How To Sell Your Business Online In Nigeria.
The online trend has continue to grow, leaving behind those who are yet to acquire skills that will make them relevant in the digital age, to maximise their online presence.
I met a man who runs a physical shop selling men’s wears in a popular location in Lagos.
He complained how the patronage for his clothing business has drastically reduced in the present time comparing back to the late 90s to early 2000s.
I asked him what could be the cause? he responded it’s because people are relocating to the outskirt of the city.
He might be right but that is not the only factor that affects his patronage.
I asked him, if he has an online store? his answer was no.
That is the wave that moved his cheese.
Many people today do their shopping online, where they search the internet for what they want from one online shop to another, comparing prices and authenticity.
It is time to improve your business marketing strategy, grow with the trend to stay in business.
People don’t buy because it’s you, people buy “emotions”, so your competitor who has gone extra mile to put his business online, running ads and constantly updating his items online will likely make more sales than you who would lock your shop once its 6 or 8pm till the next day. He is operating round the clock 24/7 while you only do 12hrs and close for the day.
This means, while he sleeps people who search for his product or services online follow to see and end up buying.
How Does The Internet Relate To Your Business And How To Get Started.
Lets say you run a shop, you sell clothes, house interiors etc and your business has grown through offline marketing. so far you haven’t gone digital yet and you want to do so, you want to know which kind of online platform you will pitch your business on to thrive.
There are steps you follow to get your business presence online that will work well for you.
Don’t get intimidated, the tools and technology available today are easy to learn, easy to use and easy to acquire.
For many businesses, the challenge to going online isn’t getting used to the tools, but putting together a workable plan.
a• First you need to set your marketing goals to help you reach out to your potential customers with a relevant content about your products or services.
You will also consider the options that make up a successful online business. Website, mobile, social media etc.
b• Know your target audience by grouping and segmenting them based on location, demographic status and interest.
c• Launch your business online, collect data, analyse and improve until you get your business goals executed.
d• You also consider cost and time hence you must set a realistic budget and an achievable schedule with clear milestones.
When going Online, there are many ways you communicate your business to your target audience that bring them to you.
A business person is someone who sell solution to people who are looking for answers, and you got to speak out the answer well else, potential customers will not just assume you have what they need.
That’s the reason why bus conductors announces their route and still went on to persuade passengers to join them even though the passengers need them most to arrive to their destinations.
You got to package your business that way, use every tool to share message about your business and optimize it to be seen everywhere you know it will be needed.
What Are The Tools Use?
1• Write and Publish Content.
Writing relevant content about your business is by communicating the benefits, everything you know about your products and services to your targeted audience.
Remember, people buy solution so before they buy online, they first read details before making decision.
If you are going to sell organic cosmetics online, tell your target audience the benefits of using your products.
Put your content where people who need it will search for it and find it useful.
Social media may be good but there are other options you can explore to get interested audience coming to search for your product or service.
2• Show Pictures.
Showing clean pictures of your products or services create an impression that enhances decision making. remember people buy “emotion”, and make sure the pictures are relevant to what you are promoting.
3• Show Videos.
Videos speaks alot. you can make short videos about your products and share on your business website.
It could be testimonial videos from your customers or behind the scene. Show brief the production process. (You got to be sensitive here)
Podcast are audio messages you create about your business, explain details about your business and put it online, some potential customers would find it useful and call to make orders.
Take Your Business Online.
1• List Your Products on The Market Place.
There are online market place in Nigeria you can get started with, all you need is to create your shop on their platform, it will be approved and you will list your products.
The company market it for you online and take commission in percentage.
Potential customers will find your items relevant to them and will not hesitate to place orders.
You will receive email notification and take the item to the nearest collection centre to you, and get it ready for shipping.
You can create a store on Jumia, Konga, The sme market hub etc.
2• Build Your Own Online Store.
If you have different kind of products like cosmetics, clothes, foot wears etc. You can build your own online independent store where you take charge of all the listing, promotion and making deliveries.
You will need to identify your USP- unique selling point to make an influence.
Leverage the search engine marketing tools to optimize your online store to stay up.
You need to understand how to do this, people are searching and buying every day online, the products you have is needed, why you may not be getting much result for orders may just require you to do little home work on your online marketing toolkit.
3• Leverage Social Media.
It’s important to create social media account for your business.
Think of facebook, Instagram, twitter, LinkedIn etc.
different class of people use these channels, so it is important to understand where your target audience is and when do they come online so that you will target to shot at that time.
I have my own strategy of when to release my blog post and which social media to share it on.
If you understand these metrics, you will not push the right service or product to a wrong audience or vice versa. like promoting organic cosmetics products on twitter. quite well there are universal characteristics that is common to all social media platforms but if you want to achieve quality result, target the right audience for your business.
It will save you cost and resources and the psychological benefit of staying motivated when you are seen result.
4• Build a Website.
This is where you control everything about your business from market campaign, driving traffic to conversion.
Having your website where you promote your products or services is something you should plan to do if you haven’t gotten one.
All the activities you do on social media and internet will all lead to your website.
When people visit your website either through social media or on search engines, it means they are searching about the services you renders or they have seen your ads and follow to learn more.
once they find it relevant to them, they make buying decision right there and you get paid.
When building a website, it is good to know that majority of people in Nigeria uses phone to make online searches, so your website should be mobile responsive.
You can start and improve as you advance.
5• Create YouTube Channel.
There are products or services that can sell very well when people watch videos about it.
YouTube videos explain precise “How-to”, as a learning channel, you sell solution and people buy when they find it relevant to what they want.
Include your website sitelinks to the description page so that it will give your potential customers an extension to learn more by visiting your website.
6• Build an E-mail List.
E-mail marketing has being thriving for decades and its still rocking.
This is another means to communicate your customers, alert them for promo sales, new offers.
E-mail list is good for remarketing and reaching out to existing subscribers.
Your email broadcast may carry some images or short video and text to communicate details about what you want your subscribers to know.
You can use your email list as landing page to reach out to more potential customers through sponsored ads.
While going digital don’t forget to list your business on local directories.
Also put your business on Google My Business, also sponsor it using Google Ads where you can target location and sites you want your business to appear.
Internet has being a great revolution to maximising profit, time and resources doing business in the 21st century in Nigeria.
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You can also call or send me an email for assistance concerning taking your business online and optimizing it to stay on top of the game.
Share your contributions or questions in the comment box.