How To Build An eCommerce Website For Your Local Business in Nigeria

The online revolution, which has sought to eliminate the need for buyers and sellers to meet physically, before transactions can proceed, as at last found its way into the Nigerian market.

The age of eCommerce has finally arrived in Nigeria. Online shopping is the new trend and you mustn’t miss out. Ecommerce (or electric commerce) refers to the buying and selling of goods and services via electronic channels, primarily the Internet. 

With this growing trend comes a huge business opportunity that only a handful of business owners in Nigeria are taking advantage of.

Many businesses owners have been clouded with inaccurate information about the cost and ease of setting up an online shop. Don’t be discouraged; it can be as simple as ABC. We will learn how to build an eCommerce website for your business.

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The real challenge involves planning a structure on how to make delivery of orders made on your eCommerce website. And what parts of the country you will be willing to cover. This is what the big players like Jumia, Konga, Mall for Africa, etc. have figured out. You can pay a visit to their sites to see what a typical eCommerce site looks like.

So, before you start accepting payments online you need to have a shipping plan/policy as well as a return policy.

Now, Most business owners, when they decide to sell online, either go for their own custom developed eCommerce websites or register with an online selling third party platform (eg. Jumia, Konga, etc)

A much simpler and cheaper option instead is to go for a basic WordPress website.

For starters, just follow these steps:

      • Get a web host
      • Install WordPress
      • Install WordPress theme that supports popular eCommerce plugins
      • Install the eCommerce plugin of your choice
      • Edit the settings
      • Add your products
      • Set the products page as the homepage.
      • Start your store.

It’s really not as easy at it looks, especially if you aren’t familiar with WordPress. So, a good starting point is to first familiarize with WordPress as well as WordPress themes and plugins. WordPress is a Content Management System (You can create your own website without knowing a single line of code. Fun. Right? )

For those already familiar with WordPress, let’s take a deeper look:

Step 1- Install WordPress on your host’s server

As the very first step, you need to buy a suitable hosting plan, followed by a quick installation of WordPress on your host’s server.

However, you need a reliable web hosting service that offers speed, security and 99% uptime. Some notable web hosting services include:

      • GoDaddy
      • HostGator Web Hosting
        • BlueHost Web Hosting
      • inMotion Hosting

However, we recommend managed WordPress hosting like Wp engine & Pagely.

Step 2- Install the eCommerce plugin

Once you’re done with installing WordPress, it’s time to log on to your admin dashboard and go to “Plugins” available within the menu displayed towards the left-hand side. Next, click on “Add New” and you’ll be able to view the WordPress plugin repository. From here, search for the eCommere plugin of your choice and click on the “Install” button. Have a look at some of the recommended eCommerce plugins:

1) Wp e-Commerce: WP e-Commerce is the most popular and frequently downloaded WordPress eCommerce plugin ever. With more than 2.6 million downloads, it stands well ahead of any other WordPress eCommerce plugin.

2) WooCommerce eCommerce plugin for WordPress 

3) Selz eCommerce plugin

4) Shopify

5) Easy Digital Downloads: A lightweight, feature-rich and simple to setup eCommerce solution for selling digital downloads via WordPress at no cost.

6) Cart66

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Step 3- Configure the eCommerce plugin

The above-listed eCommerce plugins have different configurations. Luckily they are all easy to set up in the WordPress dashboard. Their dashboards are highly instructional with directions on what to do. Basically, most have the following configuration settings:

a) General settings

      •  Select a Base Country/ Region.
      •  Select the markets you are selling products to.
      •  Select a Currency Type and Currency Sign

b) Products settings: You can use this section for tweaking the product settings and the way products are displayed i.e. inventory, product image sizes, and downloadable products.

c) Taxes: You can define TAX rules here. These rules vary from country to country.

d) Shipping: If you are providing shipping, then enable Use Shipping option. You can also Enable Free Shipping Discount.

e) Payments: Here you can define Payment Gateways. Read our article on the top online payment gateways for Nigeria.

f) Checkout:

        • Enable Users must register before checking out
          • Enable shipping same as Billing Option
        • The Form Fields define the Customer’s checkout form. You can create a new form or use the default one.

g) Notification Settings

Step 4- Start adding products to your WordPress e-store

Just like the addition of a new post into WordPress blog/site, you can easily add different products into your WordPress powered e-store. Just go to your admin dashboard and within the left menu, click on the appropriate icon to add products.

Now your site is ready to roll. You are ready to sell your own product using your WordPress powered e-Commerce website. With WordPress and the options that it brings with it, eCommerce is not limited to large organizations or businesses anymore. There’s no reason why you should ignore WordPress and waste money on getting a custom developed e-commerce website. Good luck.

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