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How to Sell Your Products in Nigeria

The best skill every entrepreneur must have is how to sell your products or services. And it’s so simple to learn how marketing works. You don’t need a degree to sell anything in Nigeria.

In a country of over 198 million people, it should be very easy to sell your products faster. But that’s not usually the case in Nigeria. There are so many middlemen selling the same products. Sometimes, at very ridiculous prices that you can’t beat.

Also, the cost of reaching potential customers is becoming too expensive, even with the growing marketing potential of the internet.

Imagine you have 1,000 pieces of a product you want to sell. How long should it take to sell it and make profit? Let’s not even consider how much markup on each product. If it takes an hour to sell it off, it’s how long it takes you to profit from 1,000 pieces of a product.

In this article I want to expose market channels you can explore to sell your products in Nigeria and faster. There are better ways to sell your products if you know what channel works best for your kind of product.

What Do You Want To Sell?

Let’s start by first considering what you want to sell. At least your product has one problem its solving for the target customers. As long as you are selling a product that solves problem, there are customers who would want to buy, and there’s a place you can find them.

Does your product fall into any of these categories?

  • Consumer household products
  • Electronics and phones
  • Medical supplies and equipments
  • Processed foods
  • Raw materials and finished goods
  • Building materials and construction equipments
  • Farm produce and equipments
  • Cars, trucks and jets
  • Shoes and cloths
  • Accessories and spare parts

Now that you have a product customers want to buy, you have to plan how to sell your products to its target market. The Nigerian market is so complex and equally decentralized. You have to decide which route your product takes, and the right marketing channel that fits it.

Market Channels to Sell Your Products

To sell your products in Nigeria, you have to understand the channels of marketing available in the country. And how best each channel help you sell your products. Most importantly, you should evaluate the cost implication of reaching one potential customer, and the time it takes between distribution, sales and repeat sales.

Here are the possible channels to sell your products in Nigeria now:

  1. Local markets and shops
  2. Major retail Supermarkets
  3. Peer to peer or network marketing
  4. eCommerce marketing channel

These four channels are available in Nigeria for you to sell your products. The question is, which of them is more profitable for you? Any business can explore any of these channels to sell their product or service, depending on how best it fits into your marketing plan and budget.

The Local Markets & Shops

Nigeria has more local markets than any other channels available in the country. If you are neglecting this market, you are cut off from reaching over 75 percent of the potential customers for your product.

Although, not many retailers have the capacity to reach such larger market. Some might reach a small part of the markets but not able to reach the markets nationwide.

It would require a major manufacturing company or big brand owners or major Importer with exclusive product rights to attempt reaching the entire market network in Nigeria. Only a few companies have been able to penetrate 90% of the local markets and shops.

Local Market Insertion Strategy

The only way companies have been able to reach the local markets nationwide is through market Insertion strategy. It’s one of the most costly and complex marketing strategy, but it’s very effective. It also helps to create an effective word of mouth publicity.

The strategy involves building network of distributors, sub distributors and retailers across every segment of the local markets. Depending on the budget and strategy, it can involve every state and city in Nigeria.

This gives your product market penetration, making it easily accessible across the market. Now, after networking the market like this, you can now start airwaves and online promotions to push customers to start buying your products from the markets near them.

Major Retail Supermarkets

The major retail supermarkets also commands a good share of sales in the Nigerian market. The largest supermarket chain has about 34 stores across the country. While the market share is put at over 28%. But it’s not every product that would be accepted by stores like in the local markets that accepts every product.

What you need is a well packaged product, with longer shelve life and you can lobby your way into the supermarket chains. The beauty of selling through supermarket chains is that when you get one supermarket, you have access to all of its other branches nationwide. And it makes it even easier to get the other supermarket chains to sell your products too.

This is a list of some supermarket chains in Nigeria as published by Wikipedia.

  • Addide Supermarket
  • CCD Superstores
  • Bimta Supermarkets
  • DePrince Supermarkets
  • Escapade Supermarket
  • Shoprite
  • Chanrai’s Supermarket & Departmental Store
  • Ajayi Supermarkets
  • Best Choice Supermarket

Supermarket Insertion Strategy

The major difference between local market insertion and supermarket Insertion strategy is that in local markets you get paid for stock, which helps your cash flow. But in supermarket Insertion you may only get paid after products are sold.

Another challenge maybe price. Supermarkets want to sell cheaper or lower than local markets. They may also require that you cover the distribution cost to their network stores.

How to Get Your Products into Stores

In the same process that you can conduct local market Insertion, you can also insert your products in many supermarkets. It’s much easier because you just have to deal with each of the stores main office, and if your product gets approved, you are able to supply to all of their stores nationwide.

Nigerians are loving to shop at the supermarkets. With 28% market share, you can sell your products faster through the major supermarkets.

Simply identify the stores that sell similar products you want to sell. Research the prices of your competitors products, both the prices sold through other channels. See how they pair up with your product price.

If the competing products are cheaper, evaluate the competition based on quality, content and solutions. These assessments would help you package a proposal to the target stores. And it would help prove to them why customers would buy your products more, even at a higher price than your competitors.

