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Can Your Small Business Afford to Go Without a Website in Nigeria?4 min read


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In this article, I’d like to share my “opinion” on why, even if your target market is strictly local, your small business in Nigeria can’t afford to be without a website.

It’s no secret that I’ve been accused of having a strong opinion or two in my lifetime. Despite my best efforts to tone it down, my stance on certain matters remains steadfast.

Recent Statistics from Nigeria

small business website in Nigeria. photo of woman holding tray
Small business website in Nigeria. Photo by Tope A. Asokere on Pexels.com

Let’s begin with some recent statistics from Nigeria to set the stage. In 2023, Nigeria boasts a population of over 206 million people, with an increasing number gaining access to the internet through various means. Approximately 38% of Nigerian households have internet connectivity, and this number is steadily rising as access becomes more widespread.

Now, you might wonder what all these internet users are doing online. Well, about 64% of them use the internet for general browsing, but more importantly, for our discussion, approximately 28% utilize the internet for purchasing goods and services. This figure represents a significant increase from previous years, highlighting the growing trend of online commerce in Nigeria.

Looking at the bigger picture, Nigeria’s e-commerce sector has been on an upward trajectory.

In 2022, the e-commerce sales in Nigeria amounted to $3.5 billion, marking a substantial 60% increase from the previous year. This impressive growth indicates that the Nigerian market is embracing online shopping and presents ample opportunities for businesses to thrive in the digital landscape.

Global E-Commerce

Moreover, when considering global e-commerce, Nigeria holds a modest share. In 2022, Nigeria accounted for about 2% of global e-commerce transactions, suggesting a vast global market of over $175 billion. This reinforces the notion that online commerce is a burgeoning field with room for expansion.

Now, if we take a brief look at the United States, we can find further compelling data. According to forecasts in 2023, the US has around 180 million online users who are projected to spend approximately $54 billion in online retail revenue.

Fast forward to 2026, and the forecasts estimate a whopping 230 million users spending around $150 billion in retail revenue. These numbers underscore the enormous potential of online business, even in a well-developed market like the United States.

All these statistics alone make a compelling case for investing in a small business website, especially if your business’s target market extends beyond your immediate locality.

But you might be thinking, “My business is just a small local shop in Nigeria. Why do I need a website, and how will the internet benefit me?” This is a common sentiment, and I’ve encountered it before. In fact, David (not his real name), who runs an auto shop, used to share the same skepticism.

A Case Study

David’s auto repair business is located in Lagos, a city with a population of over 14 million. With millions of vehicles on Lagos roads, there is a constant demand for auto repair services. Now, here’s the interesting part – nearly 50% of Lagos households had internet access in 2023, translating to roughly 7 million households. And remember, this figure doesn’t even include the surrounding regions with their own vehicle owners.

Invest in a Website

Let’s say David decides to invest in a website for his business, and he spends around ₦500,000 (which is already a generous budget for a basic small business website). But having a website is only half the battle.

To reap the benefits, the site needs to be discoverable. Studies show that people rarely go beyond the third page when conducting online searches, emphasizing the importance of ranking well in search engine results.

So, let’s assume that David’s ₦500,000 budget includes professional search engine optimization. A skilled copywriter helps research and incorporate relevant keywords on the site, ensuring its visibility in search engine results. The website is listed in local business directories, and with some SEO magic, David’s site ranks as the second result on Google when someone searches for “auto repair Lagos.”

With a potential audience of 7 million, even if David reaches only 0.1% of them, that’s 7,000 potential new clients. Assuming an average bill of ₦10,000 per customer, David could potentially generate ₦700,000 in revenue. That’s a substantial return on his ₦500,000 website investment.

In Conclusion

I’ve never approached David from this angle before, but it might just be the argument that convinces him to get a website for his business.

In a digital age where the internet has become an integral part of people’s lives, a website can be a game-changer for small businesses in Nigeria, even if their primary target market is local.

Do you need a small business website? Let’s talk!

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