With the majority of Kenyans having internet access, it is contributing to the growth of online shopping. This has made it lucrative for business people to start online shops. Hence, below is the process of how to start an online shop in Kenya.

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Just like having a physical shop, starting an online shop requires adequate planning and strategizing. You will need to ensure some issues such as accessibility and good customer experience are maintained.

How to start an online shop in Kenya

Below are some of the key steps necessary to start your online business

1.  Market research

This is a critical step to undertake as it helps you identify various aspects of this business such as

  • Target customers
  • Products to sell

As it is with every business, you should be aware of the nature of your target customers. This includes some elements such as age group, location, gender, and financial ability.

Defining your target customer will assist you in identifying the types of goods to sell. As an example, if you are targeting women, the types of goods such as clothes will differ from that of men.

Some of the ways to do market research are through conducting surveys and studying the available market statistics from some entities including government institutions.

2.  Business registration

There are various ways to register your business in Kenya. You can either do it either as a business name or a company. Learn more on how to register a business name in Kenya.

Business name registration is faster and cheaper than registering a company. The advantages of business registration are that it allows the customer to identify with the brand. It also helps to signify the authenticity and legality of the business.

3.  Startup capital

You will require capital to get your online shop started. Some of the key uses for capital include buying stock, business registration, and setting up the site.

It is also useful if you have to hire staff depending on the nature of the business. Some of the major sources of capital include savings or taking a loan.

4.  Creating an Online shop

Ultimately, you will need to create a shop that you can use to sell your goods. There are various ways to achieve this such as;

  • Creating a free shop on social media
  • Starting an e-commerce site
  • Using existing shop platforms

Most social media platforms allow you to create a shop on the platform free of charge. Some of these include the Facebook marketplace.

Starting an e-commerce site entails getting a domain name and Webhosting service provider to get started. This comes at a cost that could range from a minimum of 10,000 shillings.

The advantages of an e-commerce site are that it allows you to customize it as per your needs. Something different from when you have to use an already existing platform.

Finally, you can get a custom-made shop from some specialist shop providers such as Etsy.

5.  Getting a payment processor

A payment processor is a partner that offers payment choices for your customers. Running an online shop requires you to offer your customers efficient and reliable payment choices.

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Some of these include both mobile money channels and card payment channels. When getting a processor, you should ensure they have all these payment options and are reliable.

6.  Delivery of goods

You need to ensure customers get goods after purchase in a seamless and fastest manner. Hence, the need to organize your delivery process. There are various ways you can do this such as;

  • Partnering with a delivery company
  • Delivering the goods yourself
  • Having a physical location for pick up

The best approach will depend on the customer’s needs. If you don’t have the resources to deliver yourself, you can partner with third-party partners for delivery. However, this comes at an extra cost.

Below is a recap on how to start an online shop in Kenya.

  1. Market research
  2. Business registration
  3. Startup capital
  4. Creating an online shop
  5. Getting a payment processor
  6. Delivery of goods


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