Imagine if you can start a business in Nigeria with no capital, having customers around the globe, having a third party company doing all the shipping and inventory runs for you and you also won’t be having any sleepless nights on storage warehouse for your goods.
Not when you know about dropshipping!
Dropshipping Business in Nigeria
Starting a drop shipping business in Nigeria may just be a great idea for Nigeria entrepreneurs. Its an extremely lucrative and profitable business to start in Nigeria.
It may appear that it’s finally getting the recognition it deserved with the emergence of a number of dropshipping websites in Nigeria but:
be careful many sites that are listed on the list of dropshipping website in Nigeria as well as many dropshipping companies are fraudulent sites.
Take your time and do your due diligence before you do any business with anyone or any website.
Shipping goods to Nigeria from countries like the US, UK, Dubai or China would require a substantial amount of capital not to mention high inventory cost and associated taxes;
But what if you can start a shipping business in Nigeria and have your goods delivered directly to your customers anywhere in the world by a third party company who would take care of all shipping arrangements and inventory cost associated, and by the way, your goods won’t be shipped from Nigeria, but will be shipped from your suppliers ( from UK, China, Dubai e.t.c.) directly to your customers anywhere in the world.
And the best part…?
Your customers won’t even know you’re not the direct owner or seller of the product.
This kind of shipping business is known as DROP SHIPPING.
Start a Dropshipping Business in Nigeria
Starting a dropshipping business in Nigeria is a wonderful first step into entrepreneurship. You’ll be able to sell thousands of products to customers, set your own product prices, market and begin to build your very own brand. You don’t even need to pay for inventory until it’s sold to an actual customer.
Looking for the ultimate guide to dropshipping business in Nigeria?
You’re in the right place!
I will be showing you, step-by_step, how to start your own dropshipping business in Nigeria or anywhere else.
In this article I will also cover what dropshipping business is all about,
Advantages and disadvantages of dropshipping business
What are the differences between the dropshipping business model and the traditional e-commerce model,
And most importantly a step by step guide on how to start this business with little or no capital.
Let’s begin by asking the question:
What is Dropshipping?
It is simply selling products without having, producing or buying them in stock.
It is in actual sense, a retail fulfillment method where a store doesn’t keep the products it sells in stock. Instead, when a store sells a product, it purchases the item from a third party and has it shipped directly to the customer.
The Dropshipping business model enables a business to operate without maintaining inventory, owning a warehouse to store their products or even having to ship their products to their customers themselves.
Summarily, this is how dropshipping works;
First you create an online store and add your product to it ( note that this product is only pictures and descriptions of the product, which is not yours but your supplier’s).
As soon as you make any sales, all you have to do is contact your third-party supplier (owner of the product), this you do by quickly transferring your customer’s order, address and paying the supplier from the sales you made. The supplier in turn, make the shipment directly to your customer’s specified address.
The supplier might even add your brand name to the product if you have previously agreed these terms with him.
Advantage’s of dropshipping business.
- Low capital investment: One of the biggest advantages of dropshipping is that you can launch your own online store without having to sink hundreds or thousands of dollars into inventory.
- Low barrier to entry: Other than finding a supplier and setting up your online store, running an e-commerce business is easier to start and run when you aren’t dealing with physical inventory.
- Low overhead costs: You don’t have to deal with purchasing inventory and managing or storage facility, keeping your expenses nice and low. You could run your dropshipping business from home from a laptop!
- Location flexibility: No need for paying expensive rents, as long as you have a connection to the internet, your drop shipping business can be run from just about anywhere.
- Easy to scale: By leveraging drop shipping suppliers, the majority of the work will be borne by the suppliers, allowing you easier expansion and scaling with less work.
A great dropshipping business begins with finding hot selling products to dropship. Here’s a list of 10 top selling dropshipping product
Disadvantages of dropshipping business.
- Low margins: The biggest disadvantage to operating in a highly competitive dropshipping market means lower margins. Because it’s so easy to get started with low overhead costs, many sellers will start their store products with super low prices in an attempt to quickly make sales and grow revenue.
- Shipping and returns: If you’re using more than one supplier, as many dropshippers do, this can complicate your shipping costs as they can vary from supplier to supplier. You also lose control over shipping quality and speed.
- Lack of physical contact with products: In dropshipping, every time work with suppliers you are also outsourcing some of your customer satisfaction. Someone else is building and sending out a product which is a huge part of the overall customer experience. If anything goes wrong from the supplier’s end, the customer will not blame the supplier but you and even when you try to pass the blame, you would be seen as amateur and unprofessional.
Differences between Dropshipping and Traditional Retail Model business.
