Dropshipping

How To Start Dropshipping In Kenya [Step By Step]

How To Start Dropshipping In Kenya [Step By Step]
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Last Updated on December 15, 2021 by

In this blog post, you will learn how to start dropshipping in Kenya.

If you’re considering getting started with this type of operation, there is some information you should have before making your decision. 

This article will help answer any questions about what it takes to create an efficient and profitable online store that relies on drop shipping for inventory management.

What is dropshipping in Kenya?

Dropshipping in Kenya is a production and distribution model where goods are sold to customers without the need for an intermediary, such as a wholesaler or retailer. 

You might recognize this business strategy from companies like Amazon that allow individual sellers (private labelers) to make their products available through its website. 

This means you can purchase items in bulk at wholesale prices then resell them on your own online store, completely eliminating any upfront capital needed to get started. 

Not only does dropshipping in Kenya reduce risk it also provides entrepreneurs with more time and resources they would otherwise spend trying to find product suppliers who may not exist in certain markets outside of China.

How does it work? 

dropshipping in Kenya

Dropshipping is a retail fulfillment method in which e-commerce retailers do not keep goods in stock. 

Instead, when a customer orders a product from the retailer’s website, the retailer purchases the item from their supplier and has it shipped directly to the customer’s door. 

This allows even small businesses with little capital to compete against larger online sellers who can’t afford to carry low inventory levels or offer free shipping.

Does dropshipping work in Kenya?

Yes! Dropshipping is a global phenomenon and it’s growing at an unprecedented rate.

Why should I use dropshipping as a business model for my online store in Kenya? 

The profit margin on these types of sales is usually much higher than had they been made via traditional retail methods–as there is virtually no overhead cost for labor or space involved.

You can identify the items they want to sell in their store by browsing online markets, checking out wholesale catalogs, or by setting up a dropshipping account with an established supplier. 

For example;

If you’re looking for clothing on Alibaba.com there are almost always drop shippers available who will provide inventory lists of many types of clothes.

The process is largely acted out through emails so that customer orders don’t interrupt your main workflow. 

The advantages listed above make it easier than ever before to start a profitable eCommerce business from scratch.

But what about some disadvantages? 

It’s not too hard to find those either. 

The major one is probably the limitation on who you can sell to.

Dropshipping in Kenya only works if your supplier will ship to your customer’s country and that can be hard when dealing with foreign companies.

This restriction also means dropshippers in Kenya are unable to offer a wide range of products like those that have their own warehouses or stores since they don’t have space for it. 

As well as this, there may also be long wait times between ordering items from suppliers and shipping them out in order to meet consumer demand; sometimes weeks go by before customers receive an item during peak periods.

How to start a dropshipping business in Kenya

Follow these steps to start a dropshipping business in Kenya.

Step One: Pick a niche 

How to start a dropshipping business in Kenya

Most people will want to pick something they are already knowledgeable in or have experience with.

So it’s important that you choose wisely! 

It also helps if there is room in this market – meaning there isn’t too much competition from other sellers. 

A lot of people think that if they just pick a niche and start selling, they’re going to make tons of money. 

But it doesn’t work like that – you need to know what your customer wants! 

So spend some time researching the different niches in order to find one with good opportunities for growth, as well as potential demand

You should also try picking a niche based on whether or not there is competition.

Do you want an industry that has room for more competitors? 

Or would you rather choose something where all the customers are already taken?

But before selecting what type of product to sell make sure that you do some research into which niches are trending right now and which niches are in demand.

Here are popular dropshipping niches in Kenya;

  • Toys and Games 
  • Kitchen Supplies 
  • Clothing Accessories 
  • Home Decorations 
  • Fitness Equipment & Apparel.

Step Two: Pick a product

picking dropshipping product in kenya

Before you start your dropshipping business in Kenya, it’s also very important to consider what products will be the best for that specific niche. 

This is why knowing as many details about the market and customer behavior, in general, is so crucial at this point. 

For example;

If you’re targeting a healthy lifestyle niche: do customers want organic food? Or would they rather have vegan options? 

What type of health supplements appeal to them most?

In these cases, there are a lot of different factors to take into account – but once again, all research can help lead you towards picking out just the right product!

How to pick a product guaranteed to win

Make sure you find products that have high demand and low competition. This will ensure your success! 

Competition is key with any type of business, but especially if it’s on Amazon as they rank listings based off how well they compete. 

Products ranking higher will get more sales than those at the bottom or middle. 

If there’s not enough competition for what you want to sell, then be creative and come up with a really good product idea so that others don’t beat you to it! 

One way to do this could be by checking out which sellers are currently selling similar items – once again go for the low competition or find a niche

To summarize, the most important factors for picking a profitable product to dropship are: what is trending right now and what markets need more sellers? 

