Dropshipping in Nigeria is a great venture; if you know how to run it successfully. It is a stress-free low-budget business and it is more cost-effective than wholesales.
You can easily run this business in Nigeria or Ghana without having to worry about the costs and hassle involved in running a startup. The beauty of Dropshipping is that you can run it from the comfort of your home.
In this guide, we will cover the benefits, disadvantages, and step by step guide on starting a local dropshipping business in Nigeria, as well as the common mistakes to avoid and the best suppliers to use.
With the knowledge you'll be learning from this post, you should be able to start and run a successful dropshipping business in Nigeria, Ghana or any country you might be.
Starting a profitable online business in Nigeria isn't so easy with all the limitations and difficulties of running one. For instance, with the PayPal account challenge or difficulty using other Payment gateways like stripes. Let's get started.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is Dropshipping?
- 2 Does Dropshipping Work In Nigeria?
- 3 Best Dropshipping Platforms for Nigerians or Ghanaians; Woocommerce or Shopify?
- 4 How to Start a Successful Dropshipping Business in Nigeria or Ghana
- 5 Dropshipping Training in Lagos
What is Dropshipping?
Dropshipping is a type of business model where the seller doesn't keep the products he/she sells in stock. Instead purchases products from a third party and have it delivered directly to the customer.
Dropshipping enables you to operate without maintaining inventory, owning a warehouse to store products, or even having to ship products to your customers by yourself.
In dropshipping, you partner with a dropship supplier that manufactures or stores products in a warehouse, the supplier packages, and ships the products to your customer on your behalf. Dropshipping eliminates the need for you to have a physical location for your store, office, or warehouse, you only need a laptop or a phone and internet connection.
Does Dropshipping Work In Nigeria?
Dropshipping is a very profitable business in Nigeria because you as the retailer are not responsible for the shipping costs and manufacturing of the products so you can quickly calculate your profit once a product is ordered from your online store. You can easily set up an online store with little or no cash.
Dropshipping is a worthy and more cost-effective alternative business venture in Nigeria compared to wholesale and importation business which is overly crowded and a little overwhelming. Once drop shipping is off the ground it can quickly turn into a huge profit-making machine that only requires a little input. And it does not violate any law in Nigeria.
Advantages or Benefits of Dropshipping
- Dropshipping is easy to start: it requires very little from you and you don't need to be an expert to start. You can get everything up and running in a matter of hours. You don't need a warehouse to store products or a team to help you out. You don't have to worry about stocking, or shipping either.
- Dropshipping is not expensive to run: You can start dropshipping with a little money, you can build your entire business right from your laptop without having to invest thousands of naira in inventory upfront.
In dropshipping, you won't have to purchase a product until your customer has made an order and paid for it.
- Dropshipping is easy to manage: You can manage everything in your online store without hassle since dropshipping doesn't require you to make any commitments. Once you set everything up, and find suppliers then you are mostly responsible for your online storefront.
As long as you can get across to your suppliers and customers easily, you can run and manage your business.
- Dropshipping is flexible: Another huge benefit of Dropshipping is that it allows you to make decisions that work for you. You can easily list new products and adjust your strategies whenever you want.
You can work from home and at the time that is most convenient for you.
- A wide selection of products to sell: Since you won't have to pre-purchase the products, you can offer a variety of products to your potential customers.
- Easier to test: With dropshipping, you can list and potentially sell products before deciding to purchase a large amount of inventory. So you get to test out a lot of products until you find the one that sales more.
Disadvantages of dropshipping
- Dropshipping has low margins: One of the disadvantages of dropshipping is that you will get low margins initially. This is problematic when you're dropshipping in a competitive niche you can't afford to make the kind of profits you want to.
Some sell their products very cheap at the beginning to gain loyalty and probably increase revenue in the future.
- Shipping can be complicated: Another challenge you may face is the difference in shipping costs from different suppliers.
If your customer buys four products all from different suppliers, then you have to pay for four different shipping rates, which might force you to pay for it with your own money or increase the price of the products and neither is ideal because you might end up losing your customers and losing money.
- Unsatisfactory Deliveries: In dropshipping, you cannot see the product before it gets to your customer which is very risky and you are automatically held responsible if your customer doesn't get exactly what they ordered.
