8 reasons why your online shop in Kenya is not making sales.

July 10, 2021 8 reasons why your online shop in Kenya is not making sales.

By Freddie Ngunju.

If you have an online shop in Kenya, then you know the feeling; you’re working hard; you’re putting out content after content and showing up on social media; you know that your products are high quality and that you have some of the best prices in the market and yet- the sales are simply not coming through.

Many Kenyan entrepreneurs start their businesses because they want freedom. As soon as you start your small Kenyan business, you will quickly realize that running a business that you’ve built from scratch is one of the most rewarding things that you can ever do.

When you start a business, you may not necessarily know what you are doing at first. However, your success comes out of constantly pushing yourself to keep improving until you get it right.

But if your online shop in Kenya is not bringing in enough money, then what you essentially have is a hobby. An expensive one. As such, if you don’t find a way to boost sales for your Kenyan business, then you’re never going to get that freedom that you’ve been longing for, which puts you into a lot of trouble.

So why isn’t your online shop in Kenya making sales?

The owner of an online shop in Kenya is frustrated that their digital marketing strategies are not working.
Are you frustrated that your online shop in Kenya is not making sales no matter how hard you try?

Reason 1: You are attracting the wrong customers.

For your online shop in Kenya to make sales, you need to identify your target customers. This is a basic digital marketing tactic
For your online shop in Kenya to make sales, you need to identify your target customers.

Not everyone is a great fit for your products or services. Just because you sell hats doesn’t mean that you should sell your hats to everyone with a head. So if you are trying to target everyone with your product or service, you will end up making little to no sales.

The thing about a target market is that it is small and specific. Please note: the operative word here is “target”. When you target a market, it stops you from trying to be all things to all people. Targeting a market simply means that you have drilled down a specific group of people or customers that your business aims to serve. When you target properly, it allows you to narrow your niche, which then gives you the massive opportunity to learn and get to know your your target customers better than any competitors in your market or industry.

So how do you know when your online shop in Kenya is attracting the wrong customers?

Are you constantly getting inquiries from people asking ‘‘how much?’’ ‘’Is this available?’’ And yet no one ever actually buys anything? That’s a clear sign that you are indeed attracting the wrong customers.

If you post content consistently on your social media pages and you’re still not making the sales that you need to scale your small Kenyan business; that’s another clear sign that you’re not speaking to your target customers or addressing their challenges and pain points.

If your online shop in Kenya is competing entirely on price; then this is another clear sign that you haven’t quite nailed down your ideal target customer.

It seems challenging, but if you want to make sales, you have to attract customers that have a need for your products or services.  You have to make sure that your message, content, branding, and overall online shop has been designed to attract the type of customer that already has a need for your product or service, as well as customers that can afford to buy what you are selling. In short, your digital marketing efforts will prove unsuccessful if you are not addressing your target customer or their wants & needs.

So how do you actually attract the right target customers to your online shop in Kenya?

Attracting customers to your online shop in Kenya is not as easy as it may first appear.

The best way to do it is through your content. As a business owner in Kenya, it is your job to create content that screams to your customer, ‘’Yes! This product or service is for me!’’

To create this type of content, you have to understand your customer inside out. This is the only way you will be able to survey your ideal customer and tap into their exact problem. Do customers need something faster? More affordable? Maybe both? Figure out what your target customers need, then be that solution.

Reason 2: Your prices are either too high or too low.

If your prices are too high, then it could be chasing your ideal customers away. On the flip side, if they are too low, then you may be creating the impression that you sell low quality products or services, which can be immediately put off new customers.

Please know that even though customers are always looking out for a bargain, they aren’t looking for the cheapest option. The key to setting the right pricing is to have an in-depth knowledge of your market. What are customers comfortable spending? How much are your competitors charging? Why are they charging this way?

The point is to set a good price that will allow you to compete.  You never want to undercut your prices just to send your competitor’s customers your way. If are absolutely unable to compete on price, then the next best thing that you can to is ensure that your customer experience is out of this world.

Reason 3: There is no real need for your products or services.

Offended owner of an online shop in Kenya. Kenyan entrepreneurs sometimes think that their products or services are good when they really aren't.
No offense; but perhaps people don’t believe that your products or service are as good as you say they are.

Perhaps your products and services just aren’t as good as you think they are. It could be that the customers that you are trying to reach have seen better and are hoping for an upgraded version of whatever it is you sell.

