Why SMEs need to embrace e-commerce in Kenya.


There is a new breed of customers in town; they are young, busy, techno savvy, have the latest smartphone or tablet and belong to the ballooning middle class. They are customers with disposable income to spend BUT will spend it on their own terms, from their comfort, at their convenience

Looking at these numbers, it’s easy to decipher that the catalyst to this breed of customers that prefers to shop online is the internet. This breed wants to buy a product but won’t go downtown to compare prices between physical stores. If anything, they don’t have the time and if they won’t find your products and services online, they will buy from you competitor.

The potential of e-commerce in Kenya Due to this increasing shift in consumer shopping behaviour, embracing e-commerce is no longer a luxury but a competitive advantage that retailers must embrace or become redundant. More e-commerce ventures such as Kaymu – online marketplace, little cub Taxi- taxi booking app, Jovaga hotel listing portal, just to name a few.

The uptake of e-commerce it has opened new revenue stream to the courier operators that deliver the goods purchased online to the clients. Leading the pack among online food retailers in Kenya is Hello food a platform that lists hundreds of restaurants in Nairobi and Mombasa from which you can order for food and have it delivered to your office or home in the two cities within an hour and one pays on delivery.

To ensure efficiency, for instance Hellofood outsources the services to a local courier service while restaurants selling on its platform such as Debonairs, Artcaffe and Thai village, among others, deliver through an in-house courier company.

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How to embrace e-commerce in Kenya There are two ways to embrace e-commerce in Kenya. The most popular one is to build your own website and list your product catalogue and information…The second option is to sell your products by listing on the online marketplace of an e-commerce company.

Building an online presence should be the next agenda of your business. Find an online marketplace where your products will sell and while it won’t happen overnight, it is a step in the right direction towards reaping a plenty market share and staying ahead of competition. Throw the sails, Sell online, and don’t be redundant.