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How to sell online in Kenya- A beginner’s Guide 2019

How to sell online in Kenya- A beginner’s Guide 2019

So you want to learn how to sell online in Kenya? That is a good thought. And why shouldn’t it be when people are making money online selling all kind of stuff.

Besides, companies such as Jumia, Kilimall and even Safaricom have online stores and making big money!

What did they see that you never saw?

My brother my sister, you are not late. Thank God that your eyes have been opened now. Welcome to this guide on how to sell online in Kenya.

You may not make as much money as these companies do, but how about making just a fraction of this? Believe you me, learning how to sell online in Kenya is not easy, but if you master this model of business, you will be smiling all the way to the bank.

I once read of a story of a guy who made so much money selling online that he left Kiambu for Dubai within a span of a month.

But why should you even care about how to sell online in Kenya?

It is a well-known fact that Kenya has the highest penetration of mobile phones in Africa. Coupled with the fact we have Mpesa wallets with us, online shopping is something we cannot wish away.

If you doubt what I am saying, ask Jumia about their turnover on a daily basis. Also, ask Safaricom why they began Masoko.

Even out next-door stores and supermarkets, have their online versions.

Online shopping is something you cannot wish away, and if you are an entrepreneur, who wants to learn how to sell online in Kenya, you have taken the right road.

How to choose a platform to sell on.

There are 4 ways to go about this. Here they are.

  1. Create a blog/ E-Commerce store/ Website.
  2. Become a seller on Jumia or Kilimall.
  3. Do Drop shipping.
  4. Sell on Social Media.

Let us get deeper into this.

1. Create a blog/ E-Commerce store/ Website.

Creating a blog, a website or even an E-commerce site is an option you can consider. The advantage is that you have control of your own site and can reach millions of potential buyers very easily.

Sites such as Jumia, Kilimall or Masoko are E-commerce sites. You can also create a website or pay someone to create a website for you. Then add an E-commerce store on it.

You could even begin a blog if you are a good writer, and add a shop on to it.

Whichever the case, you will have begun showing your products and services to online shoppers. I did write how to start a blog in Kenya guide you can follow if you have time to do so.

However creating a blog/website/E-commerce site is the easier part. The problem is you may create a website, blog or an E-Commerce site that people may not see.

Moreover, you will be competing with other well-established sites for customers. And boy/girl, you will be given a run for your money.

I may not advice you going this route unless

  • You have deep pockets that can flex your muscles before your competitors.
  • You are tech savvy and know what it takes to maintain an online store.
  • You know about Site Engine Optimization (SEO).
  •  Are ready to employ people to help you manage the site. Imagine getting 100 online orders within minutes and have no idea where to begin. If you fail your customers, they may leave for good.

That said, if you are ready for the challenge, you could take it on. I also advice taking this route if you have a physical store and want to expand your reach online.

2.Become a seller on Jumia or Kilimall.

For anyone interested in how to sell online in Kenya, this is by far the easiest route to follow.

Why am I saying so?

Because within minutes, you can have your products in front of millions of potential buyers. It is by far the easier option since,

  • Only need to apply to become a seller on Jumia or Kilimall.
  • You only list your products and leave the rest to Jumia or Kilimall.
  • You do not need to know Site Engine Optimization (SEO).
  • Both offer training on how to run your business.
  • Both have millions of followers and your products can move very fast.

That said; remember that these platforms do not offer these services free. You pay a particular percentage of the value of the products that are sold.

Remember the guy I talked about who left Kiambu for Dubai, he moved so many products on Jumia during a promotional week that he made millions within days.

If you would like to go this route, read how to sell in Jumia Kenya.

3. Become a drop shipper.

Now, what is dropshipping?

Dropshipping is a retail fulfillment method where a store does not keep the products it sells in stock. Instead, when a store sells a product, it purchases the item from a third party and has it shipped directly to the customer. As a result, the seller (you) never sees or handles the product.

The main difference between this method and the first two is that you do not handle any inventory and you do not own any products.

You act as an intermediary, buying cheaply and selling at a profit.

Dropshipping is not well developed in Kenya. However, if you have literally little capital to begin with, this the route to take.

This is what you need to do:

  • Go sign up at https://www.shopify.com, this is the best option though there are other options.
  • Create a store on shopify.
  • Look for products to dropship.
  • Add the products on your store.
  • Advertise your store to the world.

The down side of this method is that, you will need to do lots of SEO, for your store to make any traction.

But should people know about it and you have the right products, you could be a self-made millionaire in no time.

4. Sell on Social Media.

This is by far the cheapest and easiest way to sell online. All you need to do is share you product to Facebook groups, on you Facebook page, and Instagram page.

This is the easiest way to learn how sell online in Kenya.

To become more professional, you can create a nice Facebook business page. Facebook allows you set up a shop on your page.

Once you have created a Facebook business page, you can list your products there. However, you will need to create a large following thus creating a brand of your own.

People usually do not buy products,they buy brands. If Messi decided to sell T-shits to day online, he would sell millions of them. If he gave you the same T-shirts, you would find it hard selling the same to your own brother or sister.

That is how powerful a brand is. Messi is a brand while you are no brand.


Learning how to sell online in Kenya, could open you another door to earn an income during these difficult economic times. Moreover, you could just find that breakthrough you have been looking for.

If you are looking for items to sell, you can read about that here. If you have your own products to sell, well, I hope this guide helps you finally launch your online business.  

Happy selling.

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