Online business

Are you running an online business in Africa? Terminal is here for you. | by terminal | October 2021

Terminal makes it easy for SMEs in Africa to create bespoke websites.

Terminal is a web-based platform that makes it easy for African entrepreneurs to start and grow businesses online. It combines a code-free website builder with integrated solutions for payments, shipping, and marketing. This makes Terminal a one-stop-shop for any entrepreneur looking to start and grow any type of e-commerce business in Africa.

For entrepreneurs operating in an African countrytry, starting an online business can be tedious. You need to manage your inventory, register your business as an entity, register a domain name, create a website, integrate a payment gateway with your website, create an account with a local courier for deliveries. and finally you have to find a plan to market your new business. Even I feel exhausted thinking about it. ??

To ease this burden, most entrepreneurs hire a professional, but the process can be long and expensive. This results in a situation where many new business owners are turning to social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp to create a point of contact for customers interested in their products. In Nigeria, for example, social media businesses have become so mainstream that the term “Instagram sellers” is used to describe them broadly.

While social media apps are great communication tools for direct customer engagement, by design they’re not designed for commerce. To illustrate this, we can refer to a recent survey we conducted of 54 entrepreneurs operating social media businesses in an African country. We’ve found that one of the most common day-to-day tasks for business owners is taking customer orders + resolving customer queries. Safe to say, that really shouldn’t be the case for any entrepreneur growing a business in 2021.

Result of the final SME survey (2021)

This does not mean that social media selling is bad, in fact we still believe it is the best way for entrepreneurs to experiment with new businesses due to the ease of reaching people and the fact that it’s free. However, if you are a business owner who wants to tell a unique story with your brand, is serious about growth, and wants to provide the best possible shopping experience for customers, there are much better alternatives available. Even from a simple risk perspective, with the recent Facebook outage, it’s still smarter to take advantage of alternative platforms that can grow regardless of your time. Especially when they offer unique benefits that could take your business to new heights.

To put it in context, we can look at the difference Terminal makes for an entrepreneur starting a new online business in Africa.

They would only need 3 things:

Terminal eliminates the need to integrate payments or hire local courier services, as it provides integrated support for global payments and worldwide shipping. Plus, if a business owner isn’t savvy enough to design their website to an acceptable standard, we connect them with local professionals who can help them do it at a fraction of the cost. We also offer third-party integrations with marketing platforms such as Mailchimp, to help our customers promote their business.

We have worked closely with several entrepreneurs in Africa to develop this platform over the past 3 years, so we have a deep understanding of your needs and want you to know that we are here to help!

This article is an introduction to a series where we will let you (the African entrepreneur) understand how we support you, like no one else has. In the next article, we’ll dig deeper into Terminal Payments and how we’ve built a network of the best global payment platforms on the market to work under the hood for your African business.

Thanks for reading!

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