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Nigerians are buying and selling things online at an increasing rate. If you own a business and you’re looking to expand your customer base, you should seriously consider taking your products to the web.

Perhaps you’ve already done this. You might have a few social media handles, where you frequently advertise your wares and services. If things are going well, you could even have a fairly steady stream of demand from those channels. Is there a need to add extra online outlets to what you have at the moment?

Maybe there’s more room for growth, a large space for expansion you’ve been ignoring. How about selling on a recognized e-commerce website?

You’re probably familiar with the big names in Nigerian e-commerce- Jumia, Konga, PayPorte, etc. They are the first point of call for many a Nigerian online shopper and account for a large share of purchases in the country’s rapidly growing online marketplace. Here’s an idea: why not leverage their large customer base by selling on their platforms?

There are good reasons to be interested in putting your products up for sale on such websites:

  • Unlike social media, you’re certain that most of the traffic on these e-commerce sites come from people who actually want to buy things. In other words, you’re right in front of potential customers from the start.
  • The bigger e-commerce sites also have a large number of people looking up quotes and ordering products on a daily basis. Some of them have a combined potential customer base numbering millions of persons.
  • There’s usually a sellers’ support service for businesses selling on these platforms to access if they have issues that need to be resolved.

What does it cost to use these platforms?

Typically, e-commerce websites don’t charge businesses any initial fees for registering to sell on them. But they do charge a commission for each sale recorded by businesses on the site. Commission rates may vary depending on the e-commerce website you use.

How to sell on e-commerce websites

The specific steps to take in registering to sell on e-commerce websites also varies with the site you choose to sell on. But you’ll do well to have the following things sorted out first.

  1. Research available options

Visit several e-commerce sites and have a look at them. Check for their seller benefits, charges, and terms of service. Find out what existing sellers and buyers on their platforms think of them. Compare your observations of the available options, and decide which (if any) suits your needs.

  1. Register with your preferred website

If you have chosen an e-commerce platform to sell on, you should proceed to register on it. You may have to fill out an online form on the website and submit the required documents, as the specific platform requests. You may also have to accept a seller agreement. All of this could take a few minutes to complete. Make sure to read the guidelines and FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) provided on the site, where they are available.

  1. List and sell your products

Online stores need pictures and text to give their potential buyers a good idea of what their products actually look like. You should use the right images of your products on the e-commerce site you’ll be listing them on. The text should also let the buyer know what brand or type you have on display, as well as their price and other necessary information.

The good thing is, you’ll very likely get some pretty straightforward guidelines to help you with these steps.


You can take advantage of the preestablished markets on e-commerce sites by having your products sold through them. But it’s up to you to decide whether this is for you. Weigh the costs against the benefits, and make the move that suits you best.

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This article was first published on 20th August 2018


Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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