AriariaOnline Marketplace: How we Aim to Become the Largest Online Marketplace in Nigeria and Africa

Hi Damian, what’s your background, and what are you currently working on?

My name is Damian-Mario Okita, I am the Founder of AriariaOnline Marketplace.

I am from Imo State Nigeria. I am a web and software developer and a tech enthusiast.

I studied computer science at Temple Gate Polytechnic, Aba, Abia State.

I am working on changing the way we do business in Nigeria, by building an indigenous free online marketplace that connects sellers with buyers, also enabling SMEs and local businesses to gain an online presence and make more sales directly.

What motivated you to get started with Ariariaonline Marketplace?

I was motivated to get started with Ariariaonline Marketplace to enable business owners, shop owners, artisans, and service providers to leverage the benefits of online awareness and digital marketing advertising to grow their businesses and make more sales online and offline.

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

I and my team have been working tirelessly to get more users and signups on our platform; we are making it easy for business owners to feature their products and services on our website for free.

We have over 1,000 registered users and over 1,000 products and services listed.

What’s your business model, and how have you grown your revenue?

At the moment we are still building and attracting more signups and helping more businesses come online.

We make revenue when users subscribe to our premium paid plans which will enable us to position their business to get more visibility and online engagements across the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) and social media platforms

What are your business goals for the future?

Our goal is to become the online version of the offline market; to become the largest indigenous online marketplace in Nigeria and Africa.

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources for you?

Think Big by Dr Ben Carson is among the first books that have motivated me to greatness; I can achieve almost anything I put my dedication to.

I have an archive of his books and others like John Manson, Rick Warren, John C. Maxwell, and others.

Another influence is a movie, not a book; The Pursuit of Happyness by Will Smith and his son.

Which were your marketing strategies to grow your business?

Within our budget reach at the moment, we have been able to use social media to create awareness for our brand.

We anticipate going beyond that when funds come in because the growth of a startup such as ours is branding and continuous advertisement.

What were the biggest challenges you faced and the obstacles you overcame?

Our biggest challenge at the moment is positioning our website to business owners and sellers; another challenge is funding/sponsorship, which we know we will soon overcome.

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Have you had any failed business?

This is the third time I am building an online marketplace, and the latter all failed. I have been able to gather experience from my past failures and mistakes and pour it into this startup.

What are some sources for learning you would recommend for entrepreneurs who are just starting?

Read, read, read, read books; read success stories of great inventors and founders and learn from their startup history, success, and failures.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

Just start, don’t wait when you have the right tools; other things will fall in place in the long run.

Where can we go to learn more about you?

You can reach me on Facebook and on LinkedIn.

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