Do you wish to engage in online marketing? Do you run an online business? You may be worried about some of the challenges that online businesses in Nigeria face. But not to worry, we are here to help. In this post, we will be talking about how you can overcome the challenges of online businesses and marketing in Nigeria.
The growing number of Nigerian internet users coupled with the effects of COVID-19 on businesses has forced many businesses to move online. On the positive side, Nigeria had about 109.2 million internet users in Nigeria in January 2022. But you already know that these users do not automatically translate to paying customers. So, the question remains: how much of your business, if any should you move online and why? What are the challenges online businesses in Nigeria have to contend with in 2022 and how can you solve them?
Limitations to Online Marketing
As a developing country, Nigeria has many issues with regard to internet usage, and these can place limitations on online marketing. Some of the challenges are:
1. Power Supply: With irregular power supply, the devices with which people go online cannot be used as extensively as individuals would wish. Additionally, depending on the product or service the business is involved in, customers and clients may be offline because they have no electric power supply.
2. Poor Internet Connection: Even though most Internet Service Providers charge a lot, network outages are common. Sometimes, you may need to be in a particular (often uncomfortable) spot in your house or office to be able to maximise the use of the internet.
3. Internet Penetration: With a population of over 200 million, internet penetration in Nigeria stands at about 50%. Although this number might sound huge, when you begin to dissect the numbers, you will find that only 15% or 32.90 million Nigerians use social media as of January 2022. This 2019 MTN report shows that “57% of their users consume between zero and 5MB/month”. This further limits the number of users that can be classified as paying customers most of the time.
4. Distrust of Online Vendors: Nigerians are more inclined to do in-person transactions. They have a general distrust about anything they cannot see, touch or, experience with their senses. This can limit online marketing since the core of it, is that customers do not necessarily have to physically experience whatever they are purchasing.
This distrust is not unfounded because too many people have ordered goods online and gotten things that are completely different from what they ordered. These experiences are popularly posted on social media platforms like Twitter as “What I ordered vs what I got”.
Tied to this distrust is a fear that products may not be delivered when they are expected to be or worse, products may never get delivered. Too many people have been defrauded of their hard-earned money in this manner and it has left in its wake a wariness for online marketing.
5. Data Breaches: There is also a fear of data security by many. Online transactions are not considered completely safe, especially when it involves the use of debit cards and personal information that can be accessed by dangerous third parties through hacking.
Does this mean that you should not consider doing business online? Not exactly. For each of these challenges, there are solutions. We have gone ahead to curate how you can overcome some of these challenges to online business.
Overcoming the Limitations to Online Business
Here are some ways to overcome the challenges Nigerian online businesses face:
1. Have a clear plan for your online marketing. Identify why you are online, who your market is, and have a plan about how to reach them. This would include knowing where on the internet your potential market is and the tools you need to put your business before them in non-intrusive ways. For example, in Nigeria, the top three social media platforms are: WhatsApp, Facebook, and YouTube. A study of the demographics of the people on these platforms will help you decide if they are your prospects. You may be on social media without directly selling but build goodwill for in-person sales.
2. Create strategies around the limitations: Which of the limitations outlined above will particularly affect the size of your market? Once you identify the limitations, then you can think of a walkaround. For example, is the problem trust? What is the root of this distrust? Most of the time, it is a lack of communication. If you are selling a product or service, invest in good descriptions and follow up your descriptions with professional photos. Most sellers do not properly describe their products or are too lazy to update their pages. This erodes trust.
Another challenge highlighted above is poor power supply and internet outages. Many businesses in Nigeria generate their own power. So, this might be a good investment for your business. Also, instead of buying all your data under one Internet Service Provider, you may choose to split the cost among the two best providers for your area. (You can read our analysis for Lagos and Ibadan here.) In this way, when one provider experiences downtime, you will still be able to get online.
At Slvr Wlf Digitale Limited, we can show you how to overcome the limitations of online marketing in Nigeria. Our team of professionals is ready to offer you practical advice that will help you overcome the challenges of online marketing. Why not reach out to us for a free consultation on how to enhance your digital presence and promote sales today?