Dropshipping is one of the most lucrative businesses today. This fast ranking business is very stress-free. As a low-budget idea, it holds great promise for upcoming online traders. By low budget, I mean no cost at all. All you require is the desire to market products and good salesmanship. This article has all the essentials for starting a dropshipping business in Lagos, Nigeria. Most importantly, we shall come to see a step-by-step guide on how to start this business in Lagos.
What a dropshipping business in Lagos is
Dropshipping simply involves you accepting to sell the goods of suppliers in your store. Now, when we say store, it does not have to be a literal store. In fact, for dropshipping, all you need is an e-store. While you search for customers, the goods remain in the supplier’s warehouse. When customers order products, the supplier delivers the goods directly to them. This way, the drop shipper has no contact whatsoever with the products and equally needs no workspace. You can either be a part-time or full-time dropshipper and still earn a seven-figure income. Now, what needs is in store for one who starts a dropshipping business?
Due to the country’s population, Nigeria is fertile ground for the dropshipping business. It ranks among the top countries leading e-commerce. That is not all. In Africa, Nigeria ranks first on the list of internet users. With about 50% of the country’s population falling under the age of 30, you have quite the audience. It is well-known that the heart of business in Nigeria is Lagos. Hence, your chances of starting and running a successful dropshipping business in Lagos are very high.
How the Dropshipping business works in Lagos
Three simple steps are all it takes for the job of a dropshipper to be complete. They are:
- Advertising: The dropshipper advertises the goods that are available for sale on his e-store. Buyers who have an interest in the products place an order through this website.
- Order request: The dropshipper gets information about the order. He then forwards the customer’s details and places the order for the product from the supplier. He can either do this manually or automatically.
- Shipping: Lastly, the supplier packages the goods and ships them to the client.
Note: In the course of this, the drop shipper does not come in contact with the products.
How to start a Dropshipping business in Lagos, Nigeria
We have come to see how dropshipping works in general. Now, we shall proceed to see how to start a dropshipping business in Lagos. Below are six steps one must follow for his dropshipping business to stand in Lagos.
Step 1: Select the niche in which you can work. In dropshipping, one’s niche is the line of products he wishes to dropship. With new products coming up almost every week, there will always be new niches. The chances of not being able to find a new niche are very slim.
One reason people fail at dropshipping is how hastily they choose a niche. When one picks a niche in a rush, one might end up with a saturated niche. Saturated niches are niches run by top brands and sellers. Getting into this gets you in quite the struggle, with chances of winning being slim.
So, what do you need to put into consideration when selecting your niche?
- Select according to your passion, interest, and your favorite pastime. This gives you an edge over competitors as you become knowledgeable in your niche.
- Observe what the people around you need the most.
- Scout for your competitors and get ready for the competition to come.
- Product research is necessary. You need helpful tools. Tools that can tell you about trending, impulse, easy to use, and wow products. You also need a report on niche-specific products and those with immediate gratification.
- Finally, consider the price factors. Products costing more and those that cost less require equal management. There is, however, a difference in the income they bring. One’s income is a percentage of each sale one makes.
Although expensive products bring more income, they require more effort. Also, only a few items will sell. On the other hand, cheaper products require lesser effort. You also get to sell more with products that cost less.
Step 2: Get yourself a supplier. The wrong supplier is enough to ruin your dropshipping business. Hence, it is vital that you carefully consider this step. Most top Nigerian suppliers have their base in China or other countries abroad. Do not let this bother you because Alibaba can help you get one of these suppliers to work with you.
You need to ask several questions to learn the supplier’s production capacity. It is highly beneficial to get two or more suppliers. In cases where one supplier is out of stock, you can get goods for clients from the other.
Step 3: Select a platform. In dropshipping, your e-store is your platform. You can either dropship using your e-store or e-stores already in place. These e-stores allow dropshippers to sell via their platform. Jumia, Konga, Dealdey.com, and Kaymu are good examples of third-party e-stores.
The latter is better than the former therefore it is advisable you use that. You also must bear in mind that using an established e-store means you have someone with whom you can split responsibilities. The other party handles issues that you might not have the resources to handle. As your business grows, you can consider setting up your e-store.
Step 4: Find ways to promote your business. Customers do not come to dropshippers in their comfort zone, dropshippers take their products to them. To make a sale, one needs to search for cost-effective means to advertise. With no customers, a great e-store means nothing. Here is where digital marketing comes in. You can utilize the digital market to help your customers grow in number. One way to do this is by using SEO to optimize keywords on search engines. You can post ads on Instagram or Facebook directed at your target audience. Both Google and Facebook ads come at a cost. Other free advertising means include;
- Email marketing
- Content marketing
- Blog Forum marketing; and
- Social media marketing.
Step 5: Manage your financial resources. Sadly, this very important step is taken for granted by some. Businesses without good financial management are bound to fail. For a successful business, one has to spot financial issues that can end the business. After this, one has to put in the effort to avoid them. Note that when running your business, business and personal finance should be kept separate.
Step 6: Give it a try. You cannot be too sure you have the right supplier and niche if you do not give them a try. Dropshipping is a great way to confirm you have the right products. This is because it is cheap and easy to use.
Benefits of owning a Dropshipping business in Lagos, Nigeria.
Knowing what it takes for you to start your dropshipping business in Lagos is not enough. Let us consider what you stand to gain as a dropshipper. Some advantages of dropshipping include:
- Setting up the dropshipping business is quite easy as we have earlier seen.
- Unlike day-to-day businesses, dropshipping does not require office space. This implies that a dropshipper can perform his work wherever he goes. This is only possible in places with an internet connection though.
- Dropshipping is less risky. Without keeping an inventory themselves, there is nothing for dropshippers to lose if products remain unsold.
- Dropshippers have more time for themselves. The job can either be part-time or full-time. All they have to do is forward the client’s details to the supplier.
- In the dropshipping business, the losses a dropshipper incurs are less. Being relieved of logistics duty means the dropshipper is not liable for any damages done.
And some turns…
“Every advantage has a disadvantage’. After considering the advantages of dropshipping, let us see its downsides. They include:
- Shipping and logistics complexities in this business. In cases where clients order from different suppliers, the dropshipper works with different shipping rates. The dropshipper might decide to give the client a high-price shipping fee. Since the high-price might scare clients away, he can decide to bear with it.
- If your inventory data is not up to date, clients might order out-of-stock goods. This is quite a challenge as the supplier, not the dropshipper, handles the inventory.
- Due to a large number of persons in the e-commerce markets, the business incurs low net income. Although, a dropshipper with several loyal customers can start earning that seven-figure pay.
- When suppliers make shipping mistakes, it reduces the trust clients have in your website. This is because shipments are made in your name and not that of the supplier. So, one has to hope the supplier has outsourced to a great logistics service.
- Internet services. This business can be hardly executed without a good internet connection. So, you must have internet-enabled devices and must be in an area with a good network connection.
Have in mind that you do not need a large capital to dropship. All you need is to: find a niche, get a supplier, set up a platform, promote your business, manage your resources, and give it a try. Putting these steps in mind, you can run a successful dropshipping business in Lagos and virtually everywhere else. Provided you have a good internet connection. There you have it, entrepreneurship made easy.