Note: Supermarkets might want you to believe that you need them the most, but it’s the other way round. But you have to break into them first before they will be the ones demanding to sell your products.

Peer to Peer or Multi Level Marketing

Network marketing is a cost effective way to sell your products in Nigeria. The major advantage is opportunity to sell your products at premium rates. Nigeria has a well tested enthusiasts of network marketing industry.

The MLM channel in nigeria controls about 2.5% of the market share. What you need is a good product, good marketing plan, including better reward program and you can sell your product faster using peer to peer marketing.

Here are some companies selling their product using MLM in Nigeria:

  • Organo Gold
  • Trevo Nigeria
  • Tasly World
  • Oriflame
  • Max International.
  • GNLD (Golden Neo Life Daimite)
  • Longrich

This option would require a lot of administrative work. You must be prepared and better equipped to handle the demands of network marketing, because you will be dealing directly with a lot of distributors – and downlines.

eCommerce Marketing Channel

The fourth marketing channel to help you sell your products is eCommerce channel. It’s cheaper to adopt and anyone can sell through this channel in Nigeria, regardless of the size of your business and marketing budget.

The market share for eCommerce in Nigeria is over 38%, with a huge potential to reach 100% adoption in the future. According to a report by Statista, over 76 million Nigerians shop online. These customers cuts across all the other channels.

The eCommerce space in Nigeria is lead by Jumia, and over 56 other online marketplaces. With an estimated 250 million visitors annually. Let’s explore how you can sell your products in the online space in Nigeria.

Where to Sell Your Products Online

Getting into the online marketplace in Nigeria to sell your products won’t be a problem at all. The structure of marketplace is like manufacturer and distributor model. The marketplaces need online retailers to sell to their customers. And you happen to be a retailer or owner of a product.

You can pick any of the 56 online marketplace in Nigeria to sell your products. However, that’s the same mistakes everyone is just making that’s not working out for them. I remember when I sold on DEALDEY – a deal platform that gave birth to KONGA marketplace.

The kind of products that sales fast there were either time bound deals or unique hard to find items. I remember selling hundreds of a toothbrush holder in less than 3 hours at a premium rate of N2,850 per item that cost me N600 from China. Right now people are struggling to sell similar products on marketplaces.

Here’s how to go about selling your products online:

Websites to Sell Your Products

To start selling online you will need to have a strategy. Research all the online marketplace in Nigeria, with details about their focus, target market, seller fees, etcetera.

Putting your products on every marketplace may not translate to more sales. It can even hurt your product and dilute your brand. Find out which site matches your marketing plan and use only the selected sites.

Also, not every platform that claims to be a marketplace is reliable enough to put your brand name there. How a platform treats your customers would reflect on your brand. It’s always better to know those behind the platform, their business ideology, funding, and marketing budget.

Here are some list of online marketplace to sell your products in Nigeria:

  • Jumia
  • Konga
  • PayPorte
  • Ajebomarket
  • VConnect
  • Jiji
  • Kara
  • Kusnap
  • Obiwezy
  • Printivo

Now that you know the places to sell your products online, how do you know the best ones to use?

Best Sites to Sell Your Stuff

The best sites to sell your products are not necessarily the largest eCommerce sites in Nigeria. Some sites are smaller but very good at selling certain products than the others. You have to find the right site to sell your kind of products faster.

It’s important you avoid doing what everyone thinks is ideal. But being ideal and being right are not the same thing. Some marketplace would just bury your products among their huge product database. That won’t guarantee you much sales.

You have to do a bit of studying here. Identify which sites that focuses more on your kind of products. You can notice what a site is about from their front page, and then from what they are promoting the most.

If a site is promoting your product category more, it means that’s their main focus and target audience.

Free Website to Sell Products

Selling online doesn’t come cheap as well. Some sites charge for letting you sell on their marketplace. You get to pay for things like listing fee, sales charge, delivery charge, packaging fee, product return charge, etcetera.

However, you can also find some free sites where you can list your products and sell for free. These sites may not charge you for such fees other marketplaces charge you for, they will also not do much for you as well, in terms of promotion, sales management, delivery support, customer services, return product management, etcetera.

Here are some list of sites where you can sell your products for free:

  • JiJi.ng
  • SME Markethub
  • VConnect
  • Mobofree

Conclusion

If you are having problem selling your products, it’s because you haven’t understood the best channels to use. Selling is more than just advertising your products and getting customers to pay for it. You need a strategy that’s sustainable and can guarantee sales always.

And the largest channel may not necessarily work best for you. You need to know where your products would fit well and sell better. Your products should sell well because there are over 198 million potential customers out there. And they buy products everyday. Make your product one of them.

Chinedu David
Chinedu David is a business consultant with experience in oil & gas, hospitality, IT & telecom, consumer products, business strategy, marketing and distribution. He was the telecom editor for SuccessDigest for over a decade. And founded Mystore, one of the indigenous online marketplace in 2013. Drop a comment below and he will respond to your query. He can also be reached via email: nedu@myblog.com.ng or Call/Text/WhatsApp: 07087770518
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