Create an online Store: Comprehensive Guide to Taking Your Store Online (Nigeria)

In today’s digital age, having an online presence is crucial for businesses of all sizes, particularly in Nigeria where e-commerce is rapidly growing. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the steps of taking your store online, from understanding the benefits to choosing the right platform and setting up your store, marketing, and optimizing your online presence for success.

Chapter 1: Why You Need an eCommerce Online Store for Your Store

An eCommerce online store provides a multitude of benefits for Nigerian businesses, including:

  • Reach a wider audience: An online store allows you to reach a wider audience beyond your physical location, making your products and services accessible to potential customers across Nigeria and beyond.
  • Increase sales with 24/7 Availability: An online store operates around the clock, allowing customers to shop at their convenience, regardless of their location or your presence at your shop.
  • Reduced Costs: Online stores eliminate the need for expanded or additional physical retail space as your business grows, saving you money on rent at the expensive business area your store is, utilities for the bigger space, and staffing costs, as you won’t need as many employees to manage your online presence.
  • Enhanced Customer Experience:  Provide a seamless and convenient shopping experience for customers, allowing them to browse products, read reviews, compare prices, and make purchases seamlessly. An online store also allows you to provide better customer service by offering features such as live chat and FAQs. This can help you build customer loyalty and satisfaction.
  • Gain valuable insights: Online stores generate data that can help you understand your customers and their buying habits. This data can be used to improve your marketing campaigns and product offerings

Chapter 2: Common Misconceptions

There are many misconceptions about taking your store online. Here are a few of the most common that are important to dispel:

  • Myth 1: Easy Money: Starting an eCommerce business requires dedication, effort, and a sound strategy. While online stores can be profitable, quick riches are not guaranteed.
  • Myth 2: Phone Management: While you can manage certain aspects on your phone, a successful online store requires a dedicated computer for comprehensive management and is essential for tasks requiring more complex functionalities.
  • Myth 3: Zero Technical Expertise: While you don’t need to be a programmer to manage an online store, you will need to have some basic technical knowledge. There are many resources available to help you learn the basics of e-commerce.
  • Myth 4: Dirt Cheap or Expensive: The cost of an online store depends on various factors, including platform, hosting, and features. It’s not necessarily cheap or expensive; it depends on your requirements. While some options are more affordable, significant investments may be required for a robust and scalable store.
  • Myth 5: One-Size-Fits-All Approach: Each business is unique, and the best platform and strategies will depend on your specific needs, target audience, and industry.

Chapter 3: Preparing to Take Your Store Online

Before you take your store online, there are a few things you need to do to prepare. Here is a checklist of things to get ready:

  • Product Inventory: Maintain an accurate and up-to-date record of your products, including descriptions, prices, and stock levels.
  • Product Labeling: Ensure products are properly labeled with clear and consistent information, including barcodes for easy identification and tracking.
  • Store Organization: Organize your physical store to facilitate easy product retrieval for inventory management and order fulfillment.
  • Shipping Options: Research and understand various shipping options available in your area, considering factors like cost, reliability, and delivery times.
  • Shipping Coverage: Determine the geographic areas you are willing to ship and sell to, considering logistics and potential customer demand.

Chapter 4: Best Platform to Use

There are many different e-commerce platforms available, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Some of the most popular platforms include Shopify, BigCommerce, and WooCommerce.

  • Shopify: A user-friendly and feature-rich platform with a wide range of themes, apps, and integrations.
  • Bigcommerce: Offers scalability and flexibility, catering to businesses with medium to high sales volumes.
  • Woo (formerly WooCommerce – WordPress-Based eCommerce): A cost-effective option with extensive customization capabilities and integration with WordPress plugins.

For Nigerian businesses, we recommend WooCommerce due to its lower barrier to entry, flexibility, and availability of integrations tailored to the Nigerian market.

Chapter 5: Setting Up a WooCommerce Store

Setting up a WooCommerce store involves several steps:

  1. Domain Name and Hosting: Acquire a domain name that reflects your brand and choose a reliable hosting provider to store your website’s files.
  2. Install WordPress: If your hosting doesn’t set it up for you automatically, there is usually a one click option to get you there.
  3. Storefront Theme: Select a visually appealing and functional storefront theme that aligns with your brand identity.
  4. WooCommerce Plugin: Install and configure the WooCommerce plugin to create the eCommerce functionality of your store.
  5. Payment Integration: Integrate payment gateways like Paystack, Flutterwave, or BACS to accept online payments securely.
  6. Shipping Configuration: Set up shipping options, including free shipping, flat rate shipping, and integration with automated shipping providers like Shiip or Sendbox.
  7. Adding Products: Create product pages with detailed descriptions, high-quality images, and clear pricing information.