One of the most prominent difference between dropshipping and the standard retail model is that the selling merchant doesn’t stock in a warehouse or own inventory. Instead, the he purchases inventory from a third party who could be a wholesaler or manufacturer to fulfill his customer orders. The dropshipper only have to focus on marketing his online store and driving sales.
I have compiled a list of 10 top selling dropshipping products 2019, get it for free HERE
How To Start A Dropshipping Business.
Since you’re reading this post, I will assume you have developed some kind of interest in this business and would want to know a little more about it.
Just like any other legitimate business, a lot of work is required especially at market entry to make it successful, although you will need to put in the required work, I will outline one of the easiest step by step guide to starting a dropshipping business in Nigeria.
Step 1: Finding a niche.
A business niche is that unique section of the market that you want to focus your business on.
If you want to be a great dropshipper, you ought to focus more on selling unique products and products that are solving some specific customers needs.
Researching products that you would be selling is the ultimate goal at this stage, again focus on products that are most beneficial to your would-be customers and stick to only that product line in other words choose a niche.
You would always be seen as more reliable and professional if your store focuses on a specific business niche.
Pick a niche you’re sure will give you good sales. For example you cannot pick a niche in building materials knowing well that most of these materials are bulky, weighty and will be pretty difficult to dropship. Your would-be customers on the other hand, are most likely to buy such products from a close-by building materials store rather than dropshipping it across border.
So choose your niche carefully.
After you have your target niche, its now time to choose “winning products” under that niche that you can add to your store and sell.
To search for winning products that you will be adding to your store;
Now go to aliexpress, you can also use other Chinese B2B market place like dhgate.
I choose aliexpress because most sellers on this platform are experienced dropshipper’s and are either the direct manufacturer or direct company wholesaler.
For the above reasons, it’ll be safest to us at this platform for your business and beside these you can get very cheap products that you can make a profit of between 500% to 1000%.
From aliexpress search bar, type in the unique product niche you have found earlier.
You want to major in phones and tablets, type this in the search bar.
From the displayed result, you can filter the result further with the number of order query; this will make the top selling products with the highest orders to be displayed first (if the product is selling that fast, then its worth checking out).
You can also visit the stores of aliexpress top sellers, their top selling product are most likely hot products, or you can ask them nicely what products are selling fast.
Another way to figure out top selling products is to type in the product name in Instagram news feed, if you see lots of ads on the product, it is a possible indication that the product is top selling ( no one will continue to pay money for same ads if the product is not doing well).
You can also use sites like ecomhunt, watchcount e.t.c, to find hot selling products.
Finding the best selling dropshipping product is the foundation of a successful dropshipping business. Get my list of 10 best selling dropshipping products 2019 HERE FOR FREE
In many businesses, we try to avoid the saturated products, but in this dropshipping business model, its exactly the opposite, saturation means the product is hot in demand, and the product is selling fast. This will also make it easy for you to successfully scale a drop shipping business.
It is usually a great idea to check out a product life cycle before finally deciding to sell such. Some products have been selling large volumes for a while, you don’t want to enlist for a competition during its closing ceremony.
You can check if a product is in its uptrend or downtrend by simply copying the product name or description into the Google trends search bar and selecting search.
This would help you to know if the market for the product is rising or decreasing.
If the product is already on it’s downtrend, then try to avoid listing it in your store no matter how much its selling at that present time.
See above, example of Google trend of a top selling dropship product. You can get a FREE list of 10 top selling product to dropship in 2019 HERE
Step 3: Finding a supplier.
After you have successfully made a choice of the kind of products to dropship or you want to be selling in your online store, you now need to find reliable suppliers for such product niche.
As a dropshipper, you’re the brain of the business while your suppliers are the legs,hands and the backbone of your business.
Doing business with wrong and inexperienced suppliers can spell doom for your business, so it’s important that you don’t rush this step. Diligently search out trusted suppliers those with AA ratings with little or no history of disputes. Most drop shipping suppliers that are good for Nigerians businesses are located in China especially aliexpress.
To search for top product suppliers; go to aliexpress, from the search bar, type in the unique product niche you have found earlier.
From the displayed list, you can now begin to contact aliexpress diamond or crown-rated suppliers for any of the product that catches your eyes.
Ensure the product price is OK compared to the other listed products, ensure the seller is rated AA.
A general rule of thumb for me that I want you to apply, I only do business with sellers that have positive comments, reviews and ratings not lower than 97%.
If you find your ideal supplier or suppliers, ensure you ask a lot of questions and learn what their production capabilities are in the event that your business grows exponentially. You want to be certain they have the ability to scale with you.
