Ecommerce in Kenya, lets go oldschool


What drives sales in a website if i may ask? Selling online in Kenya seems the hottest thing that every Tom, Dick and Harry is engaging. Thats good news, the internet uptake is positive.

E-commerce for dummies

E commerce can be as easy as creating a facebook or twitter profile and informing your followers or friends that you are selling this hot new electronic that you can deliver if someone paid you via mobile money like m-pesa, zap, orange money or yu-cash.  Better still, you can create a wordpress, type pad or blogger blog and have a place you can talk to everyone who is online, not getting limited to the one’s on your friends list. Thats getting a broader approach. Further still you can engage a professional and have an ecommerce website that presents your wares in an orderly, professional looking manner for a fee. All these are ways of reaching out to the online world you wouldn’t have access to in a normal setting of  physical coverage. Lets say you now have this very well developed website and have the products and a very excited heart, what do you need to do in-order to maintain a good stream on income?

  • Good product
  • We all know what a good product does to you. There is a swahili saying that goes like “Chema chajiuza, kibaya chajitembeza” translated to mean, a good thing sells itself while a bad one keeps walking ( which would mean you want to sell a product, make sure its what customers want, and like). Try  selling a product that has some form of continuity, something that will please the masses, and while at it they will come for more…oftenly.

  • Marketing
  • This applies to very many things in all aspects of selling. Example: You hire a web design expert and (s)he comes up with this very cool shopping cart website, everything is to die for and placed on the other end you would want to buy something from this website to feel how efficient both of you know it is.  But in the real sense, the other end has no-one, beyond you two and a couple of friends, no-one knows this heavenly website exists. Are you going to sell? Your answer is as good as mine.

  • Availability
  • Lets say you decide you are going to sell rabbit meat. You are the only rabbit meat supplier online. Great idea, no competition. But one season the rabbits decide they are not mating and in a month there is no rabbit meat for you to sell. (What do they call rabbit meat?). Point should be home now, you will lose customers and trust….. and word of mouth is dangerous! The failed rabbit meat seller!!

  • Referrals
  • What are people saying about you? What happens when a bee going its normal rounds discovers that you got honey in a jar somewhere in the kitchen shelf? You guessed it, some time late you will have plenty unwelcome visitors. Thats negative, but says alot about referrals. People will talk ant tell their friends where they got this fineshoe that has not been imported, ask @kenyatvproducer about bata.

  • Relationship
  • Be sure to build a relationship with your customers. Experts say it’s six times easier to sell to an existing customer than it is to find a new one. So know where to spend money more, getting new customers or relationship building. (I don’t take credit for that).  When you build a good relationship with customers you will have good customer feedback relating to your products, and you will be able to serve them better.


    1. Great article, and just in time for me. I would love to see research on kenyas current state in ecommerce, most succesful business, most succesful payment method etc.

    2. Ecommerce is gaining significance because large number of people are now becoming online shoppers. Online shopping is in vogue today. commerce shopping cart is easily customizable and scalable to match your website design and products. Thanks for sharing this post…

    3. Great points there. I think we need to think more on the methods of marketing and presenting the online businesses. The newness of the industry to many Kenyans still make doing it a challenge but i can see the lights at the end of the tunnel.

    4. What Kenyans interested in learning how to make money online need is a basic training on the main online and offline aspects of marketing from marketing , branding, customer care and then internet marketing. The internet is now very competitive especially search marketing.
      It is amazing how many business and organizations involved is sales and marketing of goods and services including large mufti nationals don’t have a clue of basic aspects of marketing. One cant succeed if they go online with stale marketing tactics.
      Online marketing is not an overnight get rich project contrary to what many gurus tell us but has high potential for those willing to invest time to learn it. As the gambler told Kenny Rodgers. If you wanna play the ball game, you gonna learn how to play it right.

    5. Nice Post having great features! Thanks for sharing this. I inspired to make the same Post in my current website by this post. Keep posting! Hope I will come back soon to this site.


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