Times are tough due to the effect of COVID-19 and that is why to try to make ends meet, you decided to begin an online business in Kenya, either on Facebook, Instagram or you have an e-commerce site.
You thought that buy just sharing some items on your website, blog, Facebook page or Instagram pages would make the much-needed cash during these hard times.
But did it work the way you thought?
The truth is that the internet is a wonderful place and if you know what you are doing, you can make a very successful business online.
However, if you do not know what you are doing, then you will be wasting your time, and the frustration that is unbearable.
In this blog post, we bring you the truth why you online business will never take off and what you must do to redeem yourself.
7 reasons why you online business in Kenya will never take off
1. Not replying to customers’ messages
If there is anything that irritates customers is not replying to their concerns. Imagine a customer sending you a message inquiring about your products and you take like 2 days to reply.
Why waste time setting up a beautiful store, putting up your contact details, then when your customers reach you, you cannot address their concerns.
Remember customer do not need you, you need them.
Let me give you an example.
I was looking to have my laptop screen replaced, so I went online looking for a business that would offer me the service. After, identifying one, I sent them a message via Facebook. The business replied after four hours.
I was not pleased.
So we talked and asked about the costing and the expected service. The last message I sent was booking for the service at 8.00 am, on Monday the following week.
However, this dude did not reply. Mark you we were talking on Wednesday and by Sunday, there was no reply.
I never went looking for him; I went and go the service somewhere else. To cut the story short, if you are setting up an online business but you have no time to address customers concerns, then you are shooting yourself in the foot.
If you are running the business alone, then you will need someone dedicated to run your social profiles and reply to customers concerns.
Research shows that more and more people are shopping online. It is only those who will meet the customers’ demands that will make money.
Customers have no obligation to buy from you. You are off shutting you online business in Kenya and doing something else.
2. Using the wrong Images
Now when you advertise, deliver what you additive. There cannot be two ways about this. Since your customers cannot be able to look at you goods and services as in a traditional store, you will need to upload images of your goods.
However, make sure that customers get what they see. Do not use images from the internet that are not the actual images of the product.
Even a slight difference in shade of colors is suicidal. Customers want they see, and are not there to entertain your explanations.
When you deliver something different than that you advertised, you not only lose credibility, but also loss the customers.
If possible, take the images of the actual products using you phone camera. With skill and a good camera, you can take good images.
Because of this, customers are not keen to pay upfront, they would rather pay on delivery once the products matches there expectation.
3. Using images of whites
I see this mistake with most cloth vendors. You have some piece of cloths you want to sell online. Then, you have images of whites with those cloths on.
Am not being a racist here.
But you aren’t selling to whites here, you are selling to a different race together. It only make sense when you are selling to whites to use images of whites. The same applies to Africans.
I would rather you get some models to put on the cloths and have their images taken. When you do this, customers can relate to your product.
4. Not indicating the price of product or service
I have never understood why someone will take the trouble to advertise on Facebook or Instagram, put it lots of time and fail to indicate the price of the commodity.
Some vendors even begin asking the customers what the price of the commodity should be. Others will want send that price to customers privately.
What that shows is that you have no business being in business, you would rather look for something else to do.
Prices of items should be in black and white for everyone to see!
This goes hand in hand with wrong pricing.
Take this example; you sell a product at Ksh.899.00 and you the then charge Ksh.300 for shipping (by the way that seems to be the standard shipping fee for small to medium items in Nairobi and its environs).
Now the same item sells at local store or supermarket at Ksh.949.00.
I hope you know where I will go buy it.
5. Not having a variety of items
I do not mean that you turn your business into some kind of a supermarket. All am saying is that you need to have a variety of items.
Let me explain myself.
Suppose you are selling some tracksuits, you will need to have different colors, sizes and for different genders.
I have seen vendors advertise items in different colors, or sizes, but in reality, they are not in stock. Advertise what you have.
As I said earlier, save your customers the explanations.
6. Items always out of stock
If you items are always are out of stock, then why are you in business to begin with. It only makes sense to do research and see how fast items are moving and put in place measures to restock before the current stock runs out.
Customers will not wait for you restock, they will move to your competitor.
7. You take ages to deliver items to customers
If your standard shipping time is one day, stick to that. If its three days, then let it be so.
What most online vendors do not understand is the most items they sell are also available at various local stores.
You will have to give customers a good reason to wait for three days or more.
More and more people are shopping online, and you can harness this to build an online presence that will keep customers coming back again and again.
Everyone is trying to sell online; you will need to stand out from them.
The truth is that the average person that sees your product is not interested in buying. If it were not so, all your Facebook friends or Instagram followers would be buying from you.
If only you can look at the seven concerns raised above, you will be able to sell and smile all the way to the bank.
If you need help managing your online business(es) in Kenya, please free to contact us.