Thinking of getting your own online shop?
More and more businesses are beginning to take their businesses online. The Nigerian online business landscape has changed very rapidly in just one year since Jumia broke all the myths.
I’ll outline below all you need to know about creating a successful online business in Nigeria, the Dos, the Don’ts, the Musts, and the Musn’ts.
1. Hang on; do you really need an online store?
Many businesses usually don’t think it through before contracting a web developer to create their online store. Needless to say, this leads to much heartache along the way or sometimes a non-functional website at the end of the day. An online store is an extension of your existing store or an extension of an existing business. These are the questions you must answer satisfactorily before proceeding to contracting anyone at all.
- What do I want to sell online?
- Are the products physical products or downloadable products?
- Physical products require shipping. Do you have in place a delivery process?
- Are you tech savvy? Do you have staff that can handle your online store?
If you can answer these questions satisfactorily, then you can proceed to the next section.
2. OK, Now do the math!
Get this straight from the start, an effective online store is a considerable investment. It would be wise you get a better-than-vague idea of the total costs you will incur in setting it up. There’s the basic cycle you would go through from start to finish. It should look something like this:
- Get a Developer: This is who will build the online store. Sit one or two times to go over the costs. S/he will give you the costs as it concerns the store. The kinds of costs you will get from the developer will be along these lines:
- Domain Registration and Hosting – This is usually a per annum fee. It varies due to several factors. Eg, the software to be used in building the store may determine the type of hosting.
- Developmental Cost – This is the actual cost of building the store. Be sure to be clear with the developer as to the number of products (or a range) they will be creating. Also make sure to discuss whether or not there will be product photography involved
- Advertising Costs – Unfortunately for most website owners, this is where they hit a brick wall, and where we come in! You can have the best looking website, if you do not advertise it no one will know it’s there. As the popular advertising saying goes: Doing business without advertising is like winking in the dark, you know what you’re doing but no one else does! Hit us up, we’ll be happy to compute costs for you.
3. The Nitty Gritty Details
This is a very crucial step. Do not ignore. You will definitely not want to get stranded in the middle of on-going work if for some reason you need to change developers. Basically, the information you require will include:
- What Platform/Technology is your Online Store built with?
- Where is the online store hosted? Get name of hosting Service.
- Website Credentials – Your store will most likely have two sets of credentials. (That’s 2 sets of usernames and passwords). The first set is the cPanel credentials. Consider them as the master login credentials to your server. The second set is your store credentials. These give you access to the administrative area of your store, which sits on your server. These credentials should be given to you at the end of the development. Keep them safe. Lost Credentials are no use to anyone.
4. Do Your Due Diligence
These days, information is at everybody’s finger tips. Time to do some google reading, or get your staff to do it! It won’t hurt knowing more about the stuff your developer has outlined for you.
- Select from a pool of developers. Recommendations come in handy, but still make sure you do your own bit of research.
- After you select your developer, ask for past work! Don’t just glance through the sites they send to you, try out the whole sale process, and make sure you are convinced they can do the job.
- Verify that they actually built the examples they sent to you. The most obvious way is to check in the footer of the website, it should link back to the developer’s website!
- Outline Payment options. When you’re convinced they can do the job, hire them. But make sure everyone is on the same page as to how funds will be disbursed. You can choose to have a binding contract. It’s your choice.
Lastly, if you found this article helpful, consider sharing it with your friends. We wish you the best in all your online endeavours!