Last updated on September 30th, 2022 at 12:34 pm
Do you own an eCommerce website? In this guide, I will show you how to market an online shop in Kenya.
I understand how hard it can get trying to push something that seems not to be working.
Before you give up, let me show you why you made the right decision to start an online store in Kenya.
By 2024, the eCommerce market will be a 2.4 billion dollar industry.
Well, according to Statista, the user penetration is currently at 34.6% as of 2021. And is expected to hit 53.6% by 2025.
Do you know what means?
The future of eCommerce in Kenya is bright?.
All you have to do now is learn how to harness the power of marketing, this way, you are not leaving any money on the table.
Let’s get right to it, shall we?
How To Market An Online Shop In Kenya
If you own an online store, there is only one thing you need to do to increase sales; get eyeballs on the site.
To do that, you need traffic.
Basically, an online store is just like any other website; it requires visitors for it to make money.
It is easier to fall into the ‘build it and they will come’ mentality.
Sorry to tell you this, but no one is going to find your site, at least if you do not have a plan to attract them.
Here is why;
You are not the only one having an online store in Kenya.
The competition is growing every day.
And the more time you are not growing is the time you are diminishing, soon you will be out of business.
Traffic is what makes an online shop successful.
Sadly, that is not the entire truth.
Traffic alone won’t get you money.
You need to convert that into sales?.
I won’t lie to you, if you do not know how to do that, you are dead in the water.
It doesn’t matter how many visitors your site is getting, if you are not getting sales, it is worthless.
But we will change that today.
I will show you how to get traffic to your eCommerce website in Kenya. And then what to do to turn that traffic into sales.
Market An Online Shop In Kenya: Blogging
I won’t go into detail on what blogging in Kenya is, instead, I will show you how to leverage it to drive traffic to your eCommerce website.
First, you need to add a blog section to your online store.
And if you are using WordPress, that should be easy (let me in the comments if you want a tutorial on how to do that).
Once you have the blog section, the next step is to start publishing articles.
What should you be publishing?
Let me ask you this;
What are you selling?
What is your store about?
Then publish articles about that.
If you have baby clothes online shop, you can start publishing articles about babies or motherhood.
Babies and mothers are inseparable. If someone is looking for baby articles, they are more likely to be interested in whatever you are selling.
Here are some topic ideas;
- Best Baby Products of 2021 (in the list, include products in your own shop)
- Best Foods for Babies
- Parents’ Best Baby Gear of 2021
You get the idea?
Market An Online Shop In Kenya: Share on social media
I know how social media is getting tougher nowadays.
Heck, Facebook is turning into a ‘pay-to-play’ platform.
You can be having 100K likes and less than 1% of them sees your posts.
But still, it is a free way to drive traffic to your online store in Kenya.
Whenever you publish an article, go ahead and share it on your social accounts.
- Share links to your store
- Create social media platforms (should be #1 to-do before you start all these).
I’d recommend you start learning how to use Pinterest to drive traffic to your online store.
Pinterest attracts people who are looking for ideas on products, fashion, quotes, and any else actually.
What’s more interesting is that out of 10 Pinterest users, 7 are female.
If you are selling ladies’ products, you should be there by now.
Additionally, 8 out of 10 Pinterest users have bought something they saw on the platform.
Market An Online Shop In Kenya: Leverage SEO
What is SEO?
Stands for Search Engine Optimization.
In a nutshell, it is a way of making sure people can find your online store on search engines such as Google.
If you have an online store selling ladies’ handbags, you need to optimize your site such that whenever someone goes to Google and types ‘ladies’ handbags in Kenya’ your website pops up a the #1.
Why should you be among the top results?
Well, the #1 result on Google receives at least 27% clicks.
This means that if 1K people are searching for handbags in Kenya on Google every month, over 270 of them will click on your website.
Question is, how do you get to position one?
That is another topic of another day.
But here are some pointers;
- Write longer product descriptions
- Make sure all related pages are interlinked together (OnPage SEO)
- Get other websites to link to yours (Backlinks/off-page SEO)
- Do keyword research – simply, knowing what queries your target audience is using when doing research online
- Local SEO – making sure your site shows up when people near you search for related products.
This is local SEO.
