Let’s talk about E-commerce Business In Nigeria. The Industry, The Covid 19 Impact and the recent happenings all over the world. In this article, I shall be sharing my personal true life experience from over 6-years in the e-commerce industry, projects and case studies and together we shall relate it with the current situation of the world and hopefully visualize a clearer future in this industry – I promise to be unbiased but please also bear in mind that these are my personal & professional opinions.
This article will be in different parts which includes, Background Story The Current Situation, The Problem, The Solution, My Offers, Benefits and Next Steps – So I advice you take deep breath and invest the next few minutes into this article as it is going to be quite a long read. So let’s dive in:
The Background Story – In the Beginning & The Way It Was:
This was sometimes back in November 2015, I had just turned 25years old, was running an online blog and building websites selling online and with little experience on e-commerce business in Nigeria.
Young, ambitious and hustling with experience from previously failed businesses and ideas which in turn got me a little bit more prepared for what was to unfold in coming years.
I had started my own web agency in 2012 while shuffling school, computer village and preparing for NYSC. In 2013 during NYSC I registered my own company which is Webkraft, LLC – You can check out our websites here and here later.
My initial plan was -To not search for jobs but to make money and travel out to Canada you know the dreams of Canada PR and juicy immigration offers but God had a different plan!
After NYSC, I needed a job for the bills and for the experience so I got one not too far from the house and all through that period, I was focused on studying online, reading, working, learning and sharpening my talent and skills.
Fast-forward from 2013 to 2015 when I clocked 25, our agency got a contract – which was to create an e-commerce website for a company as at then the name was Yes Phones NG. I picked up the job and together we agreed to change the name to Yesmobile and then I bought the domain name on behalf of the company to get started with my part of the job.
Remember that this period was way back 2015 when we still had the likes of Kaymu and payment integration was quite tough then because we had to go through banks portals, registrations, Inter-switch solutions and it was around this 2015 that Paystack was more like getting started. Developers can relate and site owners will remember how payment integration & the experience was like back then.
Long story short, the project was completed and handed over even though along the line there were a couple miscommunications and arguments – The usual client vs developer glitches. Lets do this, No I want this, this person says this and stuffs. Upon completion, the domain was transferred back to the company, they moved to their own hosting and the asset was managed by the e-business team I had put together then which was also a part of my contract and you know everything was sorted and ironed out.
Fast forward 2-years later which was about 2017, Yesmobile was acquired by Yudala and was all over the Nigerian tech space and press. I must give credit to the MD and the management staff, they were really good and professional individuals and the company itself is a high value retail outfit and till today I am constantly grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of the project even though at that point I was really much younger, inexperienced and still had a lot to learn about the E-commerce Business In Nigeria and business generally
All I had was an unshakable confidence in my talent, my skills and knowledge of the e-commerce space. Looking back, that project taught me lessons which stick with me till today and I was able to experience first hand and directly on just how how huge the e-commerce business in Nigeria actually is and will become in the future – It became very clear and no longer just theory’s, course videos and case studies.
I was creating a real life future case study & full blown project!
Fast forward 5-years later to 2020 which brings us to the current situation – take note that all through these years, more projects kept on coming in so I was generating revenue, as a developer, investor, running and managing online stores and even to providing e-commerce training workshops. At some time had to invite a Paystack representative sometimes in 2016 to one of my workshops to further shed light on the security of online payments and it’s promising future. But just like almost every information you get exposed to in life, some people listen, others, ignore, some take action...
ENTER COVID-19 – Year 2020, The Current Situation:
This part we shall talk a little about the industry before the pandemic and the industry after the pandemic.
Earlier this year according to an article published by ThisDay Live in January 2020, The current e-Commerce spending in Nigeria is estimated at $12 billion, and is projected to reach $75 billion in revenues per annum by 2025. As at October 2018, Paystack had paid out about $27.5m or more to merchants.
Now, let us always remember that regardless of all challenges, The Nigerian tech space will always keep growing and so everything the industry might not have right now, know that someone is already working on it and anything available in the global market will soon be available here – we are not left behind. We will always be on top of our games.
