11 Effective Strategies for Building a Successful Online Marketplace in Nigeria

by Degreat Michael
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Online marketplace

Whether you’re a business owner or an internet marketer, having a solid strategy is crucial for success in the online marketplace today. With more and more people getting into e-commerce, competition is getting tougher.

E-commerce Insights says “Nigeria will be the 52nd biggest e-commerce market by 2024, with an expected revenue of US$2,684.6 million.” Yet, this revenue is predicted to grow yearly, reaching US$4,339.5 million by 2028.

That’s why you should read this article to the end. Here, you’ll learn the top 11 strategies to help you succeed in the online marketplace. 

What Does An Online Marketplace Mean?

An online marketplace is a digital space or platform where people can buy and sell things. It could be a website or an app where you can find products from different brands or just one seller. 

You’ve probably heard of places like Amazon, eBay, Jumia, Aliexpress, Yudala, Jiji, etc. They are all examples of online marketplaces, which are also referred to as “e-commerce platforms.”

Now that you know about online marketplaces, let’s see how you can build one for yourself and your brand.

11 Ways to Build a Successful Online Marketplace in Nigeria

  1. Understand the online marketplace in Nigeria

You must first understand the ins and outs of any location to do well in it. It’s no different when creating a thriving online marketplace in Nigeria as a business owner. 

Nigeria’s e-commerce scene is undoubtedly booming, with businesses like Jumia and Konga leading. Yet smaller, specialized marketplaces are also making waves. 

Thanks to smartphones and better internet access, people increasingly shop on mobile. To that end, to succeed in any online marketplace as an entrepreneur, you must study the market and its trends. 

For example, while Jumia and Konga sell a wide range of products, smaller sites like Printivo focus on printing services. Thus, finding unique opportunities is vital. An example of such opportunities could be selling locally-made goods. 

That’s why you need to know what customers want to help tailor strategies for better engagement. This leads to the next point. 

  1. Conduct comprehensive market research

There’s no point setting up an online marketplace if you don’t know your target audience. It’s like cooking an unknown meal at a party that no one is ready to eat. That’s why market research remains a big deal to create a thriving online marketplace in Nigeria. It should be thorough. 

That way, you can determine your target customers and what they like. Also, you can look at your competitors and see where you can stand out. 

Remember, your market research should help you understand the culture of the country’s people. That includes understanding vital things like special holidays that people shop online the most. 

For example, in Nigeria, people are more inclined to buy things during Christmas. This knowledge can assist you in marketing more effectively, making smart decisions, and setting up your marketplace for success in Nigeria’s e-commerce scene.

  1. Establish trust and credibility

This may not sound like a strategy you should employ to build a successful online marketplace, but it is. That’s because people only buy from people they know, like, and trust—what many marketers call the “KLT factor” in branding. 

Take a moment to think about that. Building trust and credibility is vital for business growth, so it requires thorough planning. In essence, you need to develop a strategy around it. But how, in the e-commerce space?

First, you want to make your brand consistent across everything you do. This way, people can recognize and trust you. Yet that’s not all there’s to do. Constantly looking out for your customers or prospects can make all the difference.

For example, an excellent proactive move that tells your customers you’re after their interest is to have secure payment systems. It could be Paystack or Flutterwave. This way, customers know you care about their safety and protect their information.

Now note that not talking about sharing customer reviews and testimonials would make this subheading incomplete. Of course, people trust what others say about you. 

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  1. Build a strong vendor network

Like any e-commerce platform, every online marketplace in Nigeria needs a reliable group of vendors. These are the people whose items or products will be displayed on your websites and sold to potential buyers. Without them, the goal of your marketplace can’t be met. 

Thus, build a strong vendor list to succeed with your online marketplace. Big players like Jumia, Konga, and Jiji have done this and found success. When using this strategy, ensure access is granted only to reliable vendors offering quality products. But that’s not all. 

Of course, you must support vendors with training and assistance to improve their online sales on your marketplace. Provide guides, workshops, and teams to help them understand and sell more effectively. Be transparent about your fees, product listings, and problem-solving processes to build trust with vendors. 

  1. Implement effective marketing strategies

You can use many channels or strategies for online marketing to build your e-commerce platform in Nigeria. One of these innovative channels or strategies is social media and working with influencers. Using platforms like Instagram and Twitter, which are popular in Nigeria, lets you easily connect with customers.

Also, by leveraging digital marketing tactics like search engine optimization (SEO), you can help your marketplace appear in online searches. You and your team can use the relevant keywords and content people in Nigeria are searching for. This way, more people find your marketplace when looking for things to buy.

You can also communicate directly with customers using email and ads. Sending special deal emails or using Google and Facebook ads can attract people to your marketplace. Don’t forget good marketing builds strong customer relationships and is vital for long-term success.

