If you’re here looking for how to create an online store in Nigeria, you’re on the right page. Before I proceed, do you know that creating an online store isn’t as geeky as you may have thought?
Most times, people envision a scenario where you’re punching codes in the terminal of a computer system. Far from that, at this age, you don’t even need to have any programming skills to create an online store.
Based on how far technology has gone, all you have to do is drag and drop the essential features you need.
The only thing you need is finance to start this business, and dedication to this newfound dream of yours. If you play the ball well, you will find out that eCommerce is one of Nigeria’s most lucrative business ideas.
You don’t need millions to start. If there is something we believe here at bloghomies, it is starting small and growing to a giant. So, never be afraid to start small.
What you need to get started…
As an entrepreneur looking for a means to create an online store, the first question should be: how do I translate this idea to reality?
The answer to your question is this article, and in this section. I’m going to guide you on the basic things you need.
It is just three (3) things, and the good news is that you can quickly get them. They entail:
- A domain name (this is the name of your store, like bloghomies.com)
- A web hosting plan (this is the home of your website on the internet)
- An SSL certificate (I will teach you how to get it for free in the latter part of this article)
- Your undivided attention for thirty (30) minutes.
Do you think you can afford all these? Like the domain and hosting plan?
You don’t need to panic, as these things don’t cost much. For a starter, a one-year domain name and a web hosting plan won’t cost you more than #15,000, depending on the hosting company.
For instance, I use Namecheap (affiliate link), and my initial bill was #12,600 – both for domain and hosting.
To crown it all, they have an excellent customer service that makes me want to forever stick with them.
If you want my advice, I recommend Namecheap (affiliate link) if you want a smooth ride into the eCommerce world.
Since we have a lot to cover in this article, let’s get started to create an online store in Nigeria.
Table of Contents
- 1. Choose The Right Online Store Platform
- 2. Setting Up WordPress
- 3. Set Up WooCommerce
- 4. Add Products To Your Online Store
- 5. Design Of Your WordPress Store
- 6. Enhance Your Store With Plugins
- 7. Must-Have Relevant Pages
- 8. Delivery Arrangement
- 9. Marketing Strategies
- FAQs On How To Start An Online Store In Nigeria
- Over To You
1. Choose The Right Online Store Platform
One of the major mistakes people often make is going for the wrong platform. A situation like this is equivalent to building on sinking sand.
Luckily, you’re on this page and won’t have to make that mistake. In the eCommerce world, there are two most competing platforms you need to consider – Shopify and WordPress + WooComerce.
Shopify is a great platform to consider hosting your store with, but the problem is that it is somewhat expensive.
You know how the Nigerian naira keeps falling against the dollar, making it even more expensive. A month on Shopify cost $29, why settle for this when there is a more robust and cheaper option?
The answer is WordPress!
If you’ve been doing some reading before now, you probably have heard about this platform.
Maybe everything is still pretty confused right now. If so, don’t worry. It is normal to feel overwhelmed at this point.
To create an online store in Nigeria, you first need to understand the basic concept and terms. When done, you’re good to go!
For your sake, I would be guiding you on how you can create an online store with WooCommerce using WordPress.
Getting Your Domain And Hosting Account
The first step is to head over to Namecheap (affiliate link), and input your preferred business name as your domain. I have an article on how to choose a great domain name, and you might find it helpful.
After you’ve got your domain name, add a hosting plan to the cart. You’ll see more packages, like an SSL cert.
When it comes to hosting packages, go for EasyWp since it is WordPress powered. With this, you no longer need to log into a Cpanel to install WordPress.
Don’t tick the SSL cert, since I will be showing you how to get it using an incredible website.
Once Namecheap confirms your order, you will get an email almost immediately, detailing your invoice.
Within a couple of minutes, you should be able to log into your WordPress dashboard, with a URL that looks like www.example.com/wp-admin.
