How To Start a Dropshipping Business in Nigeria; 6 Easy Steps!
Dropshipping is a fast growing and extremely lucrative bussines venture. If properly managed, it can bring in good income for an entrepreneur.
It’s low cost start up fees makes it just optimum for entrepreneurs in a country like Nigeria to jump on. Not withstanding, dropshipping is very tricky and if one goes in blindly failure might occur.
If you have heard about dropshipping and you’re willing to engage yourself with it but you do not know how, this article is for you. Fasten your seatbelts, hold on to something too! We’re going for a joy ride
What Is Dropshipping and How Does It Work?
Dropshipping in simple terms is the business of providing goods by direct delivery from the manufacturer to the retailer or customer. But for the complex, big english speaking Nigerians,
Drop shipping is a supply chain management method in which the retailer does not keep goods in stock but instead transfers the customer orders and shipment details to either the manufacturer, another retailer, or a wholesaler, who then ships the goods directly to the customer. – Wikipedia
Easy as it sounds, dropshipping is good. Just Like any other profit oriented venture, dropshipping comes with its Advantages and disadvantages too.
Pros of Dropshipping
• Low Startup Costs
Top on the list of why you should jump into a drop shipping business is the fact that it requires little money to set up. In addition, the risk of running into debt from stocking your warehouse is totally eliminated. There is no warehouse to stock!
So Instead of purchasing an extensive inventory which may end up not selling at all, you can set up a dropshipping venture with no inventory and have your alerts coming in almost immediately.
• Low Cost of inventory
Having warehouses come with the extra expense of purchasing inventories. Most at times, you are forced to reduce your stock because your inventory is absolute.
On the bright side, Dropshipping let’s you avoid these issues and focus on building your brand and growing your customer base.
• Minimal Order Fulfillment Costs
Order fulfillment is the process of organizing, tracking, labeling
picking, packing and shiping your stock. Doesn’t that already sound like plenty headache? With
Dropshipping the process is handled by a third party.
• Increased product variety
With limitations like space and overhead cost eliminated, a retailer is free to offer their customers something everyone loves: more choices. Dropshipping allows for a vast, flexible inventory that assures more returns on sales.
Cons of dropshipping
• Less control
Leaving your shipping process to be handled by third party, has its own detriments. You lose control. This is why it’s vital to work with a legitimate dropshipper. If an error occurs during the course of the shipping, the customer holds you to blame, when infact it’s on the dropshippers side.
•Dependence on Other People’s Stock
Dropshipping leaves totally at the mercy of your suppliers. Being that you don’t control your supplier’s inventory. If they run out of stock, you run out of stock.
This will result in longer lead times and you may lose customers.
• lesser profit
With dropshipping, there’s no bulk shipping which means You’ll likely pay more for each good you sell as compared to paying less for a large inventory of goods.
How to start a dropshipping business from Nigeria
Now that you’ve considered the advantages and disadvantages if you are willing to move into starting a dropshipping business, you’ll find out how in this 6 steps:
1. Choose a Niche
A niche refers to a very focused group of products. Tailoring your dropshipping business to offer just a group of products is very beneficial. Picking a group of products you have good background knowledge on will leave you at additional advantage over your competitors.
Once you’ve choose a niche for yourself, it’s time to swing into research-action. Gather all the information you can about the niche you choose. This will help you to fully understand the products and also make it easy for you to spot anything fishy about the pricing of the products, the packaging ,the process and other things related to the products.
You may want to carve a niche out of something you’re genuinely interested in, this works most times but sometimes the products in that niche may be on low demand rates and you’ll have to pick another.
Your niche has to be tailored down enough, very specific. You don’t want to go marketing for all “house funitres” when you could just do for “dinning seats” and leave the rest for others. Be sure to select a niche with good demand rates in Nigeria or you may become discouraged, because scaling a drop shipping business is a whole lot of work.
2. Find a supplier
Once you’ve picked a good niche and have fully understood the niche, the next step is finding a good supplier. Dropshipping leaves you totally dependent on your supplier to deliver goods.
It is important that you don’t rush in taking this step as having a wrong supplier can be extremely unhealthy for your business.
For Nigerian dropshipping companies, your supplier is most likely going to be based outside the country. Chinese based company, Alibaba is one of the largest online resources to identify and communicate with potential manufacturers and suppliers. Aliexpress is also a great place to look in. Both platforms have relatively cheaper products pricing which means more profit scalability on your business. For a Nigerian dropshipping business, Aliexpress should be your pick. Their policies are very favorable and prices are much lower.
If your niche entails rare goods that can’t be seen on the above platforms, you may have to employ search engine services in looking for a supplier. Before picking a supplier, make sure to ask a lot of questions and learn what their production capacities are. Should in case your business grows speedily, you have to be sure your supplier has the ability to scale with you.
3. Create an Online Store
Your online store is where the goods you offer will be displayed and purchases be made. They’re a variety of resource platforms used for the creation of online stores.
Shopify is a platform that allows you create an online store to display goods, receive payments and to also to track orders and customers. Apart from creating and owning an online store, Shopify also gives you the ability to customize your store to taste with themes, plugins and other functionalities. Shopify is one best platform for dropshipping if you are a newbie or even a professional. It allows you to focus on your business by branding and marketing your products while they manage your store for you for just a small fee.
WordPress is another great platform to host your online store on. It also gives you total control. WordPress has its own themes and plugins that can enable you customize your store to your taste.
If all this seems too hard for you to get your arms around, you can employ the service of a web developer. It may cost you some good money, depending on the developer but it will make the whole process a lot easier.
4. Market your business
When all 3 steps above have been crossed out of your list, you have an online store, you know the products you’re offering and you have your supplier handy. Marketing your products will be your next major concern in setting up your Dropshipping business.
Marketing online is called ‘digital marketing’ and it differs widely from offline marketing. You will have to market your business with social. media platforms like Facebook, twitter, Instagram and also place paid adverts on blogs your potential customer might be reading from. Email marketing is another great tool you’ll have to utilize for retargeting customers.
To ensure a successful dropshipping business in Nigeria, you’ll need to build a strong social media base so your customers and potential customers can easily connect with you and also try to hold up a good brand impression and reputation to gain the trust of customers.
Dropshipping is not a static business. Trends, demand patterns and other factors that affect the sales of goods can change at any time. Being able to spot these changes that may affect your business and adapting early to them in the best way will keep you far ahead of the competition.
Also, measuring your success periodically and knowing which areas of your marketing campaigns are doing well and the ones that are not is highly beneficial. This will help you know where to put in more energy for greater results and where not to, to save time and resources.
Dropshipping is one business that can bring in a good stream of income when done right. If you follow the proper channels, you’ll surely be smiling back from the bank every now and then.