What are some popular dropshipping items?

Some popular dropship items include:  

  • Dog clothing (a niche in itself!)  
  • Phone cases  
  • Lingerie/underwear  
  • Jewelry

Step Three: Do competitor research

doing competitor research in kenya

Once you have found the perfect product to sell, it is time to do some research on your competitors! 

Check their pricing, see how often they are adding new products and how many reviews each item has.

Here is how;

  • Go to Google and make a list of top 10 competitors selling what you’d wish to sell. Take note of how they are promoting their products
  • Use competitor spy tools like SimilarWeb and Alexa to monitor their online activity
  • Go to Facebook and look at how your competitors are creating their ads in Kenya. Take note of their targeting, message, and creative
  • Join their email lists and get to look inside their marketing strategy.

Step Four: Research dropshipping suppliers

dropshipping suppliers in kenya

This is a crucial step in the process of finding products to sell using dropshipping in Kenya. 

You will need to do some research into which suppliers have what you are looking for at your desired price range with an acceptable shipping time frame (usually between one and two weeks).

The easier way to find dropshipping suppliers in Kenya is through Oberlo.

What is Oberlo in Kenya?

A personal favorite of mine is the Oberlo app. It allows me to browse items from a wide range of suppliers and simply import them into my store with one click!

How does Oberlo work?

Oberlo’s main function is to help you find products that you can import into your Amazon store. 

With Oberlo, all of these research tasks are automated and simplified for the user!

The Oberlo app uses AliExpress to help you find and add products to your store. 

If you want to read more about product quality, shipping times, or further vet a supplier, you can do so from the Oberlo product page.

Step five: Create your dropshipping store in Kenya

Create your dropshipping store in Kenya

In order for your dropshipping in Kenya business to be successful – you will need a website of course! 

This can be done easily with Shopify or WooCommerce but there are plenty of other options as well depending.

Once you have the basics down, it’s time to design your site and make sure that everything looks professional and is easy for customers to use.

This includes easy-to-navigate pages with plenty of pictures so people know what they’re going into when they take a leap of faith by buying something from someone online instead of walking in person into an established store.

Here is a guide on how to create WooCommerce in Kenya to create an online store

You can use Shopify as well.

Is Shopify available in Kenya?

Yes, Shopify is available in Kenya. 

The company has a presence in over 180 countries and offers free trial accounts for prospective clients to test out its platform before signing up with them on an annual subscription plan that starts at $29 per month or $299 per year plus transaction fees. 

You can also set your store’s currency to Kenyan Shillings; however, you will need an EFT payment option (M-Pesa) to proceed with this process because credit cards are not supported as of now.

Shopify accepts payments from PayPal, Stripe, Payoneer Express Checkout, and Skrill among other eCommerce platforms. 

These help businesses accept different currencies so they don’t have to worry about currency conversions. 

This is a great option for dropshipping in Kenya because it’s easy to use, fairly inexpensive, and has an excellent reputation in the eCommerce industry.

How good is AliDropship in Kenya?

AliDropship has proven themselves time and again by performing excellently with their products, shipping times, customer service response rates, and overall customer satisfaction.

Step Six: Market your dropshipping business in Kenya

Market your dropshipping business in Kenya

Marketing your dropshipping business is as easy it has ever been. 

You have a multitude of options ranging from email marketing to social media marketing and more. 

Some popular channels are: 

The best way to market a dropshipping business in Kenya is through targeted advertising (Facebook ads, Google Ads, etc.)

Step Seven: Analyze and improve your store

Analyze and improve your store

It is important to analyze your store, and see what you might need in order to improve it. 

You may find that you are not generating a lot of traffic on your site. 

Or maybe there are products with high demand but low inventory levels. 

There can be many reasons why this could happen, so make sure you have some metrics set up – like Google Analytics.

Things to track in your dropshipping business in Kenya: 

  • Sales – track how many orders you complete and the value of those sales
  • Bounce rate: this metric is not as important in a dropshipping business because people are coming to your site for information and then going back. But it’s still something you should track
  • Customer service: try to provide good customer service, and respond quickly via email or social media if someone has a question about their order. This will help build trust with customers which may lead to them coming back for more purchases in the future.
  • Conversion Rate: this is the conversion rate of people who visit your site, and buy something. If it’s higher than 50% that means you’re doing a good job with marketing and getting people to come back
  • Social media followers: this one doesn’t affect sales directly but if someone follows you on social media they may see an ad from your store 
  • Number of reviews: customers are more likely to purchase from stores where there are lots of positive reviews.”

Tips to get started with your first dropship order.

