5 E-commerce Business Models that Can Make You Your Own ...
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Entrepreneurs - October 18, 2023

5 E-commerce Business Models that Can Make You Your Own Boss

In today’s digital age, the allure of e-commerce is undeniable. With the Nigerian market rapidly evolving, there’s never been a better time to dive into the world of online business. 

But where do you start? As a young lady who’s interested in your success, I’m here to share some golden nuggets that can set you on the path to becoming your own boss. 

Let’s explore five e-commerce business models that have the potential to transform your entrepreneurial dreams into reality.


This is the perfect model for those who want to start with minimal capital. With drop-shipping, you don’t need to stock products. Instead, you partner with suppliers, list their products on your platform, and only purchase items when customers place orders. 

Think of it as a bridge between the customer and the supplier. You can consider partnering with local artisans or manufacturers. For instance, if you’re into fashion, you could drop-ship unique Ankara pieces that resonate with our rich culture.

Inventory Model

If you’re someone who likes to have more control over the products and their quality, this model might be for you.

Here, you purchase products in bulk and store them, selling and shipping them directly to customers. It requires a bit more capital and storage space, but the margins can be higher. 

A practical example will be local beauty brands in Nigeria that source raw materials like shea butter and then sell their own branded products.

Start a Marketplace like Jumia

Dreaming big? Why not! Creating a platform where multiple vendors can list and sell their products can be a game-changer. 

While it requires significant effort in terms of technology and marketing, the rewards can be immense. 

You earn a commission on every sale, and as the platform grows, so does your income. 

Remember, Jumia started small too, and now it’s one of Africa’s biggest online marketplaces.

Subscription Box Service

Nigerians love convenience, and subscription boxes offer just that. Whether it’s monthly beauty products, books, or gourmet food, there’s a market for curated boxes in Nigeria.

The key is to find a niche that resonates with a specific audience and offer them value every month. For instance, a monthly box of organic, locally sourced fruits and veggies can be a hit among health-conscious Nigerians.

This model provides you with an opportunity to customise and personalise your services.

Print on Demand

Got a flair for design? This model allows you to showcase your creativity without the hassle of inventory. 

You create designs, and when customers order, a third-party prints and ship the product. From customised t-shirts celebrating Nigerian pop culture to quirky phone cases, the possibilities are endless.

For example, Sunshine Shop created by Frank and Terrie began with Terrie’s beautiful designs and expanded quickly with the help of an interesting organic marketing strategy.

Narrating their story, Frank wrote, “We started our shop on a whim and built it over a weekend. I was making some merch for fun, and my wife Terrie had a burst of inspiration and designed a dozen items overnight. It all just came together so quickly. We knew we had to take that feeling and run with it. I told myself I’d stop building when I hit a roadblock, and we’re still going three years later! Thankfully Printful and WooCommerce make a great combo and helped us to create quickly without getting stuck.”

While challenges exist, with determination, research, and a bit of that Nigerian hustle spirit, you can carve out your own success story. Remember, every big name out there started with a dream and a step. 

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