How viable is E-commerce in Kenya?


Ecommerce is a term that takes every kenyan by excitement when mentioned. But the real question that comes along when you ask ,

Is Kenya ready for E-commerce?

Are Kenyan’s comfortable to shop online?

Are there reputable sites that are a true success story in Kenya and East Africa?

Are we using the correct business models?

Do we have the numbers to sustain online retailing?

Do website owners really have customer behaviour in mind when developing on-line shops?

Do you need to have hundreds of thousand dollars to run a successful online business?

Just to name a few.

These are questions that seek very genuine answers. E-commerce has been accelerating globally recording billions of dollars in sales but in Kenya, its  a different story altogether. There has been a significant growth of infrastructure, lying down of fibre cables from street to street.The government  is finally opening doors to Kenyans ,an example being the  recently  launched opendata.

The truth is that we might all be held up by activities and excitement of the day but the real questions come along when you ask yourself, are you building business? It must not be a really big business, you can start with a clicks and mortar business and progress from there.

Having an online business is easy, requires you to have a website and a working email. In case you have an E-commerce shop, perhaps you should consider these current trends

  1. Develop your business such that you go to your clients rather than expecting visitors coming back to you.
  2. Turn online shopping into a social event: customer behaviors indicate that most people are likely to seek an opinion from their friends before they make a purchase.
  3. Providing easier check out-gateways that are integrated should provide a nice experience to the web users.
  4. One stop shop shopping- Many web visitors are more comfortable to shop a website that sells a product and its related products. This prevents a lot of hassling to get those products elsewhere.

In the preceding articles, we’ll look at various business models and technological advancements and hopefully uplift the face of E-commerce in Kenya.