What is ecommerce?
Ecommerce or electronic commerce simply means conducting business online. Do you remember the definition of commerce back in secondary school? Let me remind you in case you have forgotten. “Commerce is defined as the exchange of goods and services”.
E-commerce is the process of buying and selling products over the internet.
Human beings have been involved in the business of buying and selling since the existence of the human race. However, trading over the internet only became possible with the introduction of the World Wide Web (www) to the general public in August 1991.
Since then, the internet has affected and is still affecting the way we do things, it has evolved from just a place where we can get information to where we live our lives especially with the social media.
The e-commerce industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. In 2017 alone, retail e-commerce sales worldwide amounted to about 2.3 trillion. Also, e-retail revenues are projected to hit $4.5 trillion in 2021. (Statista Global retail e-commerce sales 2014-2021). What does this tell you? The industry is growing geometrically and this growth is not expected to slow down soon, at least not now. In the US, and other growing economies of the world, e-commerce is a serious business that is why the oldest and also biggest e-commerce websites are located there. In Africa and Nigeria in particular, e-commerce business is growing faster than you can ever imagine. Some Nigerians are already making millions of Naira importing goods from China and reselling in Nigeria. While some currently sell through their online stores, some sell on other established online marketplace like Jumia and Konga while others sell on Social Media like Facebook, Instagram etc. OLX and Jiji are still good places where you can list your products and sell to people within your locality. This business concept is what Nigerians referred to as Mini Importation.
However, as interesting as e-commerce business may sound, there are some imminent problems that one should consider before venturing into it. Some of those problems are; a pile-up of unsold stocks, courier and delivery, payment issues. However, all of these problems can be handled with proper research and mentoring. I will be sharing tips and strategies on how to source for hot products cheaper, ship them to Nigeria within few days and how to sell them to people who have money waiting to buy from you. This is not rocket science, all of these come with time. Stay tuned!
What if I tell you that you can actually sell to anybody anywhere on earth without physically meeting them, or having to bother about payment and shipping? This business concept is known as dropshipping. The dropshipping concept allows you to run a semi-automated where you can sell products to
Parties Involved in E-commerce
For e-commerce to be truly successful, there must be a minimum of 3 parties involved. These are; buyer, the buyer, and the channel. By channel, I mean mediums through which e-commerce activities can be carried out. Example, on websites such as Amazon, eBay, Alibaba.com, Aliexpress.com, dhgate.com. Amazon and eBay are amongst the earliest and popular ecommerce websites in the world. While Amazon was founded in 1994, eBay in 1995 while Alibaba in 1999.
Another channel through which people buy and sell is Social Media. In fact, a greater percentage of sales now happen on Social Media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Twitter, etc. There are thousands of ecom businesses who rely only on these social media platforms to start and consummate sales without having a website. Even those with websites make use of social media to acquire new customers as well as keep existing ones.
Popular E-commerce Websites
There are thousands of e-commerce websites in the world that no single person will be able to mention. However, I will be sharing some popular ones I have personally used or I am familiar with. As time progresses, I will be writing individually on these websites for the sake of those who haven’t used them but may be willing to try them in the future. Listed below are some popular ecommerce websites I have personally used.
Apart from the ones I listed above, there are also some successful and reliable ecommerce websites in Nigeria where you can shop with peace of mind. Jumia and Konga are clearly leading in this regard.
How to Make Money in ecommerce
There are a thousand and one ways to make money from the ecommerce business. However, I will be focusing on three 3 core areas; Mini Importation, Dropshipping, and e-commerce website design and development. Actually, these areas are the ones I have explored and currently involved in so I am in a better position to tell you. In subsequent articles, I will be explaining how exactly you can make money from e-commerce through any of these means. The e-commerce industry is very huge and very profitable. You can Jeff Bezos, Jack Ma and even recently Kylie Jenner
Do you have ANY experience in e-commerce? Share your thoughts using the comment box. Share this article with your friends and loved ones on Facebook.