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Dropshipping in Nigeria: everything you need to know

Small ferry colorful cargo ship coming to Nigeria harbor for delivering goods and some are leaving after finishing the job of drop shipping
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Are you a millennial entrepreneur looking for a profitable business to venture in with small capital? Then, dropshipping can be your solution. Dropshipping in Nigeria is one of the emerging business opportunities with a high return on investment.

Why would I recommend a dropshipping business for you?

Aren’t they other better business opportunities in Nigeria that you can start with low capital?

Therefore this may be your question.

So, do relax as I will explain everything you need to know about the dropshipping business in Nigeria and why you must choose it.

I will be discussing:

  • What is a dropshipping business in Nigeria
  • How to start a dropshipping business in Nigeria?
  • Dropshipping Suppliers in Nigeria.
  • How to do dropshipping in Nigeria?

Now let’s get started.

What is a dropshipping business in Nigeria?

Dropshipping is an e-commerce kind of retail business where a store does not keep the products it sells.

Instead, after selling a product, it immediately purchases the products from a third party (dropshipping supplier) and has it shipped directly to the customer’s destination.

In a very simple form, dropshipping is when you, the seller, advertise a product on a blog platform or social media.

When any get ordered and paid for by a customer, you immediately purchase it from a supplier and have it shipped to your customer’s destination.

In dropshipping, you do not keep stock of goods.

So, you just have to partner with a dropshipping supplier to advertise available products.

It could be fashion products, electronics, cosmetics, and so on.

When a buyer orders and pays for the product, you immediately send the customer’s details to the dropshipping supplier to get it delivered to them without them knowing it is from that particular supplier.

I hope you get the gist of what dropshipping business means?

Here, there is no risk of having unsold stocks of products.

There is no risk of stock stolen.

This dropshipping business is as safe as the word safe.

Does dropshipping work in Nigeria?

It works perfectly well in Nigeria.

It is a very lucrative business that you can start anywhere in Nigeria.

So, as far as you have a smartphone or laptop, you can start this business in the comfort of your home.

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The start-up capital is low, and the return on investment is huge.

You just have to know the right sets of products that move fast in Nigeria.

Then you can specialize on them.

Therefore it may interest you to know that in Nigeria, 64% of the population often purchase products online.

Also, 83% regularly engage in specialized shopping.

In addition, this ranks Nigeria as the third nation in the world with the highest numbers of people that shop online after China and India.

So you could see that this business isn’t going anywhere.

It has come to stay.

Didn’t you notice that the number of people selling products on their social media handles has increased drastically during this lockdown period?

On social media, everyone appears to be selling one thing or another.

You can now see that many Nigerians are plugging into the idea of dropshipping.

You just have to get a trusted dropshipping supplier.

Then discuss the business operations with him or her, and you are good to go.

Can I dropship on foreign products?

Yes, of course.

Most Nigerians that are into dropshipping get their products from China, Hong Kong, or Singapore using Aliexpress.

The good thing is, as a Nigerian, you won’t pay tax duties on the imported goods.

Plus, you won’t be required to pay any extra shipping fees.

How to start a dropshipping business in Nigeria?

Step 1: Pick a niche

The first step in starting a dropshipping business is to choose the products you want to sell.

You can’t sell everything.

Don’t fall into that temptation of trying to sell everything.

So, it will make you lose focus on how to leverage your space against your competitors.

Like every other business, you need to do thorough research in choosing a specific niche carefully.

In addition, taking a glance at your social media pages can give you a hint on what aspect you want to specialize in.

You need to do some analysis carefully.

Are the majority of your followers, male or female?

Are they young or old?

These are the areas you should look into before choosing a niche.

If the majority of your followers are young ladies, for instance, you should know that the products that will be most appealing to them.

And are mostly fashion wears and beauty cosmetics if your followers are mostly young men.

You can go into electronic gadgets and men’s wears.

Is it necessary for me to make all these analyses?

They seem very stressful.

Yes, they are.

