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How To Start A Dropshipping Business in Nigeria

by Temiloluwa Alagbe
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Dropshipping is a way of marketing products without having to produce them or keep them in stock. In Nigeria, the dropshipping business is becoming increasingly popular and understandably so. and it has proven to be a very lucrative business. If you are in Nigeria looking to have your dropshipping success story, you are in the right place. This article has all the information you need to have before you launch your dropshipping business.

An Overiew of the Dropshipping Business

Dropshipping is an online retail business where the seller advertises products for sale without keeping them in stock. Dropshipping involves serving as a middleman between a customer and the supplier. Payment for your middleman services is included in the cost of the product advertised on your website.

How Does Dropshipping Work?

Dropshipping involves reaching an agreement with a supplier and obtaining permission to sell their products on your website at a higher price. A customer visits your website and places an order. In response, you forward the order to the supplier who packages the product and sends it directly to the customer.

For example, a dropshipping business named Books ‘N’ Stuff strikes a deal with Lulu Express to put up their books for sale on their website. Books ‘N’ Stuff has carried out proper product and market research and has discovered that a book titled “Verity”, priced at $14, is in demand. Books ‘N’ Stuff then proceeds to put up that book on their website for $30. A customer sees the book and places an order for it on the dropshipper’s website (booksnstuff.com). Books ‘N’ Stuff then forwards the order details to Lulu Express and a payment of $14 for the book, keeping the $16 profit for themselves. Lulu Express receives the order and the payment and sends the book directly to the customer.

Notice that in the illustration above, Books ‘N’ Stuff never handled the book, Verity. They simply served as a communication channel between Lulu Express and the customer and made a profit from that. That is essentially what dropshipping is about.

Does Dropshipping Work in Nigeria?

Will dropshipping work out for you in Nigeria? Well, dropshipping works anywhere really, as long as it is legal in your country. The good news is, it’s legal pretty much anywhere. You can dropship from Nigeria to anywhere in the world. The business has many bebefits too, some of which are:

  • Easy to start
  • Low start-up and operating cost
  • Reduced risk
  • Reduced stress

How Profitable is The Dropshipping Business in Nigeria?

Dropshipping in Nigeria can be a very profitable business and it could generate up to 200% Return On Investment (ROI). Because the supplier handles the bulk of the operation, you can make a substantial amount while incurring little to no risk.

If you are looking for fast cash, then dropshipping might not be the best option for you. As dropshipping doesn’t have a special rulebook, there is no stipulated time to make a substantial profit from the business. The amount of time it would take to make money from dropshipping is dependent on many different factors. Although there is no specific number of days or months it would take to make money from your dropshipping business, we can say that, on average, it could take up to six months before you make any real profit.

How To Start a Dropshipping Business in Nigeria

Choose a Dropshipping Niche

Have you ever heard the saying, “Jack of all trades, master of none”? You don’t want your business to be that way. When people think of a particular niche like clothes, furniture, or electronics, you want them to think of your store. Choosing the right dropshipping niche could have a major impact on the success of your business. Having a good reputation in a specific niche is a faster, easier way to success. It also makes it easier for you to monitor product performance and buildu a focused customer base. Some popular niches you can choose from are:

a) Personal care and beauty products

The personal care and beauty products are one of the fastest products to sell in the dropshipping business. If you are looking for a quick-selling dropshipping niche, this is a great place to start from. Some popular product ideas include exfoliating face masks, hydrogel eye patches, perfumes and deodorants, sunscreen, makeup brushes, face serums and hair extensions.

b) Health and wellness products

An image of some healthcare products.
Photo credit: Codie Zofia Creative - Product Photography on Pinterest.