2. Setting Up WordPress
Since WordPress is already preinstalled, you won’t have to worry about going through a Cpanel. Your dashboard will look similar to the image below.
If you can read, you won’t have any difficulty understanding some elements. Don’t worry about anything for now, and go to Settings » General.
In the next interface, you can set up your WordPress title and description. If you can manage your Facebook account, you can do this.
Most people often pay web designers or developers to help them out. It is the right decision since it allows you to focus on the big picture.
If you want to hand over the initial setup of your online store to a professional, please head over to my Service Page.
But if you want to do it yourself, you’re the reason this article exists.
If that is the case, let’s move over to the next step on how to create an online store in Nigeria.
3. Set Up WooCommerce
WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin that allows you to sell through your WordPress website. With this plugin, you can set up a few things like currency, payments, shipping information, etc.
Head over to Plugins » New, search for WooCommerce. You will see it staring back at you on the screen.
Click the ‘install’ button, then ‘active.’ Once it is active, you will get a welcome message like the one below.
Click on the ‘Run the Setup Wizard’ to begin the process. After clicking the button, you will see a WooCommerce setup wizard where you can click the ‘Let’s go’ button to begin.
For your store to function correctly, it needs some vital pages like Checkout, Cart, Shop, and Account. In that case, click the continue button to proceed.
The next step is about telling WooCommerce where your store is located, the currency, and unit measures to use.
Since you’re in Nigeria, that means you will put Nigeria as your store location, and Naira as your currency.
When you’re done with this section, click on the continue button to move to the next stage. The next step is about your shipping and tax information.
If you’re going to be dealing with physical goods, click on ‘yes, I will be shipping physical products to customers.’
If you’re selling digital products like software, videos, music, etc., leave it unchecked, please, and click the continue button.
The next step will be your payment method, which is a crucial step you mustn’t leave. At this stage, you choose the method customers can use to pay for products.
By default, there is an option for PayPal and Stripe. Since Paypal doesn’t work in Nigeria, your best option will be Stripe.
With this feature, customers can enter their credit or debit card details on the checkout page without leaving your shop.
Follow the instruction to set up Stripe. If you can read, then you won’t have a problem at all.
Once everything is set up, your WooCommerce online store will be ready.
Do ensure you click on the ‘return to dashboard’ link to return to the dashboard. From here, you can start adding products to your online store.
4. Add Products To Your Online Store
To successfully run an online store in Nigeria, you need products. In that case, you’ll be learning how to add products to your store without hassles.
First, you need to visit Products » Add New page to add a new product. A new page will open for you to enter the title of the product and description.
When you take a look at the right column, you’ll see a ‘Product Category’ box that you can use to sort your products appropriately.
No doubt, this will ensure browsing and finding products on your store is easy. When you scroll down a little from the screen, you will see a Product Databox.
In this box, you can provide valuable information like pricing, inventory, and shipping.
When you scroll further down, you will see boxes to add product images or even a gallery. Take your time and go through every section of this page.
When you’re satisfied, gently click the ‘Publish’ button for it to go live on your store. When you visit your store’s homepage, you should find a new product in the right section.
However, it requires much more than products to run a successful online store in Nigeria. Do you know what else you need? A great looking store!
5. Design Of Your WordPress Store
In WordPress, what determines the appearance and overall design of your store is the theme you use.
There are lots of free and paid WordPress themes available that you can use.
Here is an article on how to set up a WordPress theme. The steps are pretty necessary and straightforward. All you will be doing is right-clicking on the right options.
Head over to Appearance » Themes. From the new interface, you can choose any theme you want.
Before you use a theme, ensure you check the demo to ensure you like the design. You need a responsive WordPress theme that loads fast and very light.
In that case, I recommend using Astra (affiliate link) since it is built for this purpose.
After successfully installing your theme, you can customize it to your preference by going to the Appearance » Customize.
Themes often come with documentation that guides you on how to make your store look like the demo.
In case you’re not very good with text, head over to YouTube and watch how it is done.