You will not want to start a business and close it down because of low patronage.

All these analyses are necessary for you to enjoy fast patronage.

After picking a niche, you need to study and understand the products; this includes:

  • Knowing the different brands (both local and international) of the products
  • Also, knowing the particular brand of the products that sell the most
  • Knowing the different qualities of the products
  • Knowing the pricing of the different brands and qualities of the products
  • And, knowing the process by which the products are shipped
  • Knowing your competitors and their mode of pricing

Lastly, you need to be passionate about your chosen niche.

If you aren’t, you will easily get discouraged.

Although this business is very profitable, it takes time for you to build trust and customer loyalty.

Step 2: Choose and secure a reliable Supplier

The second most important step on “how to start a dropshipping business” is to choose and secure a reliable supplier.

Take your time while choosing a supplier so that you can make the right choice.

Choosing the wrong supplier can ruin your business either partially or totally.

So please don’t rush while doing your research.

Most dropshipping suppliers are overseas.

Make communication an important factor in staying in touch.

If you are not convinced about a supplier, please move ahead to another.

Don’t risk your business.

Dropshipping suppliers in Nigeria:

1. Aliexpress

Aliexpress is not a store itself.

It is an online marketplace where different sellers display their products for sale.

In Nigeria, about 75% of goods drop shipped either from China, Singapore, or Hong Kong.

Therefore, Aliexpress provides the platform where you can go through the marketplace and look for a reliable seller that deals with the products on your chosen niche.

Most times, these suppliers ship good for free to Nigeria.

Most importantly, products gotten from suppliers on this platform are cheap.

So, normally Chinese made products hold an advantageous significant position in pricing in the market sphere.

You must notify the suppliers that you are a dropshipper.

With this notification, the supplier will sell the products to you at a wholesale price.

You then become a business partner to the supplier.

When a customer orders a product, you will just send the customers details to the supplier.

They will get it delivered without any invoice or promotional materials, thereby concealing where the products are from.

Pros:

  • Aliexpress sellers have the option to provide free shipping to any country in the world.
  • Using Aliexpress, you can sell to customers that are not residing in Nigeria. It will be equally delivered to them seamlessly.
  • The pricing of the good is comparatively cheaper than those gotten from local suppliers.

Cons:

  • Much longer shipping duration. It normally takes one week to a month for products ordered from Aliexpress to reach its desired destinations.
  • It is nearly impossible for you to refund or exchange products for your customers. You must note that all products from Aliexpress are from China. Returning it to the dropshipping supplier in terms of damages is nearly impossible. In this case, the drop shipper bears the loss.

2. Oberlo

Founded in 2015, Oberlo is an e-commerce platform that simplifies the task of a drop shipper in securing a dropshipping supplier.

This e-commerce platform helps you to seek suppliers after choosing your business niche.

So, you don’t have to go around to find the right dropshipping suppliers, the content creation automatically done by Oberlo draws them to you.

Oberlo connects you to thousands of sellers on different products.

With Oberlo, you can easily source and import products from Aliexpress.

Oberlo aims at helping you to import products to dropship easily.

Best of all, you can relax, have an Oberlo package, and ship them to your customers.

The interesting thing about this platform is that it is available worldwide, not only in Nigeria.

After Oberlo has shifted your order, it automatically updates your online business store’s status and notifies the buyer.

To enjoy all these benefits, you just have to create and maintain an account with them.

Pros:

  • It ensures quick and secured importation of products from Aliexpress
  • Provision of sales and shipping tracking options. That is, it gives you the leverage to choose the tracking option you will want to employ
  • Ability to change suppliers whenever you feel like
  • Daily products syncing
  • Automated product order fulfillment
  • Pricing and inventory automation

Cons:

  • Only Aliexpress is supported
  • Only works with Shopify
  • Oberlo does not support products editing
  • No option to work as a standalone service

3. Jumia

Jumia is consider as the Amazon of Africa.

You can easily secure a supplier while starting a dropshipping business in Jumia.