February 2020 – First Case of Covid-19 confirmed in Nigeria – Now lets look at the current situation globally and how Nigeria is affected. Lockdowns are in place, restriction of travel both local and international, markets are closed, gatherings are prohibited. Everything begins to change. Now take note, every pandemic advances the digital space and technology – Case study Alibaba and The SARS pandemic in 2002/2003 you can read about it here later
Within these lock down period and early days of the pandemic, if we are being sincere with ourselves, a lot of people are affected in a great way both negative and positive but lets look at the common scenarios – starting from the negatives first:
- For the first in a long time Oil hits its lowest – trading below $0 per barrel – Bloomberg
- Zoom worth more than the 7 biggest airlines – Business Insider
- Netflix is worth more than Exxon Mobile – Vanguard Nigeria
- Naira drops to N460/$1 in parallel market – Nairametrics
Although it is safe to say these shifts are due to the virus and after the lock down is lifted or after the economy resumes everything will go back to normal, lets never forget that this situation revealed certain businesses with higher chances of survival in a global pandemic and business model with higher chances of continued operations due to timeless demands triggered by human natural desires and top priorities – Which includes, feeding, communication, entertainment, health et.c
Besides lets also remember that WHO warns it could take up to 5 years before the coronavirus pandemic is under control – CNBC – which leaves us with an average of 2-3 years from of uncertainty and a completely new world order of things. Even our fashion will never be the same again.
All over the world, while millions of people are loosing their jobs, companies declaring bankruptcy, paycuts and even total close up in some cases, E-commerce giant – Amazon is planning to employ over 75,000 more staff in addition to about 100,000 staff hired recently to keep up with demand – Forbes. Now what does this means for you and me?
PS we are still on E-commerce Business In Nigeria. The Industry, The Covid 19 Impact and now it’s time to connect the dots…
The Problem – More jobs are being lost, more people are thrown into debts as bills keep coming up, more people are looking to change careers or pick up a side hustle, things get more expensive due to exchange rates, new tools and software and even robots replace more jobs and so many more different types of situations.
Although not everyone experiences these problems because some of us are on the side of the favored and it is equally a great time for other people. But if deep in your heart, you know genuinely that your security is not so strong and you have been really affected, then this next paragraph is surely for you. Lets look at possible solutions
The Solution: Embrace digitization, it is never too late to pick things up but it is important to make the smartest choice. If you are interested in AI and Machine Learning, I have put together a list of free online courses you can start right away to be fully set on track. If you provide health care related services then you might want to go through this article on Digital healthcare and the growing tele-health industry here.
Personally, I have always known that the virtual world will always be on the rise and fore-casted a world of virtual doctors, work from home occupations, virtual summits and even virtual marketplaces and I knew it was around the corner but never knew it would take a pandemic to strike for the world to embrace this new order of things.
Infact in 2018, alongside a few partners, we organized the first ever Global Digital Marketing E-conference Summit in Lagos that had the likes of Maura Tuohy Di Muro – Head Of Global Social, Mozilla, Christine Hawkins – Director Consumer Wearables/ IoT & Global E-Commerce, HP amongst several other representatives from global companies like Canon – USA, Blitzmetrics, SEMRush all connected via their devices all over the world to share insights and coaching with participants that attended the Lagos virtual conference. You can read more about it here.
But you see, In the end – One thing and one industry that will always exist till the end of time is sales and commerce. At every point of the existence of man, commerce will always play a key role – everything revolves around commerce, everyone is selling one thing or the other -The question is what are you selling and how are you selling it which leaves us with two things who is selling and who is making it possible for the seller to sell.
Just so you can understand how important and how timeless commerce is, Facebook recently just announced shops – An ecommerce feature that turns your Facebook and Instagram account to a storefront. You can read more about it here
Everything in the world is gradually going to end up in commerce and sales – The future will constantly be shifting between traditional commerce and e-commerce but regardless of what pandemic strikes tomorrow e-commerce will always thrive just as it survived through the covid-19 pandemic and there is no better time to start learning more about this industry and developing the right skills and knowledge of e-commerce.