The demand for health and wellness is constantly increasing as more people have become aware of the importance of staying healthy. Some health and wellness products that are in high demand include fitness trackers, vitamin supplements, air purifiers and humidifiers, food supplements, and sleep masks.

c) Clothing and fashion accessories

Stylish hair accessories that are excellent dropshipping products
Photo credit: Shopping links on Pinterest

The clothing niche is a very popular one around the globe. Everyone wants to look good and for this reason, the clothing industry is certainly one you want to tap into. Some product ideas include lingerie, crop tops, pyjamas, earrings, necklaces, tattoo sleeves, knuckle rings, the list goes on and on.

d) Office supplies

Office supplies
Photo credit: poppin on Pinterest

Office supplies are constantly used everywhere. Because of the growth of the online business world, more people require office supplies at home too. Popular dropshipping products in this niche are sticky notes, highlighters, printer ink cartridges, and anti-blue light glasses.

e) Gadgets and cellphone accessories

Gadget ideas to dropship

With the growth of technology in today’s world, gadgets and phone accessories have experienced a spike in demand. This makes it the perfect dropshipping niche for you. Some product in this niche are headphones, live wallpaper phone cases, power banks, earbuds, phone chargers, earbud cases, portable speakers, thermostats, and many more.

Carry Out Product Research in Your Selected Niche

The success of your dropshipping business is heavily dependent on the product in your store. When carrying out your product research, ensure you cover all the bases. While we have provided a list of high-demand dropshipping products, some of them might not be as popular in your target location. For this reason, it is imperative that you carry out product research before picking out products to sell on your site.

Without product research, you might end up filling your website with products that people hardly buy. This can make your business operations fluctuate. You can use SEO tools like SEMrush or Google Keyword Planner to find products that are frequently searched for by users. This would help you determine what products are in demand. Dropshipping product research tools like Dropship Spy, Niche Scraper, Allfactor, and Asify can help you keep up with market trends and estimate the profit a product will make.

Find Suppliers

Supplier research is just as important as product research because a dropping business is just as good as its supplier. Your supplier’s service and product quality greatly influences your store’s reputation. Because of this, it is imperative that you thoroughly screen suppliers before settling with one. Before you choose a supplier, here are a few questions you should have answers to:

  • Do you trust the supplier?
  • Are the supplier’s prices affordable?
  • Do they have good customer service reviews?
  • And most importantly, are their products up to standard?

When you have done your research and obtained your answers, you can reduce the risk by testing your theories.We have curated a list of reliable dropshipping suppliers to get you started.

a) CJDropshipping

CJDropshipping is a multifaceted dropshipping website with multiple products in various niches. They can be both dropshipping suppliers and e-commerce store hosts.

b) Spocket

Spocket is an online platform that connects you with reliable dropshipping suppliers, giving you access to a variety of products. It is the perfect dropshipping platform for new and old dropshippers.

c) SaleHoo

SaleHoo is a dropshipping platform that provides various services. They offer high-quality products, dropshipping suppliers, product research tools, and market research tools too.

d) Doba

Doba is a dropshipping site that offers various products and links dropshippers to reliable suppliers. Although their prices are a bit higher than others, the products they offer and the variety of vetted suppliers make the prices worth it.

e) Wholesale2B

Whole2B offers tools that help optimize your e-commerce store for better sales and a higher profit margin. In addition to this, they can also set up an e-commerce store for you, providing you with supplier service and ecommerce services.

Create a Business Strategy

The key to a successful business is to have a business plan with all your business goals and a business strategy with plans on how to reach your goals. Your business strategy should also have effective customer acquisition strategies that help you grow your customer base. A thriving dropshipping business doesn’t just fall in your lap, you have to plan for it.

Build Your Online Store

You have chosen a niche, selected products, and even found an excellent supplier. Now, all that’s left is to open your online store and begin sales! There are many e-commerce platforms out there. However, when choosing a store host, be sure that their terms are reasonable. For example, you should be sure that they permit product rebranding of their products, and that their profit margin is reasonable. We’ll discuss why later on. For now, here are some e-commerce platforms we think you should try:

Open a Business Bank Account

A common mistake a dropshipping business in Nigeria can make is keeping personal and business finances together. Doing this causes disorganization and indiscipline, and keeping records becomes much harder. For record and control purposes, open a business bank account to help you separate your business dealings from your personal ones.

