Foodstuff supply business is thriving both locally and among diasporas. Starting an online foodstuff store could be one unique idea whose opportunity has come. If you are looking for an online business you can start, online foodstuff store is highly profitable.
There’s high demand for local foodstuff among diaspora Nigerians living in Europe, America and Asia. The cost of buying local foodstuffs in those countries are skyrocketing everyday.
There are over 203 million diaspora Nigerians. It’s a huge market for anyone who can provide them with their favorite foodstuffs in a most effective ordering system they can trust. That way Nigerians anywhere in the world can order a bowl of fufu and expect it in 24 hours anywhere around the world.
You can tap into this opportunity to sell foodstuffs directly to both Nigerians at home and Nigerians in diaspora using the internet.
How Online Foodstuff Store Work
This online Foodstuff model is not different from the regular foodstuff business model but it introduces the eCommerce model to make it 24 hours operation. You are simply using eCommerce as a platform to sell your foodstuffs.
The only challenge you have is that you need to build your own eCommerce store for it. There are no global eCommerce platform that’s offering Nigerian local foodstuffs you can leverage. If you can find one that would be good, and takes away the burden of creating your own platform.
Interestingly, it’s no longer a complex idea to build successful eCommerce store. Even if you don’t know anything about eCommerce website design, you can hire a web developer or simply create your Foodstuff store on Shopify.
Another way to start your online Foodstuff Store might be using Facebook marketplace or Google My Business.
Tips to Start Online Foodstuff Store
There are key things you should consider when starting an online Foodstuff Store. Let me list some of the most important once for a startup.
- You need to find a niche Foodstuff idea
- Partner with quality foodstuff vendors
- Have a strong marketing plan
- Have an affordable logistics plan
- Create a strong social media followers
- Start branding from day one
Niche Foodstuff Store Idea
For a start, don’t stretch your business too thin by trying to offer more foodstuff varieties. Customers may demand you to do so and even lure you with promises to patronize you. Pick your niche Foodstuff idea and start with them.
It’s better to be known for something than to be known for nothing specific. Don’t be a jack of all trade from the very beginning. Start with just few and learn as you grow. Remember, mistakes will be made at every beginning in any business. Make yours in small sizes so you can recover from it easily.
Partner with Foodstuff Vendors
As a beginner, you may not understand some international standard requirements for exporting foodstuffs from Nigeria. Use good vendors who understand the business better than you. Learn from them before going fully to do it on your own.
Foodstuff Marketing Plan
Online Foodstuff Store is different from just running Foodstuff group buy on WhatsApp or Facebook. You need to advertise your foodstuff store since your main target customers are not your friends, colleagues and immediate family members.
Your marketing plan must be solid to work, and must be targeted at the rich customers to avoid wasting advert money reaching the wrong audience.
Foodstuff Logistics Plan
Since it’s an online store, you have to plan for logistics like delivery. You have to also know what the key selling point of your online foodstuff store really is. If you ask me, I would say “DELIVERY”.
Although, foodstuff remains your product, but that’s not majorly why customers may choose to buy from you. They can equally buy from any other foodstuff vendor. But an online Foodstuff Store would guarantee better logistics arrangement for international customers. That’s why they may buy from you.
Social Media Fanbase
Trust is one thing the internet doesn’t have in abundance. You need social media followers to help you build trust and referrals.
Work seriously on growing strong social media followers. But keep the growth within your target market. A strong social media will help you communicate regularly with your customers, build familiarity and increase trust level.
Start Branding From Day One
One of the ways to build trust online is by having a strong brand. Customers easily identify with brands. Keep your focus on branding your foodstuff store from day one. It will pay off eventually.
Branding will help you to set standards that would make your customers trust you more. It’s not just about logo but it includes your process, standard and communication.
Target Customers For Online Foodstuff Store
For online Foodstuff Store, your target customers would exceed beyond Nigerians home and abroad. You will find many citizens of other African countries patronizing most of your Nigerian foodstuff.
For a start and to help your marketing, just pick to target Nigeria customers. However, depending on your capacity and logistics provisions, you can pick either Nigerians at home or Nigerians abroad. If you can pick both target customers that would be huge for your business.
Selling to Nigerians abroad is the best customers to target with online foodstuff store. They have limited options of where to buy foodstuffs. But Nigerians at home may not offer good customer patronage because they have several places to buy.
What may attract local customers may be the quality of your foodstuffs. Since you will be exporting them outside of the country, the quality must be best and meets all international standard for foodstuff packaging.
How to Promote Your Online Foodstuff Business
There are several ways you can begin promoting your foodstuff store. Unlike foodstuff supply business idea, you have to make provision for marketing fund. The idea is to promote your store, which can pay for the advertising cost overtime. That way you are not under any financial stress to recover your advert cost from sales markup.
But you should only use mediums your target customers are frequently using. You should understand cost per customer when spending on advert.
Here are possible advertising platforms you can use to promote your online foodstuff store to reach the right target customers, whether they are locally or globally. However, the platform you decide to use for your store may have some advertising benefits as well.
For example, if you are using Facebook marketplace for your foodstuff store, Facebook advertising may benefit you more, it offers low cost per customer because its platform feature. While Google my Business marketplace would give you some organic search traffic benefits as well.
Moreover, building social media following is an important marketing tool. Instead of creating a page, use the normal profile page. This will ensure that every of your post is seen by most of your followers without restriction.
Online Foodstuff Store business is a lucrative opportunity. Many Nigerians in diaspora are already paying high cost for foodstuffs, and won’t mind buying it directly from a Nigerian online foodstuff store and have it delivered to them half way around the world.
But you must create a high standard services to match their appetite for high class service delivery.
Remember, starting well may include doing all the necessary planning – like packaging a business plan for your online foodstuff store. If you want world class business, start with world class mentality.