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A Case Study of e-Commerce In Nigeria: Why It Pays To Own A Shop Online!

I have previously written about the rise of e-Commerce in Nigeria and how you can profitably take part, so in case you missed out, you can read it here.

Consider this a follow-up article as I will be sharing with you first hand my own experience of how I made close to a million naira within 3 months of owning a shop online!

How It All Began…

My first experience with e-Commerce was selling my business consulting and internet marketing services through my blog naijapreneur.com

Then in January 2013, I came across Kaymu while it was still in its early stages trying to break her way into the Nigerian eCommerce terrain. It didn’t take me long to see the market potentials of such a platform where sellers can be connected to over 60 million Nigerians online. I instantly became a kaymu evangelist. This is partly due to my passion for entrepreneurship development in Nigeria and my successful experience with e-Marketing.

My 1st Month Selling Online

I own a boutique business where I sell both male and female clothing and shoes. So I decided to create my own shop online to test run kaymu and listed the shoes on the platform, this was in February. Oh and if you are wondering why I listed only shoes and left out the clothes? Well, shoes are far easier to snap than clothes. Before the month ended, I was able to sell one shoe despite 5 orders, only one buyer followed through to pickup and paid cash –N3000. This wasn’t so bad since Kaymu opened to the public in February.

 My 2nd Month Selling Online

Towards the end of February, I decided to expand my shop on kaymu to sell in another promising category other than fashion –phones and tablets. Since I didn’t sell phones and tablets, this was made possible by one of my e-Marketing clients who proposed a partnership. I help sell their phones and tablets online through kaymu and earn commissions on every sale.

So because of this collaboration, in March I sold one Blackberry Z10, an iPad4 and a Tommy Hilfiger shoe for a total of N223,000. Not bad huh?

My 3rd Month Selling Online

April was the best month ever, all of the marketing initiatives where falling into place and people were becoming more confident in the brand due to the number of successful deliveries and safe transactions recorded. So in April, I sold 7 Smart phones and 5 male shoes for a total of N613,547!

The total?

February – N3000

March – N223,000

April – N613,547

Total = N839,547

 

Why It Pays To Sell Online

  • ecommerceBesides the number one obvious fact that you get to reach a whole lot more people through an online shop, the most significant reason for me is the 24hrs 7days a week operational nature of an online shop. There’s practically no closing time online, you can be making sales while you sleep!
  • Reducing overhead costs is one other reason why selling online is so super smart. You don’t have to bother about shop space, on the internet there’s unlimited shelf space. The amount of items you can sell is unlimited. As you just saw me explain, I expanded from just selling male shoes to selling smart phones and tablets and it didn’t cost me additional rent!
  • And my personal favorite, growing your brand has never been easier. Online you connect with millions of people you would never have been able to sell to offline. And the bonus part, they become your customers as well not just kaymu’s customers because they buy from you directly not from kaymu.
  •  Safe transactions is another advantage you get by selling on kaymu. Unlike other free classified sites, kaymu is much more than a free classified site. It is an actual e-Shopping mall where you can buy from so many trusted retailers who have physical shops offline. On Kaymu, you are buying from real businesses not just some random individual who has something to dispose.

Over to you

You’ve read my story and as many naijapreneurs have come to know me for, I hardly share what I haven’t personally applied. My own approach to marketing is simple; “don’t tell people what you will do, show them what you’ve done. Why? Because results sell faster than words!”

If this isn’t sufficient proof that Nigeria is in the early days of a heavy e-Commerce boom, then you can choose to ignore this article. But if you are among the few wise ones, you will get in now while many are still contemplating and begin to reap the rewards of selling online. Here’s an invitation, click here to start!

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Be Your Own Boss: How To Startup Your e-Commerce Business

The traditional cost of developing an e-Commerce site is so large that most small businesses are unable to afford one. And then follows the cost of successfully marketing the existence of such site, which is also quite expensive. So what’s your best option?

Own a shop online!

There are a couple of e-Commerce sites that now serve as online marketplaces where buying and selling is done between individual buyers and sellers or corporate buyers and sellers. These online marketplaces are designed to showcase your goods like you would normally do in a physical store. They have huge marketing budgets that allows them reach as many people both online and offline.

A typical example and the pioneer of such online marketplaces is eBay –the world’s largest online marketplace. The success story of several eBay merchants/sellers who turned millionaires as a result of trading on the eBay platform is enough proof that owning a shop online works. eBay has its branches in so many countries worldwide, but not yet in Nigeria.

Fortunately, there is an eBay clone now in Nigeria and it’s currently the largest online marketplace for buying and selling the smart way –it’s called Kaymu. The parent company; Rocket Internet is known worldwide as the leading e-Commerce incubators and have successfully started over 50 internet-based ventures worldwide. As a matter of fact, the eBay clone they started in Germany did so well that eBay couldn’t help but buy it over!

 ecommerceTo show you how big Kaymu is, even Jumia currently the largest online retail site has a shop on Kaymu. Recognizing this business opportunity, I decided to give it a shot last month and opened up the online version of my boutique business on Kaymu. Guess what? I sold 3 shoes within the first week I listed them on Kaymu auctions and have sold another 3 more using the fixed price selling options. That’s a total of 6 shoes in one month, not bad for a start!

Here’s How Kaymu Works For Sellers/Merchants

  • A seller lists an item [new or old] on Kaymu for FREE, almost anything from smart phones to laptop accessories, books to rare coins, etc.
  • The seller chooses to accept only bids for the item [an auction-type listing] or to offer the “Fixed price” option, which allows buyers to purchase the item right away at a fixed price.
  • In an online auction, the bidding opens at a price the seller specifies and remains on Kaymu for a certain number of days. Buyers then place bids on the item. When the listing ends, the buyer with the highest bid wins and gets the item.
  • In a “Fixed price” listing, the first buyer willing to pay the seller’s price gets the item.
  • Arrange with the buyer a suitable delivery option such as; shipping, physical pickup or payment on delivery = sales!

Here’s How To Own A Shop Online FREE Using Kaymu

There are 2 options you can start from depending on your preference.

First, if you are a retailer who already buys and sells offline through a physical shop, Kaymu is simply your online shop to showcase what you are selling already offline. If you fall into this category, Click here to sign up for a FREE online shop That’s what I did with my boutique business since I already own a physical store where I sell unisex clothing for male, female and kids. Visit the MADphilips shop online and do patronize us.  We have the lowest prices for smartphones!

Second, if you don’t own a shop offline and would like to take advantage of this opportunity by selling other people’s goods online through the Kaymu platform, follow the steps below.

  • Click here to sign up for a FREE online shop
  • Decide any product [new or fairly used] of your choice that you would like to sell on your online shop
  • Look for a company [manufacturer], store or seller around you who would like to increase their sales [trust me, everyone does]
  • Introduce yourself as an internet marketer who can help them sell more via the internet through your online shop
  • Negotiate a discount on the product[s] so that you can make a profit selling them on your online shop
  • Take clear pictures of the product[s] with a phone or camera to display on your online shop
  • Head over to your online shop and list the product[s], the pictures and their prices so potential buyers can contact you directly via email or phone
  • Arrange with the buyer a suitable delivery option such as; shipping, physical pickup or payment on delivery = sales!

Your Turn

Head over to Kaymu and click on the register link to claim your shop online, FREE!