We need an online supplements vendor in Nigeria

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We need an online supplements vendor in Nigeria

"Your food is supposed to be your medicine and your medicine is supposed to be your food" - (African Proverb)

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I’m tired of not having a trusted vendor to buy supplements from online in Lagos. It’s also tough not finding the brands that I trust and regularly use in London. It seems like it’s a lot easier to buy herbs than supplements in Nigeria, which is expected. Herbs can be grown locally or sourced from other African countries, whereas supplements will almost always be imported from the West or Asia.

I use familiar brands such as Solgar and Now Foods for most of my supplements. Whilst, you can find these brands in major pharmacies, their websites are poor. Hence, you can’t see their range and order to the house.

Where can you buy supplements from at the moment?

Currently, there are four major ways to get your hands on supplements:

1. Konga/Jumia

On these two e-commerce sites, you can search for the supplement you want.

Pros: 

  1. You may find supplements from high-quality brands on there
  2. It may sometimes be cheaper than the pharmacy (please, check to be sure)

Cons:

  1. You never know when the product will be delivered, especially on Konga. I ordered MSM 2 weeks ago, and I am still waiting.
  2. You will struggle to find what you want in the brand that you want it. E.g. I tried to buy Solgar Vitamin C Crystals, and I could not find them. Only Konga has Vitamin C Crystals, and they are from Now Foods.
  3. If you do find a supplement, it may be from a brand with scary packaging
  4. They may not have the supplement you want. E.g. Konga does not have any Vitamin D supplements. The last time I bought vitamin D was at Mopheth pharmacy.

2. Go to a Pharmacy or order on their website

This is what I was doing for a while. However, when you have a busy schedule and work from home, this is not something that you always want to do. However, most major pharmacies are 24 hours on Lagos Island, so you do have the option to go in the evenings when the roads are calmer.

Pros: 

  1. They have an extensive range of supplements from high-quality brands. Rarely you won’t find a supplement you need, e.g. pycnogenol. I’ve even bought Noni Juice at Mopheth and Pure Life before.
  2. It may sometimes be cheaper than the pharmacy (please, check to be sure)

Cons:

  1. It can be very expensive. After picking up a few supplements, your bill can easily be over ₦80,000 (~£100).
  2. Even the herbal teas are expensive and on average, Yogi Tea is like ₦6,000(~£8) in Lagos Island pharmacies), whereas you can buy them for £5 in the UK. Plus, Yogi Tea is like ₦2,700 (~3.50) on Jumia so the pharmacy is just a rip-off.
  3. The pharmacies have horrendous websites. I wanted to post a screenshot from the Pure Life Pharmacies website, but I was getting errors. Mopheth pharmacy has the best website. However, they do not put all the supplements on there that they have in store.

3. Supermart.ng

I covered them in a previous post on Lagos’s best places to order groceries online.

Pros: 

  1. They appear to sell supplements

Cons:

  1. I tried to order a supplement one time, and they called me after my order to say they didn’t have it.
  2. They only have major supplements such as Vitamin C. They had over 20 different options. Whereas other supplements don’t have half of that. Here is what a search for Vitamin D shows:

4. Jiji

I’m sorry, but this is not an option for me, and I wouldn’t recommend it. This is equivalent to buying supplements from eBay or Gumtree, which I would not do.

Why do we need an online supplements vendor?

Hopefully, you can see above a huge gap for someone to come in. I only found one vendor that had a website, and the website looked horrible and even had code in the side widget showing, which shows that either no one is maintaining the website or the person does not care about their brand at all. When buying something as sensitive as supplements that need to be of good quality, buying from someone who doesn’t care about their shop-front isn’t a good idea.

The global supplements market is projected to grow from $71.81 billion in 2021 to $128.64 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 8.68% during the 2021-2028 period. Furthermore, Mordor Intelligence posits that the Africa nutraceutical market is projected to register a CAGR of 6.05% during 2020-2027. So it’s a no brainer to get a slice of the pie.

What do we need from a supplement online store?

A dedicated site to buy supplements that must supply:

  • Original supplements
  • Not expired supplements
  • Supplements from high-quality brands
  • A wide range of supplements from each brand. For example, I need to buy Solgar Vitamin C crystals, but I only see Solgar Ester-C capsules stocked in the pharmacies.
  • Trending supplements
  • Same day delivery option

Please, if you have access to supplements in bulk or can import them in. Start an online store in Lagos. I’m sure your business would grow fast because the demand is increasing rapidly. You may end up expanding out of state and Nigeria into other African countries. If you need me to help/advise, I am more than happy to.

In a country where we don’t have access to quality healthcare, our President flies out of the country for healthcare – we must have access to tools that aid DIY healthcare, such as herbs and supplements. If you know someone, please share the article with them. They could be up and running this business in a few months.

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