Which bring us to my gift to you and some of the values you stand to benefit:
My Offers, Benefits and Next Steps – With over 8-figures generated from e-commerce related services and several professionals trained over the years, my joy is in knowing that more and more people are aware of this huge industry and are properly mentored and guided through the ropes towards achieving their ultimate goals and desires too. PS: My 8-figures is in Naira just so you don’t get to start thinking it is in USD yet, personally I am still growing, evolving and getting better too but converting to USD that should be around some 6-figures some where about which is not so bad anyways that’s not even the case. *smiles*
You don’t have to go through a lot of trials and errors trying to figure out a way on your own, if you would be available to put in the work and learn then yes I would certainly be glad to have you participate in some of my programs – Although it’s core focus is on the e-commerce business in Nigeria, we have had participants from outside Nigeria participate too. There is really no geographical limitation whatsoever.
The main topics we cover – is how to build e-commerce website with no previous coding knowledge required. We shall expose you to all the several options and methodologies available, share our recommendations with you, the pros and cons of these tools, platforms and APIs and together we will walk through the process step by step to build a robust and globally acceptable e-commerce portal. It is 100% practical and you will do it yourself but with one on one guide and mentor-ship sessions with me.
Also we will cover how to set up payment integrations because this part is indeed really important too. This includes both how to receive online payments in USD and in Naira locally and internationally.
The final part of the program is how to create/run smart and intelligent digital ads especially Facebook and Instagram campaigns to help you reach more people and increase your chances of generating more sales.
Now lets look at some of the benefits to this and what is actually in it for you:
First if you are looking to start an e-commerce business in Nigeria, it saves you money from hiring an agency to do all these for you because at the end of the program you would have done it yourself which is a part of your mini-project so imagine how much you have saved already.
Secondly, you can become a service provider and make money by offering development services for other businesses.
That is not all! Remember I still have my dreams of Canada like almost every Nigerian, this skills is a globally relevant and high valued skills in high demand so even over there I could offer freelancing services so yes either you are already in the diaspora or have plans of leaving the country, this is one program that will empower you and help you be self-sufficient.
Which means even if you are looking for a job in a company anywhere in the world, you definitely have a higher chances of getting one considering the fact that most company now employ skills over certifications.
Besides the possibilities of earning in USD, it is a very flexible job that allows you work from home and at your own convenience. I could go on and on but it is most important you are sincere with yourself in your heart and you can equally see the big picture for yourself.
At the end of the program which is mostly virtual – don’t worry you will get all the tools you need. You would have built your own e-commerce website, be set to kick start a business of your own and fully grounded all that is you need to know about the e-commerce industry.
After the program we usually have a full day classroom recap workshop where you get to meet other participants from your virtual classroom, we all get to meet in person, solve and answer all those questions and all out standings.
If you watch the video below, it contains testimonials from participants that attended my last E-commerce & Digital Sales workshop in Lagos before the pandemic outbreak where we discussed e-commerce business in Nigeria, how to make money through the industry and so much more
At this point it is also important you know that this is not free and there are several reasons. Personally if you are expecting all so much value for free then I must say that would be unfair to me myself. So yes there are fees attached however, compared to the so much value packed into this program in addition to the full starter kits and resources you would be getting for free upon registration, I guarantee you’d find the fees affordable for a one time investment and there is no doubt you wouldn’t find a program perfectly suitable for you.
I usually give all my participants the tools they need even before the program begins which includes a FREE .com domain and a 30-days cloud hosting to be used for the project but you know there are limited slots so it usually a first come first served basis. However, if you are looking to explore these opportunities, find out more about what to expect and more benefits for you or maybe join the next batch, then you can chat me personally via whatsapp here and we can talk more.
My Advice? Don’t wait till the next five years again or till when the industry becomes too crowded. Click the Whatsapp link on your mobile and let’s talk as early as you can. (+2347039790407)
For more details about me, be sure to look through my personal website here, or connect with me via Instagram @saidolanrewaju and I’D love to hear from you to clarify your concerns and discuss more on how you too can leverage on these opportunities and available endless possibilities.
Till then, stay safe out there and please kindly share with as many people as you think might equally find this write up on E-commerce business in Nigeria helpful. See you around and look forward to bringing more valuable contents your way