Step 4: Choosing your platform.
This would be the place where you would be driving all your traffic to, this is your online store.
When you are starting a dropshipping business in Nigeria, you would have two platform option to choose from. You either decide to set up your own e-commerce store such as shopify or WordPress WooCommerce online store or you can sell on popular Nigeria e-commerce platform like konga, jumia, jiji or olx.
Shopify allows you to register with them and customize your online store within minutes. They offer many range of service from hosting, Domain name, Design, CMC, Payment Gateways, e-commerce plugins and everything else you need to profitably start a successful online store.
Shopify is one of the best platform for dropshipping. It allows you to focus on your business by branding and marketing your products while they manage your store for you. You can create your store and ready to start selling immediately within minutes.
The best part is that shopify offer a free 14 day trial. You can in that time set-up your store, start marketing and make enough money to pay for the paid plan after the 14 days free trial expires.
Shopify basic plan is just $29 per month. But this is nothing when compared to the money you would realise.
The next great option if you want to build your own e-commerce store is WordPress. With this platform you need to get a domain name and get a hosting plan for it, all of which can be provided by WordPress. If you choose to have a seperate hosting company, your host company will then be responsible for hosting your e-commerce store and keeping your store data files.
After this you can now install e-commerce plugin software ( WooCommece ) on your WordPress site. This is usually a easy one-click installation procedure. You can start tweaking and customizing the website to your taste. Here you will literally create and brand your website yourself without any knowledge of coding or HTML.
The final option is to use platforms in Nigeria like: Jumia, Konga, jiji or olx e.t.c, that allows other merchants to sell on their platform.
Step 5: Promoting your dropshipping business.
Many people sleep on marketing their store, if you really are serious about this business, you must give a 100% attention to promoting or marketing your products.
The major purpose of venturing into a dropshipping business is to sell something and this can only be achieved by constantly looking for innovative and cost-effective ways to promote your business.
If you have a great hot selling product and a well branded website , and no customer is coming over to your site to view your products, then you don’t have any chance of succeeding in this business or at the very best;
you are out of business!
For a physical store, on the side of the road you might by chance have a couple of customers walk through the door without you promoting your store, but with online store, that ain’t gonna happen.
Let me put it like this;
Nothing happens in your digital store until you promote it, PERIOD!
Never underestimate the importance of using digital marketing to grow your customer base.
One of the most effective ways to put your products in front of the right audience is through instagram and Instagram influencers.
Other ways includes, using SEO to optimise for certain keywords on search engines like Google and many more growth hacking tactics you can use.
If you are starting out as a beginner dropshipper, NEVER USE FACEBOOK ADS to promote your business.
Here are some reasons you should you avoid Facebook ads in the beginning stages of your business:
For a Facebook ads to be successful, the ads must be displayed in front of the right people who are in need of such product; This is called ads targeting.
For a fresh dropshipper, you do not have any tangible data of people who comes to your store, what kind of products they like, what age brackets and so on.
Hence if you choose to go into Facebook ads without telling Facebook who to show your ads to, then your ads campaign will be fruitless.
If you still choose to go this route as a beginner dropshipper in spite of all I said; then you will be spending a lot of cash on multiple Facebook ads before you would finally be able to determine what your ideal customers look like.
This will cost you a fortune before you can even begin to get enough customers to drive any sales how much more make profit.
Step 5 Start making money dropshipping
Now that you have followed all the 4 steps outline above, it time for you to make money dropshipping in Nigeria.
But before you salivate!
Have you even wondered!
How will you withdraw all the money you will be making in this business?
The most handy answer as at the time of writing this article, is PayPal.
Just open a PayPal account, link it to your online store and all the payments that your customers make will be stored in your PayPal account which you can withdraw anytime.
When opening a PayPal account in Nigeria, do not use the Nigeria PayPal homepage where you can only open a personal account and not a business account.
A personal account on PayPal can only be used to make payments but cannot receive payments.
Make sure you open a PayPal account with any country that permits a business PayPal account, that’s the one you can link to your store and receive payments from your customers.
You can watch my YouTube video where I explained how to overcome the barrier of PayPal personal account which is the only account PayPal permits Nigerians to have to opening a corporate PayPal account which you can actually use for your online store.
Drop shipping can prove to be an amazing source of residual stream of income when docountryrectly following the step by step guide to dropshipping business in Nigeria as I outlined in this article.
I want you to try your hands on this business and if you have any questions, suggestion or contribution feel free to reach out to me, or if you need any help you can let me know in the comment box below.
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While Dropshipping is a great way to make money online, there are other awesome ways to do so.
Check out 50 amazing ways make money online.