One of the notable dropshipping suppliers you can easily contact through Jumia is Chinabrands.

So, Chinabrands is a leading global dropshipping wholesaler who specializes in wholesale and dropshipping products from China.

They serve wide globe customers in over 200 countries in the world.

Pros:

  • Faster shipments of products: Chinabrands has warehouses in different parts of the world. So your dropshipped products can easily get to your customers. They also partnered with shipping companies like DHL and EMS to ensure door to door delivery of products.
  • Cheap: Quality products are affordable prices. Using this dropshipping supplier, you make a higher profit margin.
  • Variety: This dropshipping supplier exposes you to a variety of products in your niche than anyone can get from a local store. This makes your dropshipping business not to look local.
  • Quality: In Chinabrands, there is hardly a mistake in product quality. Suppliers are all reviewed, and quality assurance guaranteed.
  • Automation: Suppliers at Chinabrands offers fully automated order fulfillment to your designated customers.
  • Huge inventory: Chinabrands is always honest with you when it regards available stocks. As a dropshipper, you have access to the inventory data of suppliers on this platform.

Cons:

  • Poor customer’s services: They hardly attend to their emails
  • Their refund and return policy are not reliable. They hardly refund products. But, using a PayPal account gives you a chance to be refunded over damaged goods in monetary terms
  • Damaged or faulty products are sometimes dropship.
  • Their pricing is good, but their dropshipping service is poor.

4. Shopify

It is in the market leader for dropshipping applications.

It is one of the best platforms to associate with as an entrepreneur starting a dropshipping business.

While using this platform, you are advise to do your ethical research before committing to a supplier.

You must note that for you to have access to dropshipping suppliers on this platform, you must pay a membership fee of $9.

Usually, a 14-day trial period is offered to new drop shippers to experiment on the site.

As an individual operating a dropshipping business on Shopify, you can optimize settings based on:

  • Free shipping rates
  • Price-based rates
  • Weight-based rates
  • Flat rates
  • Calculated shipping rates

Shopify web application provides a number of dropshipping apps that work in Nigeria in connecting you to a supplier.

Some of the apps are:

  • ShopMaster Dropshipping
  • Oberlo – Dropshipping App
  • EPROLO – Dropshipping and Branding
  • Importify – Easy Dropshipping
  • DSers – AliExpress Dropshipping
  • Dropified – Dropshipping

5. Kara.com.ng

If you are starting a dropshipping business in Nigeria that deals in electronics and mobile gadgets, then Kara.com.ng is the best place to connect to dropshipping suppliers.

It is a marketplace solely for electronic and mobile gadgets.

Accessing this site is free.

Suppliers on this platform seem to be very reliable.

But, the site is always on downtime mode making access to suppliers a little bit difficult.

6. Dropshipping Naija

Dropshipping Naija enables you to have instant access to over 200,000 wholesale products from their ever-growing supplier base.

So if you become one of their registered members, you will be granted uniform access to all their suppliers through a single, user-friendly interface.

So, dropshipping Naija grants you more time to spend growing your dropshipping business with their automated product and order management system.

Step 3: Choose your Platform

When starting a dropshipping business, choosing a platform will determine the survival and growth of your business.

You can either create your blog or join an existing e-commerce site.

If you ask for my advice, I will prefer you to go with the second alternative.

Ecommerce sites like Jumia, Konga, Jiji, and Shopify, allow drop shippers to do business there.

The best thing about these sites is that they are already well-known—thousands of people login to them daily.

So your business page is placed on the leverage of been visited by lots of people.

You can also save from the stress of spending money on managing a site or blog if you are to create yours.

Here, I will be discussing how to create a platform in Shopify and Jumia and the benefits you stand to enjoy.

Steps in creating a platform in Shopify:

1. Create a name

In creating a platform in Shopify, you must first create a name for your store.

In creating a name, it should be simple, creative, and unique.

Oberlo has gone further in helping you in generating a name for your Shopify dropshipping store.

You should note that Shopify and Oberlo are integrating.

