WesternMall is a new fledgling marketplace aspiring to the world’s largest West African online marketplace.
Based in Leeds, WesternMall aims to break down the trade barriers to Nigeria and make it quick, simple and safe to sell. They say that they are the first unique mobile and web accessible e commerce site in Nigeria and the first online bidding site in Nigeria, for transactions between individuals and other forms of merchants. It’s not coincidence that PayPal is available in Nigeria that’s the first African country WesternMall is targetting, there are millions of Nigerians, who till this point have been cut off from the global ecommerce but are now ready and eager to buy.
All WesternMall Sellers/ Merchants go through a screening process to ensure buyers peace of mind and the buyers are monitored to honour their bids/purchases, defaulters are automatically detected and banned from the site.
You’ll need to add your products to the WesternMall marketplace (currently one by one but a bulk uploaded is being worked on). Then, when you get a sale, you ship to WesternMall in Leeds and once your product arrives and is verified you’re covered. WesternMall then ship the item on to the customer in Nigeria assuming responsibility for the delivery.
Nigeria has had a colourful past with the Internet with the infamous 419 scams and tales of mobile phone sales where the money bounced the minute the phone was shipped. The reality however is that it’s a country full of new potential buyers who hitherto have simply not had access to online shopping and are ready with to buy and pay for goods from the UK.
WesternMall is still too new and too small for us to know if it’ll become the defacto marketplace for Nigeria. What we do know is that they’re doing something innovative and starting to chip away at the trade barriers between Nigeria and the UK. We wish them every success.
Whether you sell with WesternMall or other marketplace, Nigeria is now most definitely a territory worth considering selling too. Whilst many ecommerce merchants will ignore the potential, for those that trade with the country there are big opportunities for growth.