How to Start an eCommerce Store in Kenya

Emmanuel Chekumbe

Today, our CEO will take you through how to start an online eCommerce Store in Kenya. In this article, she will give you a step-by-step guide on creating an eCommerce store and joining the growing list of online businesses in Kenya.

I will give you general guidelines in this list of steps, not exhaustive requirements. So here are the steps to start an eCommerce store in Kenya.

How to start an Online Shop in Kenya

1. Pick a product

The first step to starting an eCommerce store in Kenya is to narrow down on a niche you are interested in.

How do I pick a product to sell online?

There is no right or wrong way of doing this; you can either start from the things you like or be guided by ideas that have potential. For example, selling used clothes would not be an interesting idea because it’s not something you have a passion for. If you are passionate about it, there is a good chance that your customers will be motivated to buy goods from you.

Testing the market: Design your prototype and take it to the streets. Walk around and see if consumers are buying into the idea. Do they feel like it’s something new and exciting? If yes, then you have a product worth selling.

2. Select a CMS

After you have settled on your product idea, it’s time to select cms or an e-commerce platform. If you want to be an online store, you need an eCommerce platform that can help you set up shop and run it in the future.

Here is a list of popular eCommerce Platforms:

  • Shopify
  • WooCommerce
  • Magento
  • BigCommerce

The easiest platform on this list is WooCommerce. It is easy to set up and Free. It is a WordPress Plugin.

3. Pick a payment gateway

The next step is to select the Payment Gateway. This gateway will allow your customers to pay for goods via their cards online using a secure connection.

The most popular payment gateways in Kenya are:

  • PayPal
  • PesaPal
  • KopoKopo
  • Mpesa (For example, some plugins can integrate with WooCommerce).

It is advisable to pick a payment gateway that most customers can use and are familiar with. M-Pesa is popular in Kenya, so make sure your Payment gateway supports M-Pesa.

4. Go live and start making sales

Now that you have a website, it’s time to start making sales. Join social media and create useful content for your potential customers. If you’re selling gadgets, post news about gadgets in Kenya. Reply to other tech blogs or local communities (LinkedIn, Facebook) when you know the answers to questions asked there.

Always make sure that you fulfill your customer orders as fast as possible. Make your customers feel like they are getting the service worth their money!

5. Start delivering your products

If your business is booming, you can start hiring a delivery service to deliver to your customers. However, try it out for yourself first! Kenya has several online and offline delivery services that will help you provide your products with ease.

6. Grow and scale your business

Now that your business is running smoothly, you can plan for the future. Where will you expand? How do you plan to make more sales and create a presence on the web for your new product line? You have started an eCommerce store in Kenya!

In Summary

To start an eCommerce store in Kenya, you need a product that you are passionate about and know how to set up the right payment gateway. Once your online business runs smoothly, it’s time to plan future expansion.

Choose wisely to ensure that your business can grow and become sustainable.

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As a Digital Marketing Specialist, Emmanuel writes about the latest trends in digital marketing. He is always up-to-date on the latest tools and techniques and enjoys sharing his knowledge. Connect with him on Linkedin