10 best ways to boost your online sales in Nigeria

The COVID-19 pandemic caused a significant shift in consumer behaviour in Nigeria, with more people turning to online shopping for their needs. As a result, businesses that were previously hesitant to go online were forced to do so in order to remain competitive. This shift has created tremendous opportunities for online businesses, but it has also increased competition for traffic and sales. 

Nigeria has a high mobile phone penetration rate of 82% and a 42% internet penetration rate, according to a GSMA report. With over 200,000 million people and a shift in consumer behaviour, this presents a massive opportunity for businesses to capitalise on. 

In this article, we will discuss some of the best tips to help you boost your sales in your online business, as well as provide examples of other Nigerian businesses that have used these strategies for their own businesses where possible.

secure online payment in Africa

1. Optimise your website for search engines

If you want to increase your online sales, you must optimise your website for search engines so that potential customers can easily find your website when they search for relevant keywords related to your products. This includes optimising your SEO to be more visible on search engine result pages and attract more traffic, optimising your website for mobile devices with quick load times, and much more.

Here are a few tips for optimising your e-commerce website for search engines:

  • Conduct keyword research to identify high-traffic keywords related to your products. Include these keywords in the titles, meta tags, and content of your website, including product descriptions and titles.

  • Use high-quality product images and descriptions to help customers understand what your product is and whether it matches what they are looking for.

  • Make sure your website is mobile-friendly and has a quick load time, as most customers will be browsing on their phone and will become frustrated if your website does not load quickly.

  • Keep your website up to date and engaging for customers, create new, original content on a regular basis, such as blog posts or product reviews.

  • Use SEO best practises to structure your content, such as using headings and subheadings to break up text and incorporating internal and external links to relevant content.

  • Ensure that your website and landing pages are easy to navigate, with clear call-to-action and a streamlined checkout process.

    Implementing these steps to optimise your e-commerce website for search engines, will help you increase your online sales and improve your customers' experience. 

2. Use social media to promote your products.

Social media has evolved into a powerful tool for Nigerian businesses looking to increase their online sales. With over 27 million Nigerians using social media, it's an effective way to reach out to potential customers and raise brand awareness.

There are numerous social media platforms available, including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, LinkedIn, and others, and choosing the best one for your business is dependent on your goals and target audience. Instagram, for example, is excellent for visual content, whereas LinkedIn is more focused on business.

To effectively use social media for e-commerce sales, consider the following strategies:

  • Create a social media content strategy that aligns with your business goals and target audience. To keep your audience engaged, this should include a mix of promotional and educational content.

  • Make your products visually appealing to potential customers by using high-quality images and videos to showcase them.

  • Keep your audience engaged, respond to comments and messages as soon as possible. This fosters trust and demonstrates that you value your customers.

  • Give your social media followers exclusive promotions and discounts. Not only will this increase sales, but it will also encourage people to follow your brand on social media.

  • Collaborate with influencers or other businesses to reach a larger audience and establish the credibility of your brand.

You can take inspiration from SGTC an Afrocentric online clothing brand that uses high-quality images and videos to showcase their colourful outfits on Instagram.

SGTC Instagram feed

3. Take advantage of customer feedback and testimonials. 

Customer reviews and testimonials are very effective for increasing online sales. Research has shown that over 90% of online shoppers look for reviews and testimonials before making a purchase, and a majority of them are even willing to pay more for products with high reviews.

Asking your customers to leave reviews can be a game changer for your e-commerce business. You can build trust and credibility among potential customers by displaying positive reviews on your website and other review platforms like Google.

Dang Lifestyle has successfully used customer reviews to increase sales. The brand has a reputation for providing high-quality beauty and lifestyle products, with over 600 Google reviews and a 4.8-star rating. Dang Lifestyle brand gained the trust of more customers and increased sales without much effort by simply requesting and displaying customer reviews. 

Dang Review on google

So, if you want to leverage the power of customer reviews, make it a priority to request and prominently display them on your website and other relevant platforms. 

4. Provide excellent customer service

Customer service is an important part of the buyer's journey and can help build trust in your e-commerce business. By giving each customer a pleasant experience, you increase the likelihood that they will return and become repeat customers. 

There are several approaches to leveraging positive customer experience for sales: 

  • Request Referrals: Happy customers are more likely to recommend your company to others, which is a great way to market your brand and increase sales.

  • Cross-Sell Your Products: You can use your customers' trust in your brand to introduce them to new products or services they may need but are not yet aware of, potentially resulting in more sales.

  • Request Feedback: Asking for feedback from customers shows that you care about their experience and that you want to improve your business. It also makes shopping with you more convenient for other customers and prospects.

  • Request Customer Reviews: Positive feedback from satisfied customers can boost your credibility and lead to more sales. The best time to ask for a review is when you have solved a customer's problem and improved their experience.

    5. Offer discounts, promos, and loyalty programs

    Customers like the idea of getting high-quality products at low prices. Offering discounts and promotions is an effective way to encourage customers to buy. This not only encourages existing customers, but it also attracts new customers.

    You can also create loyalty programs that reward customers for their spending behaviour with your business. These incentives can be given for reaching certain purchase thresholds, generating sales through referrals, or sharing your company/product on social media.