Chapter 6: Marketing and eCommerce

In today’s competitive digital landscape, effective marketing is essential for any eCommerce store to thrive. Here are some free and paid marketing strategies to consider:

Free Marketing Strategies:

  • Word-of-mouth: Inform existing customers about your online store through in-store signage, social media posts, and email newsletters. You should also encourage them to spread the word about your online store. Share positive customer reviews and testimonials to build trust and attract new customers.
  • Social Media Marketing: Leverage the power of social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to promote your products, engage with potential customers, and drive traffic to your online store. Create visually appealing content, run contests and giveaways, and utilize relevant hashtags to reach a wider audience.
  • Email Marketing: Build an email list and send regular newsletters to keep your customers informed about new products, promotions, and special offers. Personalize your emails to enhance customer engagement and increase conversion rates.
  • Facebook Catalog Ads: Utilize Facebook’s targeted advertising platform to reach potential customers based on their interests, demographics, and online behavior. Create visually appealing product ads that showcase your offerings and drive traffic to your online store.
  • Google Ads: Leverage Google’s search engine advertising platform to display your ads when potential customers search for products or services related to your offerings. Target your ads by location, keywords, and demographics to reach the right audience.

Plugins for Marketing Integration (Woocommerce)

  • Facebook for Woo (WooCommerce): This plugin simplifies the process of integrating your WooCommerce store with your Facebook business page and ad manager. Create Facebook Catalog Ads directly from your WordPress dashboard and track their performance seamlessly.
  • Google Ads for Woo (WooCommerce): This plugin streamlines the integration of Google Ads with your WooCommerce store. Easily create and manage Google Shopping Ads, track conversions, and gain valuable insights into your ad campaigns.

Additional Useful Information

Chapter 7: Sales Analytics

WooCommerce(our choice eCommerce solution) provides comprehensive sales analytics that helps you understand your business performance and make informed decisions. The Sales Analytics dashboard provides insights into:

  • Best-Selling Products: Identify your top-performing products based on sales volume and revenue.
  • Gross Income: Track your overall sales revenue over time and analyze trends.
  • Tax Deductions: Keep track of your tax deductions related to your online sales.

Here are some Key Sales Analytics Metrics you should pay attention to:

Key Sales Analytics Metrics

  • Total Sales: Track your overall sales revenue over time to identify growth trends and seasonal patterns.
  • Product Sales: Analyze sales data by product to identify your top performers and underperformers.
  • Average Order Value (AOV): Monitor AOV to understand the average amount spent per order and identify opportunities to increase revenue per customer.
  • Conversion Rate: Track the percentage of visitors who complete a purchase to identify areas for improvement in your conversion funnel.

Chapter 8: Visitor Analytics

Understanding your website visitors’ behavior is crucial for optimizing your store and improving conversions. Google Analytics is one of the best and almost entirely free solutions that offers valuable insights into who is visiting your store, which pages they are viewing, and how long they are staying on your site. By analyzing visitor analytics, you can identify areas for improvement, such as page loading speed, navigation ease, and content relevancy.

Some vital information you get includes;

  • Traffic Sources: Identify the channels through which visitors are reaching your store, such as organic search, social media, or paid advertising.
  • User Demographics: Gain insights into the age, gender, location, and interests of your website visitors.
  • Popular Pages and Products: Determine which pages and products are attracting the most visitors and engagement.
  • User Behavior: Analyze how visitors navigate through your website, identifying areas where they may be encountering difficulties or abandoning the checkout process.

Chapter 9: Conversion Optimization

If your store is not generating the desired sales, it’s important to identify and address factors that are hindering conversions. Conversion optimization involves analyzing customer behavior and making adjustments to your website and marketing strategies to increase the likelihood of visitors making a purchase.

Common Reasons for Low Conversion Rates

  • Slow Page Loading
  • Confusing Checkout Process
  • Inadequate Product Information

Improving Conversion Rates

There are several strategies you can implement to improve conversion rates, they include:

Leveraging Analytics for Conversion Optimization:

  • Track Conversion Rates: Use analytics tools to track conversion rates at various stages of the checkout process, identifying bottlenecks that need addressing.
  • Implement A/B Testing: Experiment with different website designs, call-to-action buttons, and promotional messages to determine which variations lead to higher conversion rates.

Improving your website:

  • Optimize Product Pages: Enhance product descriptions with clear and concise information, high-quality images, and relevant keywords to improve search engine rankings and user experience.
  • Streamline Checkout Process: Simplify the checkout process by reducing the number of steps, offering multiple payment options, and providing secure payment gateways. Just make it very easy for people to buy.
  • Improve Website Loading Times & Data Usage: Slow and expensive internet is a huge problem for many people in Nigeria. Slow websites that are not optimized make things worse – leading to a poor shopping experience. To make the best of the internet speed available to Nigerians, ensure every page on your online store loads very fast and doesn’t consume a lot of MB per page. You can accomplish this by making sure of the following
    • Well-structured page development, quality theme, and store extensions.
    • Stable and Optimized hosting Server that doesn’t slow down or go off under huge traffic
    • Optimized and losslessly compressed images

Utilizing Email Autoresponders and Retargeting Ads:

  • Cart Abandonment Emails: Implement email autoresponders to remind customers of items left in their carts, offering incentives to complete their purchases.
  • Retargeting Ads: Utilize retargeting ads to reach customers who have previously visited your store but didn’t make a purchase, reminding them of your products and encouraging them to return.

Remember, conversion optimization is an ongoing process that requires continuous testing and refinement. By analyzing your data and implementing data-driven strategies, you can improve your store’s performance and increase sales over time.


Taking your store online in Nigeria can be a rewarding endeavor, expanding your reach and increasing your sales potential. By following the comprehensive guide outlined in this blog post, you can effectively navigate the process of setting up, marketing, and optimizing your eCommerce store to achieve success in the Nigerian online marketplace.


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