- You don't have a lot of control in dropshipping: Another disadvantage of dropshipping is that you don't have a lot of control over certain aspects of the dropshipping process such as packaging, order fulfilment, and shipping. So if something goes wrong, you will be held responsible and this can be hard to manage.
You are also at the mercy of whichever supplier you choose to work with. You have less control over your business as well as your customer satisfaction. And you could be doing everything right and still have issues because of suppliers and not been in sync with them to know when a product is out of stock. Which can hurt your reputation.
- It is difficult to build a brand: Dropshipping hardly allows you to control how your brand is presented during the delivery and the order fulfilment process.
The supplier is in charge of the shipping and packaging, so even if your product is amazing, the supplier takes credit. Your customers are going to focus on the brand of the products and not entirely on the shopping experience. After all, your logo is not on the product.
- High Level of Competition: The fact that very little capital is required to start a dropshipping business makes it attractive and popular thereby skyrocketing the competition. So you could drown if you are not careful.
- Legal liability issues: Whatever illegal activities your suppliers are up to, as their vendor you are automatically roped into it. So keep this in mind when choosing suppliers.
Some suppliers are not as legitimate as they claim, some steal another company's intellectual property which happens a lot. So be careful.
Best Dropshipping Platforms for Nigerians or Ghanaians; Woocommerce or Shopify?
When you finally decide to go into dropshipping, the next question to ask yourself is the platform.
Every business needs the right platform to prosper and excel, so in this section of the article, we're going to see two top dropshipping platforms that are favourable to Nigeria, Ghana or Africa in terms of many factors like payment gateways, cost, availability of tools etc.
Here are the top best dropshipping platforms and why they are considered best.
1. WordPress Woocommerce
WordPress currently powers at least 34% of the world's websites making it the most popular and trusted CMS in the world to build dynamic websites that respond to any needs.
With it endless possibilities, thanks to developers who are constantly developing new features and functionalities to power the platform in producing best performance.
With Woocommerce e-commerce, you can easily use a dropshipping plugin such as Alidropship to directly import products from the popular dropshipping suppliers, Aliexpress into your store.
On top of that, the plugin handles every other action you need to take to manage your orders with automatic one click to place multiple orders while delivering to your customers.
It also comes with other required marketing tools that will help your entire dropshipping journey. Click here to get started with Alidropship Plugin now.
Good thing is that you pay just a one-time payment of $84 and you own your store forever and will never going to pay again for renewal.
You own your store and keep 100% of your profits to yourself.
When you mention the word dropshipping, Shopify always comes into our mouth faster. Why is it like this?
Because it's a straightforward platform that helps to automate every process of the entire dropshipping business.
With third-party apps, you can make your Shopify store the best platform in the world. The downside of this platform is that you have to buy almost everything to be able to launch the desired store and their Apps are quite expensive for someone who does not have money and struggling to start up a business.
It integrates with Oberlo which is a child company to Shopify to work directly with a database of dropship suppliers and import products directly to your store.
Good news is, Shopify has a 14 days free trial for everyone or you can jump in straight to the paid plan starting from $29/month.
Difference between Alidropship and Shopify
|One-time payment of $84||Monthly Payment from $29/mo|
|Advanced features||Advanced features (Paid)|
|Easy to use||Easy to use|
|No transaction fees||2.4% + 30¢ to 2.9% + 30¢ per sale|
|Easy customization||Technical skills required|
|No free hosting or Domain provided||You get free hosting, No free domain|
|Good customer support||Excellent customer support|
Want to start dropshipping right away? Learn everything you need to know before starting a dropshipping business as our coach takes you by hand to teach you a detailed gateway to a successful dropshipping business.
Want to jump in and start dropshipping without experts training? Click here to get your Alidropship Plugin and start importing products to sell.
How to Start a Successful Dropshipping Business in Nigeria or Ghana
There're some successful dropshipping businesses already in Nigeria you can copy from but this business likes to stay undercover. In order to start a very profitable dropship business, below are very important to adhere to.
- Select a niche /product to Dropship: The niche you select needs to be something you are genuinely interested in. If you arent passionate about the niche you select, you could become discouraged easily because it takes a lot of work to be successful in this business.
You become more attractive to potential customers when you sell something that they cannot find down the street.
Make sure you are knowledgeable about the niche you pick. This helps you to know the difference between a fake and original product as well as the pricing.