Keep Records

There’s no such thing as an irrelevant transaction. Every transaction is worth recording to avoid complications further down the line. From order placements to supplier payments to product shipments, everything must be documented for your business’ safety.

Implement Promotional and Marketing Strategies

Everything is in place now but your business is still missing one important thing. Customers. Once your business is live, you can adopt various promotional strategies, online or offline. However, it would be best to focus on digital marketing strategies because most of your target market is online.

How To Drive Traffic To Your Dropshipping Store

A key part of running a successful dropshipping store is a strong online campaign program. It is much easier for potential customers to access your store when your ad pops up on their social media than when they read your ad on a billboard. If you already have a strong online presence and a large follower count, then you basically have a cheat code. However, if you’re not very active online, then you should consider paying for sponsored ads on popular social media platforms like X (Twitter), TikTok, and Facebook, or paying influencers to promote your products. You must put in effort to increase traffic to your site as this increases your sales. Here are a few tips on how to boost traffic to your store:

1. Video Content Creation

Video content creation has proven to be a very effective advertisement strategy in the dropshipping world. Thousands of dropshippers use it to market their products. Posting videos of the products you have on your website builds customer trust. In some cases, your promotional video could even double as a tutorial on how to use the product. For these reasons, creating video content for your e-commerce store is a surefire way of increasing traffic to your store and increase profit.

2. Blogging

Blogging is another way you can increase website traffic. Posting high-quality articles about your products piques the interest of your readers, causing them to click on your store link. Your written content should be engaging and relatable content that conveniently promotes your product. In other words, be subtle. To do this, you could narrate an experience, fake or real, that your target audience can relate to your product. You could also go in a completely different direction; write a blog post on current trends related to your niche, and add in the product you want to advertise alongside a link to your store.

3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Optimizing your posts for search engines is important when trying to increase visits to your store. Doing this would help your content rank on the search result pages and traffic to your posts is potential traffic to your store.

4. Email Marketing

Email marketing is another effective way of promoting your dropshipping business. Creating intriguing short ads with eye-catching graphics and sending them to a well-curated email list would boost your store visits significantly.

5. Customer Reviews

Studies carried out by Spiegel Research Centre have shown that a customer’s likelihood of patronage increases by 270% when the customer reads reviews. This implies that adding a review section to your e-commerce store increases the customer’s trust in the product and boosts your sales. Asking customers to leave a review simultaneously increases store traffic too. However, this could also backfire on your business. One bad review has the power to turn your business around for the worse. This means you need to double the effort to ensure maximum consumer satisfaction.

6. Branding

Branding is an excellent way of building customer trust. The reason is that it gives your customers the sense that they are directly relating to you. Selling branded products also set you apart from other dropshippers. Because you don’t actually produce the stuff you sell, branding your products takes on a different approach in dropshipping. You would have to choose a supplier that offers custom packaging services. Once you have selected a supplier, form your brand identity (logo, name, and an advertising slogan), and send it to the supplier. The supplier would handle the rest.6.

Cost of Starting a Dropshipping Business in Nigeria

Because of the nature of the dropshipping business, the cost of starting one is relatively low, hence, it is easy to start. It is even possible to start a dropshipping business with no capital. There are various free dropshipping suppliers and e-commerce store hosts.

You could also start a profitable dropshipping business with as little as ₦30,000. This money is needed mostly to pay suppliers for their services and to open a website. Although some suppliers might request a down payment, most only collect payment when an order is fulfilled. There are also sites, like Shopify and Amazon, that let you open your online store for free.

Conclusion

The dropshipping business in Nigeria is a very lucrative one and it is easy to start. For this reason, it is highly competitive. Worry not nonetheless! As long as you have taken the time to complete this article, you are fully prepared to take the top spot in the dropshipping industry. All that’s left now is to put everything you have learned to good use.

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