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Running an online business in Africa? Terminal’s got you covered.

September 15, 2023

Terminal is a web platform that’s making it easy for entrepreneurs in Africa to build and grow online businesses. It combines a no-code website builder with built-in solutions for payments, shipping and marketing. This makes Terminal a one-stop shop for any entrepreneur looking to launch and grow any type of eCommerce venture in Africa.

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

To ease this burden, most entrepreneurs hire a professional, but this process can be time consuming and expensive. This results in a situation where a lot of new business owners turn to social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp to create a touchpoint for customers interested in their products. In Nigeria, for example, social media businesses have become so common that the term “Instagram Vendors” is used to generally describe them.

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

Terminal SME survey result (2021)

This does not mean that selling on social media is bad, in fact we still think it’s the best way for entrepreneurs to experiment with new ventures because of how easy it is to reach people and the fact that it’s free. However, if you’re a business owner that wants to tell a unique story with your brand, is serious about growth and bullish on delivering the best possible shopping experience to customers, there are much better alternatives available. Even purely from a risk perspective, with the recent outage from Facebook, it’s always smarter to leverage alternative platforms that can grow independently of your time. Especially when they provide unique benefits that could take your business to new heights.

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

They would only need to do 3 things:

  1. Register a domain name for their venture.
  2. Curate their inventory.
  3. Use our simple no-code tool to create a website that tells their brand story in a unique way.

Terminal removes the need to integrate payments or engage local courier services, because it provides built in support for global payments and worldwide shipping. Also, if a business owner is not savvy enough to design their website to an acceptable standard, we connect them with local professionals that can help them do this at a fraction of the cost. We also provide 3rd party integrations to marketing platforms such as Mailchimp, to help our customers promote their businesses.

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

This post is an intro to a series where we’ll be letting you (the African entrepreneur) understand how we’ve got your back, like no one else has. In the next post, we’ll be diving deeper into payments on Terminal and how we’ve built a network of the best global payment platforms in the market to work under the hood for your African business.

Thanks for reading!