6. Enhance Your Store With Plugins
Before creating an online store in Nigeria, you need first to identify the features you need to run this business successfully.
After adding a theme, you might want to add some extra functions to your store. In that case, introducing – plugins!
WordPress plugins are apps that allow you to add more features to your store, like sliders, forms, galleries, etc.
Think of it like Apps on your phone. Each app has its functions, like the calculator, notes, messages, etc.
There are over 50,000 WordPress plugins. I made a list of most essential plugins to have on a WordPress website, do check it out.
With the right plugins, you will be making your online store more secure, fast, and sophisticated. Smartphones can’t do without apps, the same way your WordPress store can’t unless you’re a programmer.
7. Must-Have Relevant Pages
You may have noticed numerous websites having pages like “Home,” “About Us.” “Contact Us“, FAQ pages, etc.
At the top of this page, you’ll see something similar. If you’re an excellent writer, you can easily pull this off without issues.
However, if you’re in doubt about your writing skill, I recommend hiring an excellent freelance writer. Check the Service Page to contact me. I will help you get this done and in the most amazing way.
You need a professional to handle your content because an error is a turn-off to customers.
You don’t need a poorly written piece of garbage that creates the wrong impression of your online store.
Your “About Us” page should tell customers who you are and your mission and values. On this page, you have the opportunity to either wow or repulse them.
8. Delivery Arrangement
Unless you’re running a dropshipping business, in that case, you won’t have to worry about this. But if you’re managing your inventories or goods, then you will need a means of delivery.
You have only two options – you can either create your house delivery system or use a third-party delivery service.
The latter option is better since it cuts down on stress and headache of getting a vehicle. Since you might not be targeting Nigerians alone, it makes the third party option more appealing.
You can work with services like KOS (Konga Online Shipping), FedEx, Courier Plus, etc.
There are numerous of them on the market looking to help businesses like yours.
To run a successful online store in Nigeria, you must be able to make calculated decisions.
9. Marketing Strategies
Since you’re delving into the eCommerce world, marketing is something you shouldn’t neglect. You know why? It determines if you’ll succeed or not.
There are numerous ways you can utilize to promote or market your products, and they include:
- Social Media Marketing
- PPC Marketing
- Content Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Guest Blogging, etc.
You can also use some traditional methods, like TV or radio adverts. When you’re able to implore some incredible marketing strategies, you will see how buzzing your store will become.
No matter how big you grow, never stop promoting your store. With time, consistency, and dedication, you will build a strong brand that rings a bell.
FAQs On How To Start An Online Store In Nigeria
There are lots of great websites that you can use to create an online store in Nigeria. You can use WordPress + WooCommerce, Wix, Shopify, Squarespace, BigCommerce, Weebly, etc.
If you’re going to handle the setup, then creating an online store won’t cost you more than #15,000, provided you use a reliable host like Namecheap.
Of course, you can. The reason you’re an entrepreneur is that you can delegate. By so doing, you pay attention to the bigger picture. If you need to hire someone good and business-minded, please head over to the Service Page to hire me.
If you consider your online store a business venture, then treat it like one by registering your business with the CAC. Having a registered company opens a whole new world of opportunities.
Over To You
If you were able to read to this point, congratulations! To create, manage, and grow an online store in Nigeria, you need to be ready to learn.
The journey never ends!
At first, there will be sleepless nights and headaches. That is the stage where you have discovered a dream and fighting to realize it.
If you have enough business capital, that will make the journey even easier. But if you’re working on a tight budget, be ready to play it harder and smarter.
Apply the two-year rule, which forces you to focus on one business for two years. With that, your chance of success widens.
Before you start creating your online store, take a second to subscribe to the blog using the form below.
When you sign up, you will be receiving tips and tricks that will help you on this journey.
Don’t worry; it is FREE!
If you have more questions regarding starting an online shopping store in Nigeria, use the comment box, and I’ll guide you further.
In that light, success!