of Starting an E-commerce Business in Nigeria?

There are immense benefits to starting an e-commerce business in Nigeria are.

  • First off, you will adeptly reach a broader audience beyond your physical location, thus expanding your customer base exponentially.
  • Online store operates 24/7, providing the convenience of shopping round the clock from anywhere, at anytime.
  • Even more, you’d be able to lower your overhead costs when compared to when you have to out in place a brick-and-mortar stores, meaning that you have higher profit margins.

Looking at the increasing growth in the rate of mobile internet usage in the country, you can tap into a tech-savvy and increasingly digital population to run your business.

Steps to start an Online store in Nigeria

1. Decide Whether to Dropship or Keep Your Own Inventory

One important decision you need to make early on, is to fathom whether to opt for dropshipping or manage your own inventory. This depends on your initial capital.

Dropshipping allows you to partner with suppliers who directly ship products to customers, this is especially good for people starting their online business on a shoe string budget.

You’d be able to eliminate the need to store and manage stock yourself.

On the other hand, keeping your own inventory can give you more control over product quality and fulfilling orders.

However, you should aforehand Weigh the pros and cons of both options to determine the best fit for your business model.

2. Do Niche Research to Define Your Audience

Finding your online store niche is key to standing out in the competitive e-commerce market. Jumia, Konga and the rest of them is selling everything you can imagine, that doesn’t mean you should too.

You can do your research to pinpoint a target market that can better be explored, for example vintage and original brand fashions. Niches with specific needs and preferences will work for small scale entrepeneurs going to the explore the ecommerce market.

A well-defined niche allows you to curate products that resonate with your audience and provide a personalized shopping experience that in turn builds a strong customer loyalty and repeated purchases.

3. Network with Wholesalers and Suppliers

Establishing a strong business relationship industry players such as wholesalers and suppliers will succinctly help you to secure a steady supply of products. You need to have a list of wholesalers that you work with.

To find reliable partners, you need to conduct thorough market research to get mouthwatering prices and high-quality merchandise. Building a network of trusted suppliers is sacrosanct as it ensures smooth operations and timely deliveries to your customers.

4. Make Arrangements for Shipping

Proper arrangements on how to get customers’ orders to them should be in place before launching your online store.

Shipping logistics are vital to the success of your online store.

You should Determine the best shipping methods and carriers for delivering products to customers efficiently and cost-effectively.

Offer various shipping options to accommodate different customer preferences and budgets.

A seamless shipping process is one way to enhance customer experience and keep them coming back for more.

5. Register Your Business with CAC, SMEDAN, and FIRS TIN

The next line of action is to formalize your e-commerce venture by registering your business with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).

You need to obtain the necessary permits and licenses, including the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) registration.

Also, process and get a Tax Identification Number (TIN) from the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to how that your business complies with tax regulations.

6. Create Your Brand Assets

Branding your business to stand out is important, a visually appealing brand assets will help to establish your brand presence and stand out in a fiercely competitive market. You will be able to craft a unique and memorable brand identity that reflects the goal and mission of your business. Engage the service of an expert designer to create a captivating logo and other brand assets needed to  convey your brand’s values.

7. Set Up Your E-commerce Website

Next, is creating your ecommerce website, there are several ecommerce platforms that can be used to develop an ecommerce website with the most popular and pocket-friendly option being Shopify and WooCommerce + WordPress.

To determine which platform is best for you, you can out into consideration factors such as ease of use, customization options, and scalability. A user-friendly and well-designed ecommerce website enhances the prospective shoppers experience and make sales.

8. Optimize for SEO

Ensure your ecommerce website includes essential pages such as an About Us page, Contact Us page, delivery details and a detailed product catalog. An ecommerce website that is well optimized  for search engines by integrating relevant keywords, meta descriptions, and alt tags for product images will attract better organic traffic. Implementing SEO best practices helps improve your website’s visibility in search engine results, attracting organic traffic.

9. Create a Social Media marketing plan

Now that your website is up and you’re ready to start receiving orders, you can leverage the power of social media to promote your newly established online store. Commit to creating engaging posts, share some amazing product highlights, website walk-through and interact with your audience to build a loyal following. Platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter are great for harnessing  potential customers and driving targeted traffic back to your website.

10. Run PPC Campaigns

To kickstart your marketing efforts and generate instant visibility, consider running pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns on social media. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram offer targeted advertising options to reach specific demographics, interests, and behaviors. PPC campaigns can quickly drive traffic to your website and create brand awareness.


Starting an online store in Nigeria requires careful planning, strategic decision-making, and consistent efforts to succeed in the competitive e-commerce Industry. With the right approach and dedication, your e-commerce venture can thrive and contribute to the vibrant e-commerce ecosystem in Nigeria.

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