To get that, submit your online store on Google My Business.
And let your clients write reviews after providing all details about your business.
Now, what I showed you is the free way to get traffic from Google.
But there is a problem with this method.
It takes a lot of effort and time.
Is there a shortcut?
Well, see the next strategy on how to market an eCommerce website in Kenya.
Market An Online Shop In Kenya: Use Google Ads
This is the easiest and fastest way to get traffic from Google.
Look at this screenshot;
If you ever search for something and see the words ‘ad’ beside a website on Google, it means that website is paying to be there.
It goes back to what we mentioned earlier.
The average click-through rate of the top results on Google is 27%.
This means that if you are the number one result when someone searches for something, they are more likely to click on your website.
Sadly, the numbers deteriorate as you go down.
In fact, being position 10 earns you at most 2.5% clicks.
Tell me something;
When was the last you clicked on a website that is not on the top 5?
Someone once joked you can hide a body on page 2 of Google.
Because no one goes that far.
Now, if you want to be #1 on Google in Kenya, either sweat on organic SEO or spend some cash and get instant results.
To use Google ads;
- Know the keyword you are targeting. It should have commercial intent for it to be profitable
- Remember you are paying whenever someone clicks on your ads. So make it count by having a special landing page designed.
- Go to Google Ads and get started.
I will be creating a guide on how to create profitable Google Ads in Kenya.
The next strategy can work seamlessly with this one here.
Keep reading to find out how.
Market An Online Shop In Kenya: Facebook Ads
I won’t waste your time telling you what Facebook ads in Kenya is.
In a nutshell, you pay Facebook to show your ad to more Kenyans.
You can find guides here on my site.
What should you?
Since you wish to get people to see your site, first, you can promote your business Facebook page to get more likes, thus driving awareness.
Another way is to use traffic objective.
Here, you are telling Facebook to show your online store to Kenyans who are most likely to be interested in what you are selling.
Now, here is how to make Google and Facebook ads work together.
It is through retargeting.
What happens here is that when someone goes to Google and clicks on your ads, but doesn’t convert, you retarget them on Facebook.
This way, they see your ads everywhere!
I bet you have seen that.
It is both creepy and so effective.
Up to this point, these strategies should get you traffic.
But as I said, traffic alone won’t get you anywhere.
You need to convert them into sales.
Here is how.
Market An Online Shop In Kenya: Build an email list
Studies show that email marketing is one of the most profitable ventures.
For every $1 you invest into it, you get back $42 on average.
Sincerely, I don’t know how these numbers stuck up here in Kenya, but I expect the same results.
What is email marketing?
Simple; marketing or promoting your business through email.
I bet you have seen one of those emails asking you to buy something after you signed up or downloaded something somewhere.
Heck, if you have bought something from Jumia, you must be receiving annoying emails every day about deals.
Well, that is email marketing 101.
How do you get started?
First, you need to collect email addresses from those who visit your store.
You can offer a special discount if they give you their email address.
Once you collect emails, start building a relationship with them.
Keep sending valuable messages consistently.
And whenever you have offers, let them be the first to know.
Why email marketing?
Truth is, a lot of people who visit your shop won’t buy immediately and there is a 99% chance they won’t return ever again.\
Having a way to capture their contact details gives you a second chance.
Market An Online Shop In Kenya: Hold Giveaways
Who doesn’t love free stuff?
You can leverage this to make more money.
Here is how;
Have a contest where customers enter by sharing your products or posts on social media.
And then pick only 1-3 winners and award the prizes.
The rest of the participants?
Give them store credit to be redeemed within a specific period.
The winners get say a gift hamper.
Others get a say Ksh 700 store credit to be used within 11 days and on specific products.
Market An Online Shop In Kenya: Leverage Social proof
Here is the truth;
88% of consumers trust user reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Also, 63% of consumers need to hear company claims 3-5x before they actually believe it.
What does this mean?
To convert traffic to sales, you need to implement social proof in your eCommerce website in Kenya.
- Get positive reviews.
- Show customer testimonials (written, but better with video).
- Let influencers or celebrities endorse your products.
- Gow your social media following.
- Show the number of users or customers who have bought the product. For example, 37 fulfilled orders.
- Show awards and recognition you have.
To be continued….