The major online stores in Nigeria now offer vendor partnerships. It means you can host your store on their platform and get your goods across to buyers. Now that makes a lot sense. Saves you the stress of setting up your own online store, hosting, technical know-how, payment integration, advertising, publicity, deployment and all of those petty problems that comes along with owning an e-commerce website.
Believe me when I say deploying a website is hard work and launching an commerce website is harder-work.
Before you start selling on Konga, Jumia and the rest of them. You might want to consider a few hassles. But they are so immaterial, they don’t really pose a problem. From my little experience.
You can’t sell pirated products – If it is a Tommy Hilfiger then it must be a Tommy Hilfiger. No look alike under the same name.
Your image has to be of high quality.
You will need your specifications like weight, size, colour etc.
And really that’s all to it. No complicated registration and best of all, its free to sign-up
So if registering on an online store is not the issue then what then should you be wary of.
Competition: You know why, because so many others like you are taking that opportunity. So chances are unless you are selling something that has never been sold. You are not alone. While your goods is being displayed, countless other stores are showing theirs right beside it and offering if possible a better price.
Loss of Brand: As a buyer, I really won’t pay attention to the vend. I’m more concerned about my desired product. What registers in my mind is “I bought from Konga or Jumia” If the prices were oka then that is a good deal from the online store and no more. I realised customers drop reviews more because of what they bought than what they feel about the vendor.
Selling Online ain’t really free: Nothing is free Bro. The stores charge a commission depending on the category of your goods. And did I mention delivery charges when the store delivers the goods on your behalf, you the vendor incur a charge which isn’t cheap either.
God help you if the buyer decides not to purchase on delivery, You still pay the delivery charge.
The Buyer has more rights than the Seller: The online store offer you a partnership to serve the buyers more not you. Watch out for the refund carrot being dangled before buyers to lure them into buying. Sometimes that carrot might turn out to be a bone to you the vendor. You already incur delivery charges and get to pay more for retrieving the good from the customer.
Selling online is attractive as it is. The choice of how you go about it matters too. Whichever way it seems. Quite a lot of people are doing well as a vendor. The underlying principle is to keep to the principles of fair trading. The online stores, Jumia, Konga, Yudala, Payporte and many more still to come have proven e-commerce is a lucrative business.
So how do you know if you are better of selling as a vendor online. Lets do a simple mathematics
Let’s assume you intend selling School bags on Jumia.
Your purchase price is N3,000 per bag.
First thing to watch out for is the prevailing price in the offline market. Let’s assume this is obtainable at 4,500 – 6,000. The trick about most consumers is that they are actually looking for the best bargain. Which means you should not go beyond the highest price obtainable in the market but you can go above the lowest.
Next step is to watch out for the commission fee charged by your online store. If we are to assume commission fee is 12% and you intend to sell for 5,000. Then the commission payable is 625.
Don’t forget the delivery charge. Let me add that the major online stores afford you the option of delivering yourself. That doesn’t make it a good option though. You can’t spend all yur time delivering goods at the expense of your time. Besides it actually costlier. Delivery defers in terms of the goods, destination and weight. Delivery a School Bag might cost 1,000 profit or less depending on which delivery partner you choose.
So our net proceed is 5000 less the commission and delivery charge is 3,375. Leaving you a profit of 375 or a bit more depending on the parameters above.
Before you close the lid on selling online. There is a term in Accounting called ‘Contribution’ and a principle that says you should maintain a line of business provided that line continues to derive contribution. Which by our little analysis is your N375. There is also a Nigerian saying in broken English “at all at all na im i’m bad” basically saying half bread is better than none.
So if you have never tried selling online before. Head down to one of the major online stores and register. I’d like to hear your experience.
Most of the times, Zion peers at the computer screen, tweaking codes, analysing and calculating figures, manipulating the screen and digging deep into the World Wide Web. A combination of many different things in one thing. You don’t have to bother understanding that.