June 21, 2024
How To Start an eCommerce Business In Kenya

If you’ve been wondering how to start an eCommerce business in Kenya, then this article is for you. 

Here we’ll cover everything from choosing a business name to making money. With a little effort, you can have your very own online store up and running in no time. 

So let’s get started! 

What is eCommerce in Kenya? 

eCommerce is the process of buying and selling products or services online. It can be done through a variety of platforms, including online retailers, auction sites, and consumer-to-consumer marketplaces.

And eCommerce businesses in Kenya can be divided into two categories: business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B).

In a B2C transaction, a company sells products or services to consumers through an online channel. In a B2B transaction, companies sell products or services to other businesses.

Benefits of having an eCommerce business

There are many benefits to starting an eCommerce business. Perhaps the most obvious benefits include:

a) Increased reach.

With an eCommerce website, your business can sell products and services to a global audience. This increased reach can lead to more sales and revenue for your business.

b) Lower costs.

An eCommerce website in Kenya can be less expensive to operate than a traditional brick-and-mortar store. You won’t need to pay for rent, utilities, or other physical storefront expenses.

c) Increased flexibility and convenience. 

Customers can shop on your eCommerce website in Kenya at any time of day or night, from anywhere in the world. They don’t have to wait for regular business hours or travel to a physical location.

d) Increased control. 

With an eCommerce business in Kenya, you have more control over the look and feel of your brand and how customers experience it. 

You can also track customer behavior and data to better understand their needs and tailor your marketing efforts accordingly.

e) Increased ROI potential. 

A well-designed eCommerce website in Kenya can see a higher return on investment than with other marketing channels like print or television advertising.

eCommerce business opportunities in Kenya

eCommerce business opportunities are nearly endless. You can sell physical goods, digital products, or a combination of both. 

You may also offer services through your online store. There are numerous eCommerce platforms available to choose from when starting an online business, so be sure to do your research before settling on one.

a) Beauty and Health Products.

This is a great niche for those with an interest in beauty and health products in Kenya. You can sell makeup, skincare, haircare, and more through your online store. 

There are numerous eCommerce platforms available to choose from when starting an online business, so be sure to do your research before settling on one.

b) Selling Second Hand Products.

This is a great option for those looking to start an online business on a budget. You can sell second-hand products through platforms such as eBay and Amazon. 

Be sure to do your research before listing any items, so you are aware of the fees associated with each platform.

c) Creating an Online Course.

If you have knowledge or expertise in a particular subject area, you could create an online course and sell it through your eCommerce store. 

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There are numerous platforms available that will allow you to host and sell your course. Be sure to do your research before settling on one.

d) Smart Watches and Gadgets.

This is a great niche for those with an interest in technology. You can sell smartwatches, gadgets, and other tech products through your online store. 

e) Home Decor and Furnishings.

This is a great option for those with an interest in home decor and furnishings. You can sell items such as furniture, rugs, curtains, and more through your online store. 

f) Content Writing and Blogging.

If you have a knack for writing, you could start an online business by offering content writing and blogging services. You can sell your services through platforms such as Upwork and Fiverr. 

Or you can create a specialized platform where clients can come and order your services.

Make no mistake, these aren’t the only best eCommerce business ideas in Kenya, there are more.

Either way, starting an eCommerce business in Kenya is a great way to be your own boss and control your own income. It is important to remember that success takes time and hard work; don’t expect overnight results! 

Be patient, stay focused, and always continue learning about the latest trends in eCommerce in order to keep growing your business.

The basics of starting an eCommerce business in Kenya

1) Pick a niche

A niche is a segment of the market that you can target with your product or service. When starting an eCommerce business in Kenya, it’s important to choose a niche so that you can focus your marketing efforts and stand out from the competition. 

There are many factors to consider when choosing a niche, such as whether there is demand for the products or services you want to sell if there is enough competition to make it viable, and if you have the skills and knowledge to be successful.

Some examples of popular niches include:

  • Clothing and fashion   
  • Electronics  
  • Home goods  
  • Health and beauty products  
  • Toys and games

Or even be services. Go back to the previous opportunities section to get some ideas.

2) Understand the target audience.

Once you’ve chosen a niche, it is important to understand who your target audience is. This includes understanding their needs and wants, as well as how they behave online.

This research will help you determine what type of products or services to sell, how to market them effectively, and where to sell them (e.g., online store vs brick-and-mortar).

You can easily understand the target audience by creating buyer personas. This is a fictional representation of your ideal customer, based on real data and research.

3) Choose the right products/services.

After you’ve identified your target audience, it is time to choose the products or services that you want to sell. There are many factors to consider when making this decision, such as:

  • The demand for the product or service  
  • Your competition 
  • Your own skills and knowledge   
  • (If selling physical goods) The cost of manufacturing/ sourcing the product

Additionally, make sure the products or services you offer are high quality and meet customer expectations. This is essential for building a successful eCommerce business.

