Online Business in Kenya: Here’s what you Need


Blog, Finance / Thursday, April 26th, 2018

Before the leap of faith into running an online business in Kenya, you may want to think about these 10 essentials.

  • Do you need a warehouse or you can sell from home?

The size of your product, and the average number of orders you expect in a day will determine the storage space you need. If you are an affiliate marketer, you are good to go because your work is lead generation only. However, if you own the product, you need a spacious, secure and clean storage area. Some home-based business people use a spare bedroom. In addition, the location and type of storage depends on the interaction between a seller, a delivery team and a customer. For example, if you run a wedding rental business, your clients need a changing room. Therefore, you might have to welcome strangers into your home.

  • How will you market your products or services?

A marketing plan is as essential as a business plan. You need to list down all the marketing strategies you have in mind. Will you hire a marketing expert or do you have basic online marketing skills to get you started? The easiest online marketing platforms are social media networks like Facebook and Instagram. However, you can also make sales from a website through e-commerce software.

  • Where is your pick-up point?

A pick-up point should be convenient for all potential customers in a given geographical area. For example, in Nairobi, you can set-up a pick-up point in the CBD. Having a pick-up point eliminates the laborious delivery process. Additionally, a pick-up point eliminates delivery fees, which is a competitive advantage for you. Sometimes, a standard delivery fee doesn’t cater for all delivery costs. For instance, if you charge Ksh200 outside Nairobi’s CBD, what about deliveries to a customer in a place like Ruiru where you need to take a boba boda off Thika Road?

  • Will you offer free/paid or any delivery service?

If you will make deliveries, do you intend to include the cost in the price of the product or will a customer pay separately? Is the delivery fee per item or for all items ordered by a customer? You can also engage a courier service for deliveries outside the city, which makes it easier for you to focus on sales.

  • Who will manage your digital assets?

Your blog, website and social media pages need attention daily. Managing social media pages is easy but for the website you can get assistance until you are comfortable managing the shopping cart and the blog.

  • What payment methods do you have in mind?

Cash on delivery works for most online businesses in Kenya. Nonetheless, you may need a few other options like Lipa na MPESA and Visa. Find out the legal requirements for you to enroll for such payment methods, and which payment methods work best for your target market.

  • Do you have stable, fast internet connection among other resources?

An online venture needs fast internet. There are so many internet bundle packages from various internet service providers. Compare all offers from Telkom, Safaricom, ZUKU and Airtel to find out which one is fast but affordable.

By now, you have a list of things to do before you start your online business. God’s speed!