Dropshipping is gaining more traction in Nigeria and people are starting to plug into it as a business. If this is your first foray into entrepreneurship, which means that you are basically a newbie, dropshipping may just be right for you. Its unique business model allows you to be relatively comfortable without taking on too much risk as you begin. To go into dropshipping in Nigeria means you have to finetune your business to cater to the Nigerian market. In this article, you will learn how to get started in dropshipping, how to pick a product to sell, what to do about getting paid and more. Before we go any further, this is a quick explanation of what dropshipping is.
What Is Dropshipping?
Dropshipping is a retail business unique from other business models. You do have to actually have the products you sell with you or in stock. The products are kept with the supplier or manufacturer until they are actually sold to the customer. Your job in dropshipping is to connect the buyers with the suppliers. Inventory and product shipment is handled solely by the supplier, so what exactly is your role? Your role is to promote a particular product for sale after you have sourced it from the producer. When a customer places an order for the product, you put in the order with the supplier and the supplier ships the product directly to the customer.
Steps To Starting Your Own Dropshipping Business
- Pick a Niche, Select A Product: Picking a niche is a very important aspect of dropshipping. It gives you an edge among other competition you may have. A niche is simply a specific type of product that would be useful to your potential customers but is not so readily available. This is why a bit of research would be very helpful. You can then find out the exact type of product that is best suited to your potential clients and what faction of them have enough buying power to purchase your product. Tools like Facebook Audience Insights, Google trends and trending topics on Twitter and Instagram are good places to start. You should also take time to learn to use the tools properly.
- Find A Supplier: The next thing to do is to find a reliable supplier for your product. You should try to find out as much as possible on manufacturers and suppliers that deal with the products you plan to sell. This way you are able to decide which one to go with. Alibaba and Aliexpress are the most used right now. They make deliveries in Nigeria and you can find a lot of quality vendors on the platforms. You will have access to information like delivery time and vendor rating.
- Select A Good Platform: Now you need to select a platform where you will sell your products. It is best to select one that you are comfortable with to start with. Platforms such as WordPress and Shopify allow you to create your own e-commerce website where you can sell only your products. Here you will be able to design your website to your taste and specifications. Another way to go is by using already available platforms like Jumia and Konga to sell your products. It is easier to set up your store on such platforms but of course, there is a percentage you have to pay.
- Market Your Products: As with any business you need to make sure you market it properly. Your efforts would be wasted if people don’t know about your amazing product. Take to try the channels where your potential customers spend the most time, that could be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or WhatsApp. Within a short time, you should be able to gauge which channel your customers respond to the most.
Your marketing efforts are very important because to a large extent, they determine how much you make after a full business day or week. You should run your campaign on multiple channels simultaneously to give you the best chance. This is another place where solid product selection comes into play. For instance, if you have selected a relatable product such as wristwatches for men and/or for women you will have a much easier time marketing them. Good brand watches go for about $17.99($18.00/N6525.00) on Aliexpress (you should compare prices on other platforms also). When you include standard shipping costs of about $2.57(N931.62), the whole purchase will cost you about N7456.63. You can market this product for N9,000 and include a shipping cost of N1,500. If you are able to sell 5(five) units a day, you are looking at a profit margin of over N15,000.
A Few Things To Note
You need to set up a payment gateway so a customer can pay you online. Of course, there is a percentage that goes to the gateway, so try to get information on them so as to find the one that suits you best. A few of them are:
- Vogue pay
The major difference between dropshipping and the traditional e-commerce business model is that you do not store the product. This, in turn, means that the risk is less but then, the profit margins are smaller. Dropshipping is advisable to start if you have limited access to funding and capital. You can manage the risk properly and subsequently expand as the business grows.