So with Oberlo online business name generator, you can insert a keyword name that you want to include in your business name.

It will generate many names using your chosen keyword.

Then, you can scan through them and choose the one you prefer.

2. Creating a Shopify account

How to start:

You need first to visit the Shopify homepage.

Once it has loaded, you will see an empty field at the top of the screen where you need to input your email address.

After that, you will ask to create a password for your account and your proposed name for your Shopify dropshipping store.

You will then directed to answer a couple of questions, after which you can submit.

After submission, your account will automatically create.

3. Optimization of your Shopify’s account setting

At this point, you will optimize the setting of your newly created account.

The setting includes:

  • Payment options: How do you want your customers to pay you?
  • Store policies: It includes drafting out the terms and conditions of your store. Including your privacy and refund policy
  • Shipping rates: Here, you create definite and clear shipping rates for your products. You should always offer free shipping at the start.

4. Launching your Shopify Dropshipping store

After optimizing your account settings, you will require to launch the account.

How to start:

Simply access the Sales Channels option, select “add-in” on the online store option.

Once you have done that, you will have an account that is up and running.

5. Design your Shopify Dropshipping store

The design of your Shopify dropshipping store represents what your business stands for and your brand.

The two main aspects of design you should be careful about are:

  • Choosing a theme
  • Creating a logo

Imagine opening an online store, and the theme looks archaic and repelling.

How many of you will even bother to check out what they offer?

The theme shows your seriousness as a seller.

Shopify has some inbuilt themes that you can choose from.

You can also create one for yourself, if any, don’t meet your need.

So choosing a unique logo speaks out your brand, make sure your logo is unique and speaks about what you do.

6. Dropshipping with Oberlo

The Oberlo app is a great tool for you to begin importing dropshipped products into your Shopify store.

With this app, you can add up products to your store.

After this, you are good to start selling.

Benefits:

  • It allows you to sell via your Facebook and Instagram page.

Steps in creating a platform with Jumia:

In starting the dropshipping business by creating a platform in Jumia, there are some requirements you must meet.

They are:

  • You must be eighteen (18) years of age or above
  • You must have a Tax Identification Number (TIN)

1. Registration

To create a dropshipping account in Jumia, you must register as a vendor.

Just go to the Jumia website and scroll down to the bottom of the page.

On the button left corner, click on “sell on Jumia.”

You will be on another page.

Click on “start selling now.”

You will be on the page to a registration form to input some of your personal information.

You can then click submit after accepting the terms and conditions of Jumia.

2. Training session

After your registration process, you will get an email with a link to the “Vendor Hub” page.

There, you will be trained on how to sell effectively on the platform.

The training is complete both online and offline.

3. Product Listing and Content Creation

Product listing at the seller center page.

This process varies on whether your given niche products are already existing on Jumia or not.

After this step, you are good to go.

Step 4: Promote your dropshipping business

Starting a dropshipping business in Nigeria is very profitable.

Getting a good platform is good.

Getting a good supplier is a very much good.

But without adequate promotion, your dropshipping business will be a disaster.

So, you have to constantly look for innovative and cost-effective ways to promote your dropshipping business.

Since your dropshipping business is complete in the digital space, the most effective promotion method will be digital marketing.

Digital marketing cannot do anyhow, and you must have a strategy and a plan.

How do you want to generate and nurture your leads digitally?

This question will help you choose the right digital marketing strategy.

Examples are:

  1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  2. Affiliate marketing
  3. Social media marketing
  4. Pay Per-click Advertising (PPC)
  5. Content marketing
  6. Email marketing

How to promote your dropshipping business?

I will be discussing how to employ the strategies stated above in promoting your dropshipping business in Nigeria and beyond.

1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is regarded as the most powerful tool in digital marketing.

Also, SEO helps you to increase the quality and quantity of traffic to your dropshipping business page through organic search engine results.

Therefore using SEO, you can create more awareness of the existence of your dropshipping business by using keywords that attract customers to your page.

