*DISCLAIMER* Business whether online or offline needs a lot of effort and good strategy to grow. Now that we have that out of the way, in your opinion what are most Kenyans into now? I bet the first thing to come to mind was clothing. Or was it alcohol?

According to the E-commerce market report, there are 5 categories to be on the lookout for. Electronics & media(largest), fashion, furniture & appliances, toys, hobbies,& DIYs, food & personal care. Electronics account for 41% of the eCommerce revenue in Kenya, fashion 31%, furniture & appliances 13%, toys, hobbies & DIYs 8% & food and personal care 7%.

Characteristics of the best E-commerce product.

  • Unique and exciting. By setting yourself apart from your competitors, your business will generate repeat customers as well as a reputable brand. Take Miniso as a case study. They have affordable, unique products ranging from home decor to cosmetics and electronics. They cater to different needs at a reasonable price.
  • Reasonable price. Most customers look at the quality and price of a product. When both are assured, the business is set to thrive when marketing strategies are applied.
  • Scarce. The more unattainable a product is, the more valuable it becomes.
  • Easy to store and ship. Convenience is everything nowadays. We get deliveries, be it groceries, food, beverages, or clothes. That’s why companies such as Jumia, Sky garden, and Pick-up mtaani came up. They offer affordable delivery options that fit your schedule.

What are the top E-commerce products?

  1. Electronics. There is a wide variety of products to tap into in this category. Phones(Popular brands like Samsung, Tecno, Iphones, Oppo, Infinix, or Huawei), phone accessories, phone cases(Silicone), power banks, and camera lens kits or accessories (like tripods, ring lights, or handheld gimbal). With influencer marketing rising up, the types of equipment necessary to become a successful influencer would be in high demand.  In addition, the gaming and anime industries have been getting more buzz from youths. Venturing into CPUs, gaming components, computer hardware & software will be a good startup business.
  2. Fashion. Ex-UK thrift shops are on the rise. Brand names like Shein are now easy to buy thanks to APS and AliBaba. For AliBaba, bulk clothes and jewelry shopping has made it easier for small businesses to source global products. When it comes to fashion, some of the thighs you need to think about are; your target audience, demographic, delivery process, and payment process. Always keep in mind the customer journey should be seamless.
  3. Furniture and Appliances. The more technology advances, the more we evolve alongside it. Meaning appliances such as washing machines, vacuum cleaners, and smart TVs will be a common feature in most houses. Wireless technology is also a thing to consider when filtering the products to stocks for your business. For furniture, consider things like functionality, sustainability, color, and design.
  4. Beauty products. It’s no secret that we are becoming more aware of what we consume. The switch back to organic and eco-friendly products has made businesses also switch up and be more sustainable. That is why businesses like Buke, Sheth Naturals, and Glow Secrets are thriving. Between the 3 companies, you can sample local and global products that are cruelty-free and Vegan. Making your own beauty products like body butter is also one way to go about it. Businesses like Native Wave Media can build your website, digital marketing, and connect you to reputable branding businesses for your packaging.
  5. Home Gardening and Decor. Thanks to COVID, we now have hybrid and remote types of Jobs, which means we get to be more at home compared to the previous years. Coupled with the Eco-friendly movement, home gardening, and DIY decor ideas are booming, perfect for plant lovers and interior design fanatics. Items like decorative mirrors, pampas grass, macrame, or vases are good starter packs.
  6. Board Games. As a Kenyan, I love drinking games and stocking every type of game out there for different occasions if you catch my drift. My go-to games are card games, Jenga, Pictionary, Truth or drink, and flip a cup. What’s your go-to drinking game?
  7. DIYs. I’m always looking for new hobbies to try out by myself or with friends. Pottery classes, painting, candle and soap making, or upcycling my wine bottles. Everyone is always in search of a new hobby, so why not invest in them?
  8. Food. You can never go wrong with this item unless you are like me, a terrible cook and a foodie. For foodies, blogging and vlogging about it is a win-win situation. You get to sample delicious cuisines and cash in. As for the gifted chefs of this world, experimenting and pairing different dishes inspired by your life experiences or a movie can be satisfying and profitable, don’t you think so? Take a look at Shokudo, a fairly new Japanese-inspired restaurant. I love the fact they have vegetarian options and the bakery section is to die for! Go check them out, trust me the ambiance and the food will not disappoint.

Summary.
From the 8 listed produced, which is your main product? Will you capitalize on electronics since it’s the most significant moving product in Kenya? Or will you opt for DIY studios, food, or beauty products? Bear in mind, as we are becoming more environmentally conscious of our consumption, so your business or business idea should be sustainable, unique, and affordable.

By Grace Mwarania.

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