Challenges of E-commerce Business in Nigeria and Practical Solutions

The beginning of modern Nigerian e-commerce can be traced to 2012 when Jumia was established. Subsequently, we began to see platforms like Konga, DealDey, Jiji, OLX, Kaymu, Yudala, IrokoTV, among many other also springing up. 

I fondly recall my first purchase, a headphone set from Jumia. Having it delivered directly to my doorstep was a huge relief compared to enduring long hours in traffic and navigating busy markets like Computer Village. That convenience, ease and speed I experienced are the primary value propositions these platforms sell to attract millions of shoppers across the country.

E-commerce in Nigeria has witnessed tremendous growth, with a rising number of online shoppers and an increasing appetite for digital transactions. In more recent years, the market has extended into social commerce, where shoppers buy directly from vendors on social media platforms like X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, and Instagram. According to DataReportal, Nigeria boasts 31.60 million social media users as of January 2023, making it a substantial market for social commerce business owners.

However, this growth has brought forth a unique set of challenges that both established and aspiring e-commerce businesses must address to thrive in this competitive landscape. In this post, I will highligt seven of the most pressing challenges faced by e-commerce businesses in Nigeria and provide practical solutions to overcome them.

1. Trust

This is top on the list of concerns Nigerian online shoppers have. Many potential customers ask questions like, “Do I know this brand?” or “How am I sure this is not one of those fake online vendors?” before making a buying decision. Recently, a certain social media user called “VeryDarkMan” has been holding skincare vendors accountable by calling them out for basic things like having a NAFDAC number or clearly stating product ingredients. This shows how much distrust shoppers have developed. Building trust is absolutely critical for e-commerce success in Nigeria. To achieve this, consider investing in effective PR, running impactful brand awareness campaigns, and actively encouraging customer reviews. Furthermore, prominently featuring a transparent refund and return policy on your website can significantly boost confidence among potential buyers.

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2. Security and Payment

Online shoppers frequently have concerns about the security of their personal data and payment information. Imagine losing your entire savings just because you used your card for a N5,000 item.To address these worries, it’s crucial to implement robust security measures. This includes utilizing SSL encryption and collaborating with trustworthy payment gateways that place a high emphasis on data security. Additionally, it’s essential to emphasize your dedication to safeguarding customer information through your website and promotional materials. By prioritizing these practices, you can enhance customer confidence and ensure a secure online shopping experience.

3. Logistics

In Nigeria, there’s a growing issue with unreliable logistics services, and customers often share frustrating stories. In some cases, goods are unnecessarily delayed while some shoppers never even get their goods without any cogent reason. To overcome this challenge, it’s crucial to choose dependable logistics companies as your partners. Establish and maintain transparent communication channels with your logistics partners to guarantee on-time order deliveries. If possible, think about investing in your logistics infrastructure to gain greater control over the entire delivery process. These strategies will help enhance your logistics operations in Nigeria, ensuring a smoother customer experience.

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4. Stock Management

In the world of ecommerce, having the right products in stock is vital to keep your customers happy and your profits soaring. You can’t just afford to run out of stock. To achieve this, it’s essential to employ an efficient stock management system that constantly tracks your inventory levels and establishes low-stock thresholds. Don’t wait until your products are on the brink of running out before restocking. That way, you can guarantee a seamless shopping experience for your valued customers, which translates into more sales and higher customer satisfaction.

5. Customer Support

Delivering top-notch customer support is crucial for customer retention and acquisition. When shoppers know they can get answers when needed, they will keep coming back. To achieve this, incorporate chatbots into your website to provide swift assistance to visitors. These chatbots can seamlessly link up with widely-used messaging platforms such as WhatsApp. It’s essential to maintain a dedicated support team accessible during business hours to promptly address inquiries via multiple channels like phone, email, and social media. Also, create a robust FAQ section and knowledge base to bolster the customer experience.


6. Website Support and Maintenance 

Regular maintenance is a non-negotiable aspect of running a successful e-commerce website. It ensures the security, functionality, and competitiveness of your online store. You can choose to manage it in-house or outsource to experts. Whatever option works for you, having a team in place to fix bugs or install security patches will help you give customers a seamless shopping experience.

7. Driving Sales

The success of any e-commerce business boils down to one key factor: boosting sales. To achieve this, it’s crucial to develop a customized digital marketing plan that aligns with your unique goals. You can recruit an in-house marketing team or enlist the help of skilled professionals. Also, don’t forget to integrate marketing automation tools seamlessly into your website. These tools will guide users along their online journey and serve as powerful catalysts for driving sales.


Final Thoughts

As the E-Commerce market continues to grow in Nigeria, only businesses that prioritize trust, security, logistics, stock management, customer support, website maintenance, and sales-driven marketing will position themselves for success.

Considering the associated cost and rigours associated with building an in-house web support and marketing team, you can plug into the expertise that digital agencies with proven experiences can offer. For instance, The Delta Company provides bespoke and result-driven solutions to enable e-commerce business meet set goals. These services include: web development and support, digital marketing and marketing automation.

Ultimately, staying agile and flexible enough to adjust to customer needs is key to thriving in the Nigerian e-commerce market.

Are you ready to confront challenges in your E-Commerce business?Take Advantage of our Free Consultation Today

Are the sales not coming in as expected?
Or do your customers keep complaining of unpleasant experiences and challenges while trying to make a simple purchase?…Just a minute, do you even have feedbacks from your customers?

At The Delta Company, we totally understand your business is unique hence whatever challenge you’re currently facing, requires bespoke solutions to address them. Get in touch and access free expert and result driven solutions from our team of experts.

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