You can either employ an SEO expert for a fee or do it yourself using free tools like:

  • Google Keyword Planner
  • Moz Local Listing Score
  • Google Analytics, and so on.

2. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is the process by which you employ the help of active digital personals to advertise and also to bring in sales in return for a commission for each sale they attract.

You do this by creating a distinctive link for each affiliate partner.

Then negotiate on the percentage rate you will pay them for each sell.

Will it be based on a 5% or 10% commission rate?

Also, through affiliate marketing, you extend the shores of your dropshipping business on the shoulders of many wanting to get a commission.

3. Social Media Marketing

This can ready by running ads on Facebook or Instagram.

You have to pay an ads manager to construct and run one for you.

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But trust me, it is worth the money.

Also, there have been cases of businesses that have grown dramatically through running ads on Facebook.

Just make sure the person that will handle your ads is very good at it with proven success on past jobs done.

4. Pay Per-click Advertising (PPA)

Pay Per-click Advertising is a form of marketing in which you pay a fee for each time one of your ads is open.

It is like paying for the number of visits gotten through an ad rather than achieving that organically.

It is one of the effective ways to increase visits to your dropshipping business page.

The problem with this type of digital marketing strategy is that it is expensive.

If your budget is small, please don’t try venturing into it.

It is not ideal for businesses with low resources in Nigeria and beyond.

5. Content Marketing

Content marketing is the act of creating content to educate, inform, and build trust among your leads.

For content marketing to be successful, it must not always be a “buy now” content.

Don’t seem too pushy with your content, but persuasive.

Look for the benefits of your niche products and write them down as content.

Explain to your leads why your product is a must-have for them.

And how your product can solve a particular need for them.

Try as much as possible to make your content interactive.

6. Email Marketing

You can optimize your setting so that whenever anyone visits your page, they can drop their emails.

After collecting your potential and loyal customers’ emails, so you can start sending emails to them.

This it can do once in a week, month, or on special occasions.

Do well not to bombard their emails with your messages constantly.

The emails should be educative, interactive, and promotional.

Unecast is a free tool that can use to create automated emails seamlessly.

Step 5: Get your Finances Well Allocated

Most mistakes many drop shippers in Nigeria make is that they do not take the process of allocating their business finances seriously.

As an entrepreneur who wants to succeed, you must draft a plan for financial management.

How much did you allocate for your business promotion?

How much did you allocate as working capital?

However you can’t just jump into a dropshipping business in Nigeria, and you expect to succeed on a large scale without considering the above two questions.

Most importantly, learn to keep your personal and business finances separate from each other.

How to do dropshipping in Nigeria?

I employ you to go back to the above section and read it carefully.

What are the advantages of dropshipping business in Nigeria?

  • Location flexibility: You can operate your business from anywhere you are in Nigeria as far as you connect to the internet.
  • It saves you the stress of paying for shop rent.
  • Low investment: Dropshipping allows you to run a business without spending money on acquiring inventories before starting.
  • Easy to start: Other than securing a good dropshipping supplier and creating an online store, the total process of running a dropshipping business is very easy as the suppliers bear the major stress

Does the dropshipping business have any disadvantages?

Yes, it does, but it isn’t something that cannot overcome.

They are:

  • Shipping and returns: Working with different suppliers can complicate your shipping cost and return policy. You lose control over shipping quality and speed,
  • Lack of visibility: Since your suppliers dispatch products directly to your customers, you lose out from inspecting them. So damaged or wrong products may sometimes sent out to your customers. And, this can affect the trust your customers have for you.

There is no business without its challenges.

So you just have to look for a way to reduce the risk associated with each challenge to a minimum level.

Dropshipping business in Nigeria, like other businesses, requires patience to build up.

Published by Gbemisola

Gbemisola is an enthusiastic freelance writer. She has written hundreds of articles ranging from business and technical articles to affiliate articles. She’s also a digital marketer with experience in social media marketing, advertising and search engine optimization. Her aim is to see your business come to limelight through content creation and advertisement.