-Look at how much your products are going to cost you

-Decide on a profit margin that will be fair for both the customer and yourself. You don’t want to lose too much money by selling something expensive, but also not sell it so cheap that it looks unappealing. 

-List items with high turnover rates first (ex: clothes) 

-Create an attractive product page using images of your item in action and telling customers about their benefits or features

-Add as many pictures as possible! This way people can see what they are buying instead of just relying on text alone.

-Find a good keyphrase to use in the title. The best ones are words that people search for often and have few results. Do SEO in Kenya.

-Nail down your target customer: Who is this product going to appeal to? What do they care about when buying something online? 

Do you want them to be someone who has never bought anything from overseas before, or does it not matter as long as they get their money’s worth? These questions will help determine what shipping method(s) you should offer (ex: if customers need tracking information).

Is Jumia a dropshipping?

Yes, you can do dropshipping on Jumia Kenya. All you have to do is create an account on Jumia as a seller and then upload pictures of your products. And when you received an order through Jumia, you then ship it to the customer or Jumia will send a rider to pick the item.

How to dropship on Jumia Kenya

To start dropshipping on Jumia Kenya, go ahead and register a merchant on their platform. Once accepted, upload the pictures of your products and set everything including the descriptions and prices. When an order comes in, Jumia will send a rider to pick the product, and then they will deliver it to the customer.

Drop servicing in Kenya

Drop servicing in Kenya is when you sell a service for a certain price (Kshs 1,000) to the customer, and then hire someone else to do the service for them at a lower price (Kshs. 400). You make money from this without the client knowing you outsourced.

Drop servicing is when you can arbitrage the price difference between what a client will pay for a service and what someone will get paid to perform that service.

Example of drop servicing in Kenya;

a). Creative Agencies

Creative agencies that work on behalf of brands to create content have been doing this for decades. They do not usually produce the content they’ve sold through with their client – they outsource the job to someone else (usually a production company).

b). Social Media Management 

Many companies outsource their content to freelancers only for the company to deliver it as if they created it themselves.

Final thoughts

In this blog post, we walked through the steps of starting a dropshipping in Kenya.

You now have everything from what it takes outwards in order to get started on your first product! 

So if you want more information about getting started with any of these topics or links for resources that I mentioned in my article then be sure to stick around and stay tuned as there are plenty more great posts coming!

How much money do I need to start dropshipping in Kenya?

The amount of money you need to start dropshipping in Kenya will depend on how many products you want to offer. If your goal is a large variety, then the higher end of KES 50K to 100K would be needed for sourcing and listing; if it’s just a few items that are fairly simple and low cost, then 5K to 15K might suffice.

What type of online store should I create? 

There are several different types: Squarespace (which can really only handle one product), BigCommerce, or Shopify (more versatile but more expensive). 

You have other options if you don’t want an e-commerce website too! 

WordPress blogs with WooCommerce plugins make effective stores as well.

Which shipping service do I use?

USPS is inexpensive and reliable, but it can take longer to arrive. UPS or FedEx is more expensive but these options offer tracking capabilities

What do I need in order to dropship in Kenya? 

You’ll need a product that you want to sell (either one you’ve created yourself or found elsewhere), an account with whatever shipping service suits your needs, credit card processing software like PayPal so customers have a safe way of paying for their products without sharing their bank information. 

A website where people can find the products they’re looking for at prices suited to everyone’s budget – this requires design skills and marketing know-how.

Can I make money dropshipping in Kenya? 

This is the most important question! Of course you can – if you work hard and are smart about it. It takes some time to build up your business and customer base but with patience, dedication, creativity, and perseverance anything is possible!

What’s next? After reading this guide on how easy it is to start dropshipping in Kenya for beginners please read our blog post ‘how to start eCommerce business in Kenya. 

You’ll learn what mistakes not to make as well as all sorts of tips and tricks from seasoned veterans who have been in the game for years.”


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About the author

Kevin is a prolific business online writer with experience of 5+ years doing online business, marketing, and finance. His articles have been published on various websites such as Business Insider, Tuko Media, Adweek, among others. Kevin is passionate about helping people achieve success through his writing which he does by providing actionable tips for entrepreneurs to implement into their businesses.

2 comments

  1. Thank you for your highlights, but you didnt cover how the product reaches the client. Does the supplier deliver to the given postal address and do they have to pay clearance fee ( Tax) at the postal office during pick up. And do i have to register my online dropshipping business?
    Thank you

    1. Hello Cate. Thank you for checking out our guide. Now, your questions are legitimate. But all of that depends on the drop shipper. For example, Jumia delivers the product to the customer. As for the registration, you don’t have to, but if you will be needing things like Pay Bill and such, you will need the certificate of registration. Does that answer your question?

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