Maybe there is already a competitor out there that is selling products that are more superior. If this is the case, try and see if there is something that you can do to refresh or update your products. Alternatively, you could try introducing some new ones, but first, you must sell all the outdated products that your online shop currently has in stock.

Reason 4: Your customer service is terrible.

You might think that you offer the best customer service – but do you really? Do you go out of your way to take care of your customers? If you’ve hired someone to handle customers for you, are they doing a great job? Do you know?

Whenever a customer interacts with your business, they must always be given excellent customers service. Whether that means they are making a small inquiry or they are calling with an issue after they’ve already purchased from your online shop in Kenya.

Your job at all times should always be to exceed your customer expectations. Because when you provide good customer service, it helps you sell more to existing customers. That’s literally how word of mouth is generated. Whether you know this or not; it is a whole lot cheaper to keep existing customers than it is to find new ones. Especially right now during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Reason 5: You are not marketing your products or services.

If you are not promoting your Kenyan business or you are doing it, but promoting it the wrong way, it could be another reason why you are not attracting customers and making sales. If people do not know that your products exist, they will not buy from you; it’s as simple as that.

If you are not promoting your products, whether through paid advertisements or organic content marketing, how will you convince complete strangers to trust you and buy from you?

There are so many digital marketing tactics (paid and organic) that you can use to attract customers and make more sales. If you want to take your business where it needs to be, then you need to seriously develop a digital marketing strategy for your online shop in Kenya.

Reason 6: You put customers last.

When you keep pushing your product or service out there but your customer is not at the forefront of your messaging. What is actually at the forefront of your messaging is:

  • What your sales goals for the month are; how I’m I going to make X sales today or before the end of the month?
  • How can I DM a customer to get them to buy?
  • What are the features of my products or services?
  • Is there anything that can ‘trick’ my customer into buying?

Note that none of these things above are actually important for your customers. So when they come to your Facebook or Instagram page and all they see are sales posts, it sends a message to them that you are only after their money and nothing else. Kenyan customers these days are very sharp that way. And in a sea of competitors, Kenyan customers will drop your online shop in a flash if you give them the tiniest reason to.

To make sales instead, you need to pay attention to your customer first. Ask yourself:

  • What is important to my customer?
  • What challenges are my customers facing?
  • Where do they want to get to and how can my service or product help them?
  • What type of content can I create that will address these challenges?

Reason 7: People know about your products, but you are not giving them a choice to switch from their current online shop.

It can be hard to earn the trust of a customer that’s already had the experience of working with or buying from another online business in Kenya that sells similar products/services as you. So why should that customer switch from the known to the unknown?

The best thing that you can do to convince them to do business with is to present them with an irresistible offer or a risk-free way to choose you over your competitor. This could mean offering a guarantee or a discount but it has to make sense for your Kenyan business.  Another straightforward thing that you can do to earn customers’ trust is to post your customer reviews and testimonials.


Reason 8: People don’t trust you or your small Kenyan business.

I say this all the time, but people but things from people that trust, know and like.

If you want to boost your trust levels, especially when selling to a complete stranger, then ensure that you display your successful track record.

If your online shop has been making sales here and there; you’ve been doing a good job at it; and your customers are satisfied, then it’s a good idea to showcase testimonials and customer reviews that you’ve collected. This creates social proof that your products and services are working and that the customers you’ve served are happy.

Another great and easy way to establish trust with complete strangers (similar to what I’ve shared above) is to offer your customers guarantees and assurances. Ever heard of a ‘100 percent money-back guarantee’ is? It means that if a customer doesn’t get the benefits that you promise from the product or service they bought, your small Kenyan business will refund the money they paid for it.

This is one of the easiest ways to create trust especially with complete stranger. As long as your product or service performs as you say it will, only a few people return to ask for their money back after they buy the product.

Wrapping up

By making a few of the changes that we’ve talked about here, you will start seeing some changes in the number of sales that your online shop in Kenya is making. If you don’t make any changes, the truth is that there are other businesses doing exactly what you are doing. It hurts, we know.

So when you are marketing your online shop in Kenya, remember that your customers have more choices than they know to do with. You don’t want to just sell your products- the best thing that you can do is to make sure that you position yourself as the unique provider of choice. That way, your existing customers and new ones will have no choice but to pick your online shop whenever they need their needs met.

Now that you know the reasons why customers are not buying from your online shop in Kenya, what changes are you going to make towards improving your sales?

I hope you found this article helpful. If you did, why don’t you share it with a business friend or colleague.

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