  1. Boost customer engagement and retention

For your online marketing to achieve success, you need to keep customers engaged, and coming back for more is crucial. Start by making them feel special with personalized recommendations and deals. Websites like Jumia and Konga analyze shopping habits to suggest relevant products, increasing the likelihood of purchases.

Next, provide quick assistance to customers with questions or issues. Offering various support channels like live chat or email demonstrates care for customer satisfaction. Of course, addressing issues promptly helps build trust and encourages users to return. 

Additionally, incentivize repeat purchases by offering rewards such as discounts or free shipping. Websites like DealDey and VConnect have loyalty programs that provide perks to loyal customers, encouraging continued patronage. That, in turn, builds long-term relationships and makes people spend more over time.

  1. Adapt to regulatory and logistical challenges

It’s critical to tackle regulatory and logistical challenges beforehand to succeed in Nigeria’s online marketplace. To that end, you must follow the government’s rules and laws to avoid problems and keep customers’ trust. Laws in Nigeria cover things like protecting customers, keeping their information safe, and paying taxes correctly.

Thus, you must know and follow these laws as one who wants to build an online market. With that in mind, having a sound system for delivering orders on time is also crucial. As it’s evident, Nigeria has different areas with different challenges, so it’s essential for marketplaces to have strong delivery networks. That means working with reliable courier services and local delivery companies. 

Beyond that, you must monitor what’s happening in the market and make necessary changes. That’s because Nigeria’s online shopping world is constantly changing, with new trends, technology, and competition. 

  1. Invest in technology and innovation

Focusing on technology and new ideas is essential to succeed in Nigeria’s online marketplace. That’s because using the right technology and trying new things can improve your online marketing in Nigeria. 

For example, using AI and data analysis powered by technology can enhance users’ shopping experience and make it better. Websites like Jumia and Konga look at how people shop to suggest things they might like. 

Often, that makes the marketplace vendors happier and helps them sell more. Nevertheless, listening to what customers say and making changes based on their feedback would be best for your marketplace. 

Marketplaces can see what people like and don’t like by looking at reviews and surveys. This helps make the website better and adds features that people want.

  1. Prioritize scalability and long-term evolution

Focusing on growth and expansion over time is crucial to build a booming online business in Nigeria. It all boils down to having a growth plan right from the start. That brings me to mind a vital question, can your website or app handle more users and transactions as the market gets busier?

Well, websites like Jumia and Konga have proven that it’s possible to turn that question into a strategy. They have also demonstrated the importance of planning for growth from the beginning.

Also, you want to prioritize investing in things that will help your business grow. This includes the following efforts:  

  • Ensuring the servers can handle more users, 
  • Improving the website or app, and 
  • Improving the delivery system to reach more customers all over Nigeria. 

In other words, by investing in technology and resources that can grow with the marketplace, it can keep getting bigger without losing quality.

  1. Make your online marketplace flexible to change

In addition to the strategies highlighted above, you must monitor how the marketplace is doing.

You can achieve that by tracking significant numbers like:

  • How many new users sign up, 
  • How many people buy things, 
  • How much they spend, and 
  • How many people return to shop again? 

Indeed, monitoring these numbers and adjusting will help your marketplace grow and remain competitive in Nigeria’s online market.

  1. Create a seamless user experience

Nobody enjoys having a bad experience when using slow load time on the web or any app on their phone. That’s why focusing on giving users a smooth experience is a crucial strategy to make the online marketplace you’re trying to build succeed. 

An excellent place to start is to ensure your website is accessible to users. Websites like Jumia and Konga are good examples. Their simple designs make it easy for people to find and buy what they want.

Likewise, the website for your online marketing should also work well on phones and with slow internet. Many people in Nigeria use smartphones, and the internet can be slow in some areas. Take websites like Jiji.ng for example, they are designed to work well on phones, even if the internet is slow.

Also, ensure people find paying for things on your website easy. Accepting different payment methods, like bank transfers and card payments, makes it easier for everyone to buy things. Websites like Printivo let people choose how they want to pay, simplifying the buying process.

List of Online Marketplaces in Nigeria

Below are the top ten e-commerce websites in Nigeria:

  • Konga 
  • Kusnap
  • Slot Ng
  • Obiwezy  
  • Kara Nigeria
  • Ajebomarket
  • Jumia Nigeria
  • Yudala Nigeria
  • Printovo Store
  • PayPorte Lifestyle store

These are just part of Nigeria’s long list of online marketplaces. 

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We’ve explored ten strategies for building a successful online marketplace in Nigeria. Plus, we’ve checked out a bunch of e-commerce platforms in Nigeria.

Now that you’ve got all these valuable strategies under your belt, are you ready to kickstart your solid online marketing? Good luck!

Edited by Priscilla Ajayi.

About Author

Avatar of Degreat Michael
Degreat Michael
Degreat is an expert SEO content writer, self-published author and founder of Greatcrackers.com. With over 5 years of experience in a variety of content writing, he helps struggling small business owners create result-driven web copies that sell their brand stories.

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