- Research the competition: Remember, that you will be competing with other dropshipping business. So you need to prepare yourself.
This research will help you to know which products are hot cake and which are not. It is advisable to invest in popular, trendy products because it shows there is a demand for it.
- Secure a supplier: Committing to a wrong supplier can ruin your business, so don't rush this step. Make inquiries about each supplier to know what their production capabilities are and if they can handle heavy demands.
Most dropshipping suppliers in Nigeria are in China and this can make response speed slow. So make sure to choose a legitimate dropship supplier that responds quickly to you to avoid stories that touch the heart.
- Choose your platform: Before you begin your dropshipping business, you can carefully decide whether to set up your e-commerce store or sell on popular e-commerce platforms like Jumia and Kings in Nigeria which allows you to sell on their platform.
You can create your online store with Shopify or WordPress.You don't need to be a tech expert to get your online store up and running.
- Promote your business: Do not set up your online store, and sit back waiting for people to come to you. Customers don't just pop up from nowhere, so you have to find them and bring them to your store.
There are several ways to attract potential customers to your store you can either promote your store through social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) or use email marketing.
Your store will be quite useless if you don't have customers, so invest heavily in promoting your store.
- Get your finances in order: Don't become one of those entrepreneurs who ignore financial management and later regret it in the long run.
Take charge of your finances, keep up to date with how much is going out and coming in your business. Also, learn to keep your personal and business finances separate.
One common mistake entrepreneurs make when starting a business is not taking financial management seriously. You should also learn to keep your business and personal finances separate as much as possible.
Taking this responsibility will help you to nip in the bud any financial loopholes that could ruin your business.
- Run Tests on products: Another beauty of Dropshipping is that you can test as many products as possible until you find the one that suits you perfectly because you don't have to store a large number of products anywhere and it is free.
Dropshipping gives you the freedom to discover the right product for you by trial and error.
Dropshipping Suppliers in Nigeria
Aliexpress: It is an online marketplace where different sellers display their products for sale. Products gotten from suppliers on this platform are cheap. you can also sell to customers that are not residing in Nigeria.
You can find a reliable seller that deals with products in your chosen niche. Plus Aliexpress sellers have the option to provide free shipping to any country in the world.
Oberlo: Oberlo is an e-commerce platform that makes it easier for dropshippers to secure a dropshipping supplier after choosing a niche.
You can easily source and import products from Aliexpress. And connects you to thousands of sellers of different products.
Shopify: It is one of the best platforms to use if you want to start a dropshipping business. It creates an effective selling space for dropshippers. You get to brand and market your business while they manage your store for you.
Shopify provides an environment for e-sellers to register and market their products. It is advisable to do ethical research before partnering with a supplier.
Dropshipping Training in Lagos
If you're looking for a reliable dropshipping trainer you can trust, then you're welcome to the ecom school of thoughts where we teach, support and provide an adequate solution to our students for them to start and run a successful dropshipping business. Click here to learn more about our dropshipping training in Lagos.
You can also enrol for the dropshipping training from anywhere in the world and interact 100% with our course materials and get a certificate of completion in the end.
Dropshipping mistakes to Avoid
- Do Not choose your Products based on what You like or dislike: It is important to choose the product you wish you sell based on facts, research, and market demands instead of what you love or don't love. It is business after all.
- Do Not Sell fake products: Selling or parading fake products as original is the fastest way to lose customers and end up in jail. Only dropship products from reliable and trusted suppliers to avoid stories that touch the heart.
- Don't join the popular trend: Do not pick a product to sell because everyone is selling it. The market for those popular products is usually overcrowded so make sure to do the proper research before you start selling a product. Google trend is a good tool or this research.
You will give your dropshipping business more value if you rebrand whatever product you are selling and pass it off as your own. It is advisable to look for a product you can white label and custom package as your own.
Your product needs to appeal to impulse buyers who have a lot of money to spare.
Just like any other venture, setting up your dropshipping business requires passion, commitment, and effort to make it work. It is not only about creating the business but learning how to run it on daily basis.
Dropshipping allows you to grow by testing your products and ideas, in real-time until you are satisfied, so you can easily remove any product that doesn't work for you from your store without incurring any major losses.
With the steps in this guide, you can easily start and grow a dropshipping business in Nigeria without any hassle.