    You can use a countdown timer on your website to create a sense of urgency, just like KiKUU Nigeria. This will trigger FOMO (fear of missing out) in customers, prompting them to make purchases before the timer runs out. This can also result in word-of-mouth referrals and an increase in orders and purchases during the promotional period.

    Kikuu Nigeria timer promo

6. Invest in email marketing

Email marketing is another effective way to promote your online business and increase sales. It allows you to tailor your efforts and better target your audience than other marketing strategies. To make the most of your email campaigns, you need to use them effectively.

There are several types of emails you can send to prospects and customers to help increase your online sales, including:

  • Welcome email: This is the first email you send when a prospect signs up to your list. You can include a limited-time welcome discount offer and other incentives to convert them into customers and increase your sales right away.

  • Purchase confirmation email: This email confirms a customer's purchase. You can use it to cross-sell and upsell by offering incentives for them to make additional purchases.

  • Loyalty email: When a customer makes multiple purchases, send them an email thanking them for their loyalty, asking for feedback and reviews, and providing them with special loyalty offers.

  • Cart abandonment email: You can reduce cart abandonment by sending them a time-limited incentive to complete the purchase via email.

  • Referral email: This email asks your customers to refer a friend to your business, and they get a special offer, coupon code, or discount on their next purchase once their friend makes a purchase.

Natural Girl Wigs, for example, encourages customers to join their email list and refer a friend in order to win a free gift for both you and your friend. They gained a new prospect through referral and offered a free product that could only be claimed by both parties after the referrer and the referred made a purchase. 

Natural girl wigs email sample
Natural Girl Wigs email sample 
natural girl wigs email sign up sample-1
Natural Girl Wigs email sign up sample

7. Partner with niche influencers

When used properly, influencer marketing can help your business gain more visibility and attract more customers. Studies show that nearly 50% of online buyers make purchasing decisions based on an influencer's recommendation. 

Influencers are people with a large social media following who have the conviction and confidence to persuade people to buy products, which is why this strategy is so effective. By partnering with the right influencers and developing a successful campaign strategy, you can leverage the trust and authority that the influencers have with their audience to expand your business reach and build brand awareness in an authentic way that resonates with your target customers, help you generate leads, drive traffic to your website, and ultimately boost your sales.

Darling Nigeria has hacked influencer marketing in Nigeria. Their virtual tea party during the 2020 lockdown created a buzz on Instagram, leading to other successful influencer campaigns. Currently, the brand is running an open competition for their followers to win a one-year influencer deal.

darling nigeria colors of a superstarinfluencer campaign

8. Make data-driven decisions. 

As an e-commerce business owner, you must always look at data to gain valuable insights into your customers' behaviour and preferences, and then use that information to inform business decisions such as marketing campaigns, payment or pricing strategy, and overall customer experience, among other things for growth.

Data can help you determine which products are the most popular and adjust your inventory and pricing accordingly. You can also track customer browsing and purchase history to provide personalised product recommendations and promotions, as well as identify patterns and trends that will assist you in optimising your website design, layout, and user experience to increase conversion rates.

Incorporating a data-driven approach to decision-making leads to higher customer satisfaction, loyalty, and revenue for your e-commerce business.

9. Offer multiple payment methods

These days, customers want the convenience of paying how they want when they make a purchase, so it is important that you provide them with multiple payment options, as limited payment options can discourage potential customers from completing a transaction.

Offering multiple payment methods makes it easier for customers to complete their transactions when they buy from you because if one payment method fails, they can try another, improving their overall shopping experience on your website. This also shows that you care about your customers’ needs and can help establish trust and confidence in your brand, leading to increased customer loyalty and sales.

If you want to offer multiple payment methods at checkout, you have to partner with a reliable payment provider. Maka Live, an online retail platform that offers live shopping, uses SeerBit to provide their customers with card or bank transfer payment options to choose from at checkout.

maka live checkout with SeerBit (1)

10. Optimize your checkout process

The checkout process determines whether or not customers complete their purchase when they shop on an e-commerce website. According to Baymard Research Institute, 17% of shoppers abandon their carts if the checkout process is too complicated. As a result, you have to optimise your checkout flow to reduce friction, so that more customers complete their purchase rather than abandon their cart. 

Here are some tips to help you optimise your checkout:

  • Reduce the number of steps required to complete a purchase to simplify the checkout process. This can help reduce cart abandonment and increase conversion rates.

  • Give customers a variety of payment options, such as cards, bank transfers, pay-on-delivery, etc. This will cater to various customer preferences and increase sales.

  • Allow customers to check out as guests without creating an account. This can help reduce friction and improve the overall shopping experience for customers who do not want to create an account.

How can SeerBit help you and your business? 

SeerBit provides customizable payment solutions that enable businesses to accept online payments securely and conveniently. With options such as bank transfers, card payments, mobile money, USSD, and others, customers can pay using their preferred method. 

We also offer fraud prevention tools, chargeback protection, real-time reporting, and analytics to help you optimise your payment processes and minimise financial risks. 

With a single SeerBit integration, you can improve your customers' overall shopping experience, boost online sales, increase customer retention, and make data-driven decisions for audacious growth in your e-commerce business. 

For 3 years, Global and African businesses have trusted  SeerBit to help them collect payments securely from customers  and you can too.  Learn how our payments APIs, mobile SDKs or Checkout can  help you to start accepting payments through secured channels.