Why your startup e-commerce site may not sell in Nigeria, and the way forward.

by | Nov 21, 2017 | Africa, Brand, Business, Freelance, Marketing, Self Development, Websites | 0 comments

There are some things e-commerce sites need to take into account when selling to Nigerians. Many of us don’t know how to use payment platforms. This is not a joke, it’s pretty sad. Your startup is at the mercy of a suspicious, misinformed and inefficient digital market and culture. Better come prepared. 

  The next struggle you will face is with finding the right payment gateway. For Nigerians, you may have to use a business name or registration certificate to validate your vogue pay account. Without this, you are likely to lose a lot of sales. Now the payment is going through but you know what?   Visitors may continue ordering items using bank transfer method if it’s available. The worst part is, they don’t do the bank transfer. You would then keep sending emails to these people to educate them about card payments. Sometimes you would also send reminders for the bank transfer but it’s almost impossible to get through to them.   Another related problem is that Nigerians may find it difficult operating their emails. Yes, even those who have really great facebook skills. Emails are supposed to be the most important IT knowledge every student or graduate should understand because they always open you up to opportunities.   Yet it seems a lot of people don’t check the emails about orders they placed. Imagine what Jumia and other e-commerce giants go through. They must be getting thousands of unpaid orders daily. Meanwhile, a lot of Nigerians don’t know the difference between an invoice and a receipt, do you?

How does this affect your E-commerce Framework?

You need to be aware that you are selling something that could have a market offline but initially has zero markets online. Chances are that the people who want to purchase from you would prefer to see your face or walk into your office.   This means that without a trustworthy selling framework. You are doomed to seeing a lot of your traffic swimming around your offers but not taking the bait. This brings us to answering the questions “What makes a buyer trust and close on purchases?”  

1. Load time:

Your website cannot afford too long load time. If you notice that the site does not load quickly enough, you need to do an assessment of your platform to detect plugins or theme features that may be slowing it down. You can either deactivate some or delete them.  

2. Wordings:

Many website themes and especially the woocommerce plugin which is most common for website purchases have difficult wordings. They are not too difficult but may not be explanatory enough for users. It’s recommended that you add extra instruction that would assure your users of their security on your site.  

3. Form length:

Some checkout systems have lengthy forms. It’s best that you reduce this to basics so users don’t get discouraged.  

4. Social Trust:

The essence of interacting with customers and asking for reviews is that many online users are impatient and suspicious. Especially in a clime like Africa and Nigeria.

A lot of Nigerians are on Facebook, a huge chunk of your traffic comes from there too. You need to be social and earn trust

 Running a social platform alongside your e-commerce site makes it easy to gain trust based on interactions and reviews from previous customers or clients. Don’t underestimate this.                           To cap this up, remember that emails are still your major accessory in the growing digital market. It’s personal and it’s like home. If your marketing platform would grow, it needs to deliver straight to the emails of your subscribers. This is why you need to be sure your market comprises of subscribers who have consciously opted to join your mailing list.  

Just before you leave, I found this truly insightful article published on Hustle Life. The article “Startup Failure Rate Statistics To Take In [2020]” is an highly recommended read for startup owners an teams.

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