5 main reasons why many Kenyan online stores are failing

Yes, there is astronomical growth in online businesses. However many will fall by the way side and blow millions in investors funding.

Let’s take a look into the 5 key challenges:

  • Cut Throat Competition: Our online stores mostly sell goods imported from China. Initially customers are drawn by competitive prices but the original vendors eventually pull out as cut throat pricing heats up. The competition then gets murkier, quality deteriorates and all customers eventually flee.
  • Lack of Original Products: As a net importer, our country barely produces much, unless an online store sells something unique, it’s all an effort in futility. You cannot replicate Alibaba if Alibaba already exists with a huge advantage of having the source industries in it’s ‘inventory’. The best work around is selling your own unique quality brand not available anywhere else. Invest in advertising to set it a part from the rest, even if the items are made in China or just assembled locally.
  • Small Marketing Budgets: People wrongly believe online stores are cheap to run. Well just know you are just substituting your brick and mortar landlord, in-store employees and bills for online ads, algorithms, warehousing and logistics. To survive you will have to work with razor thin margins, fierce marketing and constant offers. It’s a game of precision and perseverance.
  • Social Media Vendors: Social media is awash with vendors selling the same wares from China, what makes you think someone would leave the comfort of their timeline to visit your online shop? Especially if they have seen the same item at a fraction of the cost?
  • Copy + Paste Strategy: Blindly copying will doom you. Many investors don’t take time to understand the Kenyan consumers, in order to win you have to offer real solutions to local challenges. Understand all of Kenya’s peculiarities. Be street smart.

Design Village is a Nairobi based advertising, marketing and creative agency. With over a decade of experience building brands in Africa. If you need to help with marketing your business, talk to us +254 724 777 775 or +254 787 777 775. info@designvillage.co.ke