Dropshipping is a new business model which is gaining increasing popularity across the world, even among Nigerians. This online business is gradually competing favourably with the traditional model of business due to the numerous benefits it has over the traditional business model.
In this article, we intend to explain what drop shipping is , the benefits it offers and how you can start your own drop shipping business in Nigeria.
Drop shipping is a form of online retail sales business whereby the goods sold are not stocked in a store. The online store basically displays the visual image of the products it sells and when a customer places an order, the online store, orders the goods from a third-party supplier who ships the items directly to the customer.
What differentiates dropshipping from the conventional or traditional retail stores is that the entrepreneur who owns a dropshipping business doesn’t keep any stock inventory. He only get good manufacturers, wholesalers or suppliers of quality products and he then looks for buyers for the products. The dropshipping entrepreneur is just a middle man between suppliers or manufacturers and retailers regardless of geographical boundaries.
Benefits of dropshipping
1. It requires a small amount of upfront cash investment: In traditional business mode, you have to rent an office space, furnish the office, stock the store with goods, hire sales personnel and inventory managers. All these cost money. However, in dropshipping you basically only need to set-up your online store and your business begins. Setting up your online store doesn’t cost much.
2. It is less stressful and demanding: You don’t need to run around or travel to buy goods or have a warehouse or keep stock inventory. With your computer or smart phone, right from the comfort of your home, you can run your dropshipping business.
3. Running the business is flexible: Most traditional stores only open during the day time, and you need to be physically present to attend to customers and you can run through business from anywhere and at anytime.
4. You can easily expand the business: since most of that work is done by your suppliers, you don’t have too much work to do and this will give you more time to focus on marketing, promotion and these will facilitate easier expansion.
5. Your market is beyond geographical boundaries: You can relate with and get patronised by customers from different parts of the world whom you wouldn’t have been able to reach if it were to be a traditional store. This possibility gives your business unlimited potential to grow and expand.
Follow These Steps To Start A Dropshipping Business In Nigeria
1. Find a product category you want to focus on dealing with or selling: This is very important as it helps you not to be Jack of all trades and master of none. It is advisable to focus on products you have good knowledge about. This will help you to be able to market them well and to spot product defects when they are supplied.
2. Get reliable suppliers: This process is very key in succeeding in this business. The reason is because a lot depends on your suppliers’ ability to deliver quality products to your customers in schedule and be willing to recall any defective products and attend promptly to the complaints of your customers.
I must say that you should try to carry out proper search so as to get reliable suppliers. Conduct due diligence in this.
Where do you get good suppliers? Most good suppliers are located in China. Thank God for China. You can get almost Anything you want from China at affordable rate. One of the most popular source of suppliers is alibaba.com.
Alibaba.com is one of the largest online platform where suppliers and buyers meet. AliExpress.com and Alipay are subsidiaries of Alibaba group which helps to facilitate the transactions between suppliers and buyers ( like you and me) .
3. Choose a dropshipping platform: Your dropshipping platform is your online store which enables you to run your dropshipping business. How do you go about having or choosing your dropshipping platform? You have two options:
- You can set up your e-commerce website using Shopify or Woo commerce.
- You can sell your products on some already existing and successful e-commerce platforms in Nigeria. Some of the include: Konga, Jumia etc. These platforms sell directly to consumers or customers and they also allow other sellers to create a profile with them and sell their own wares on their platform for a commission.
Now which one of the options is better for your? Here is my advise:
If you have the resources, expertise and time, you can go for option 1, but if you are a beginner who wants to gain some form of experience and with limited resources, you can go for option 2.
If you start with option 2, as your business grows and as you gather more resources and experience, you can then go for option 1 and launch your own e-commerce platform.
4. Market and promote your business: Look for customers who would patronise you. Use every available means to spread the word about your business and to let as much people as possible to know about your business. Don’t forget to use the social media and to explore other forms of digital marketing.
5. Give special attention to financial management & record keeping: In this business of dropshipping and in all other businesses, proper financial management and good record keeping is very vital.
This will enable you to always keep track of your growth and help you to scale or expand the business.
Dropshipping is a business that has come to stay in Nigeria. One good thing about this business is that it is easy to start and run, also it requires little start-up capital and it has unlimited possibilities for growth and expansion.
Apart from drop shipping, there are many other ways you can make money online legally and safely from the comfort of your home. See over 20 proven ways you can make money online by spending almost nothing.
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