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To help you out, there is this article: 12 Most Profitable Items to Sell Online in Kenya (+where To Source Them at Wholesale Prices).

4) Choose a platform.

The next step is to choose an eCommerce platform in Kenya. This is the software that will power your online store and help you run your business. 

There are many different platforms available, so it’s important to do your research and choose one that meets your specific needs. Some factors to consider include:  

  • Cost   
  • Ease of use  
  • Features   
  • (If selling physical goods) Integration with shipping providers 

Some popular eCommerce platforms include Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento, and BigCommerce.

We will talk more about this in a minute.

5) Get logistics right

If you’re selling physical goods, have a solid logistics plan in place. This includes everything from manufacturing and sourcing products to storing inventory and shipping orders. 

You need to make sure that you can fulfill orders quickly and efficiently so that customers are happy with their purchases. 

Additionally, you need to consider the cost of shipping when setting prices for your products.

6) Promote your store

Once your online store is up and running, it’s time to start promoting it. There are many different ways to do this, such as:  

  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization): Making sure your website appears high in search engine results   
  • PPC (Pay-Per-Click Advertising): Buying ads on Google or other platforms   
  • (If selling physical goods) Traditional marketing methods like print or TV ads. However, there is no one silver bullet when it comes to promotion – you will likely need to use a combination of strategies depending on your business goals. The most important thing is just getting started and being creative!

Developing a successful eCommerce business strategy

Before you can start selling products or services online in Kenya, you need to develop a successful eCommerce business strategy.

There are a few key components to any successful online business, including a well-designed website, a reliable payment gateway, and good customer service. 

Let’s take a closer look at each of these factors:

Your website is the first thing potential customers will see, so it’s important to make a good first impression. 

Make sure your site is easy to navigate and includes all the information potential customers will need, such as product descriptions and pricing.

A reliable payment gateway is essential for any online business. You’ll need to choose a payment processor that offers secure transactions and can handle different types of payments (e.g. credit cards, debit cards, PayPal, etc.). 

And since you are in Kenya, it is worth considering LIPA NA MPESA integration into your online store.

Finally, good customer service is essential for any business. You’ll want to be able to respond quickly to questions and concerns about your products.

Finding the right eCommerce platform for your business in Kenya

When it comes to starting an eCommerce business, the most important thing is to find the right platform. 

There are a lot of different options out there and it can be overwhelming. This section will help you narrow down the choices and find the best platform for your business in Kenya.

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First, you need to decide what type of products you want to sell. There are many different eCommerce platforms that specialize in different types of products. 

If you are not sure what type of products you want to sell, try looking at some of the most popular platforms and see what they have to offer.

Once you know what kind of products you want to sell, you can start narrowing down your choices. 

Some things to consider include the cost of the platform, the features it offers, ease of use, and whether or not it integrates with your existing website or web hosting plan. 

Yes, there are many good eCommerce sites in Kenya that can help you get started selling your products online. You just need to find the one that is right for you. 

How to promote your eCommerce website in Kenya.

There are many ways to promote an eCommerce website. Some of the most effective methods include search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, social media marketing, and email marketing.

a) Implement eCommerce SEO.

One of the best ways to promote your eCommerce website is by implementing SEO. This will help you organically rank higher in search engines for relevant keywords, which will result in more traffic and sales. 

b) Use PPC advertising.

PPC advertising is another effective way to drive traffic and sales to your eCommerce website. 

You can create ads on platforms like Google Ads and Bing Ads, and only pay when someone clicks on your ad. 

c) Promote your site on social media.

Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, etc are great ways to reach out to potential customers and promote your eCommerce website. 

Make sure to post engaging content that directs people back to your site. 

d) Collaborate with relevant influencers and bloggers.

Reach out to relevant influencers and bloggers in your industry and collaborate with them. This can be done by sending them free products, offering affiliate commissions, or guest blogging on their site. 

e) Use email marketing.

Email marketing in Kenya is a great way to stay in touch with your customers and promote sales on your eCommerce website. 

You can send out regular newsletters, promotional offers, or even abandoned cart emails to encourage people to complete their purchases.

f) Produce valuable content.

Another great way to promote your eCommerce website is by producing valuable content. This could be in the form of blog posts, infographics, videos, or even podcasts. 

By providing informative and entertaining content, you’ll be able to attract more visitors to your site who may eventually make a purchase.


Now that you know how to start an e-commerce business in Kenya, it’s time to take action and get started! 

Keep in mind that starting an online business takes time, effort, and dedication. 

But if you’re willing to put in the work, you can achieve great things.

With an e-commerce business, you have the potential to reach a global audience and generate significant income. 

So what are you waiting for? Start planning your e-commerce business today! 

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