In this article, I will show you how to market boutique business in Kenya.
I will walk you through two strategies you can use now to make more sales; one free, and the other one you will need to spend as little as 550 per week.
A boutique is a small retail shop selling clothes/ fabric/accessories and other goods to a specific segment of the market.
It is easy to start, easily manageable by even one person, requires a comparatively small amount of capital to start, and that can explain why almost everyone is moving in with this business idea in Kenya.
And as you can guess, the more people starting this business, the higher the competition.
Well, while I am not saying the competition is a bad thing, it depends on how you have structured your business to win.
See, when there are more options in the market (high supply), the customer has more options.
With more options, comes the need for the supplier to downgrade and offer products at lower prices.
Here is the thing;
Reducing prices is not a strategy.
Because there is no end game to it.
It is an endless journey down the rabbit hole. It never ends.
So what are your options?
What to do instead
You can easily win if you know what you are doing.
Instead of running around with everyone reducing prices, move away from their circle.
This doesn’t mean you relocate your business.
What I mean by this is you look for new markets somewhere else.
Thing is, you can’t be selling the same thing at KES 2K while the stall next door is selling the same at 1K.
Trust me, the customer won’t buy into your ‘its quality’ sayings.
Instead of competing on price, here is what to do;
Start marketing online
Marketing boutique business in Kenya is one of the easiest things you can do.
One, this business is visual.
Let me explain.
You are either selling shoes or clothes.
And these are things you can touch and see, which means it is easy to push them online, especially if you go for social media.
So, to do this;
Facebook and Instagram are the two social media platforms that favor image-based content. This means that your boutique business should do well in these accounts.
I have two strategies for you;
Strategy 1: Marketing for free on Facebook and Instagram
I know you already understand how these two platforms work.
So instead of boring you with technical stuff, I will just mention what you need to know.
First, these two platforms are owned by the same company.
This means that their function and decision-making process is almost the same.
Even with that, each platform has a different framework on how they push content within the site.
The main ones are;
- Organic reach – this is where you share a photo on your Facebook page and it reaches a certain percentage of people who have liked your page. I bet you’ve noticed, you have at least 1K likes, but whenever you post, only 30 people see it. Why? Stick around to know exactly why and how to remedy the situation.
- Paid reach – here, you pay the platform to push your content to even more people. More on this later.
Now, since we are seeking to market your boutique business in Kenya for free online, your best bet is the first option; organic reach.
To get started, I am assuming you already have an active Facebook and Instagram account.
If you don’t, you can finish reading this guide and then go create later.
Now that you have the accounts, go ahead and fill in all the necessary information. You know, things like contact information, about your business, and any other necessary information.
No one trusts a business that has no information on its accounts.
Strategies to copy now
First, you need an audience.
For your Facebook page, go ahead and invite all of your friends to like the page. And for your IG account, use the #Follow4Follow hashtag.
Ain’t gonna lie to you, you will attract a ton of bots and fake accounts. But at least you will have the numbers to encourage you to keep going.
After that, focus on attracting real follows from your target market (the article on how to do is coming up, so keep checking this site for the same).
Another way to build an audience on Facebook is to join all the groups where your target customer is.
If you are selling ladies’ clothes, join all groups where ladies hang out.
While I have nothing against marketplaces, there is so much noise and everyone shouting ‘buy mine, cheap and best’ you have a real shot at selling on non-selling groups.
- Be sure to follow group rules.
- No spamming and posting adverts unless it is adverts day (if they have such).
- A good way to win here is to contribute within the group. Keep commenting and starting conversations and soon, the opportunity to sell will present itself.
With the audience taken care of, your next move is to sell.
Why being boring is costing you customers
First, take quality pictures of your products.
It works best if you demonstrate how your products work.
If you are selling shoes, wear them and take pictures of your legs. I know how that sounds, but trust me.
It is a psychological thing going on here.
The customer will start visualizing herself wearing the same. And when that happens, they are 70% sold.
Here is a goldmine;
Shot videos of you using the product and post online. It can be on your accounts or groups.
People are bored seeing images all day long.
You are doing them a favor by sharing videos, and add some background music to them…
This gives me an idea;
How about you shot a video wearing that blazer and dancing to the latest song?
Why all these?
Boring doesn’t sell in today’s online market!
How to beat the Facebook algorithm
This brings to my next point;
Earlier on I promised to give you a secret to beat the Facebook algorithm that restricts the reach of your posts.
So you have over 1K likes on your page, but whenever you post, crickets!
That’s what this account has exactly over 1K likes. But whenever I post anything, not more than 100 people see it.
Here is why;
Facebook has rigged its systems to only reward pages that keep people on its platform.
This means that if you are posting stuff that takes people away from Facebook, chances are, Facebook will bury your posts.
And funny enough, they then ask you to throw in some budget to reach the rest.
So what wins?
Post engaging content.
- Ask questions
- Post memes that related to your business
- Reply to every comment and aim to start a conversation
The more likes, comments, and shares you get, the higher the post will go.
There is more on this, which is why I am writing a guide on how to gain higher post reach on Facebook without spending money.
Time for our next strategy on how to market boutique business in Kenya.
Strategy 2: Using Facebook ads in Kenya
If you don’t know what Facebook ads in Kenya are, read this guide.
I will go straight to the point here.
First, you need to know your customer and your product.
Ask yourself, who could be interested in buying my product?
- Know the age
- Interests and likes
If you are selling ladies’ handbags, you should know the age bracket of those who’d buy your item.
Where are they located?
Well, you can be offering deliveries, but with ads, you need to make a decision.
Offering deliveries is a blessing and a curse to a boutique business.
A blessing because you get to sell to a wide marketplace. And a curse because they have to pay the delivery fees.
Its been found that a huge percentage of customers abandon a sale because of the shipping fees.
An option is to offer free shipping.
Only do that if you know how to remain profitable.
Enough of that.
To start advertising on Facebook in Kenya, you need at least KES 550.
Steps to advertise on Facebook in Kenya
You can boost the post directly on your Facebook app.
Watch the video below to learn exactly how to boost a Facebook post in Kenya.
Alternatively, visit https://web.facebook.com/adsmanager/
This is what you will see;
It may be slightly different if you are doing this for the first time.
Click on create.
And then pick an objective;
Here are my suggestions;
- If you have an online store where you want people to place orders, go with Traffic objective
- But if you want people to comment on your posts, the engagement objective will do.
- Messages objective works best if you want people to send a message to your Messenger or WhatsApp number
You can use any of these.
But here is a catch.
Each of these will cost you differently.
Among the three, the engagement objective will cost less, followed by Traffic, and lastly Messages.
But here is the secret.
The more results you get, the less it costs.
Let me explain;
When you first set up your ad, you may see that the cost per message is KES 30. But as you receive more messages, the costs drop.
The same applies to the others.
I have written a detailed guide on how to advertise on Facebook in Kenya, read it here.
Here are my pointers;
- Don’t pick conversion objectives unless you know what you are doing
- Start a conversation with every comment (this boosts your engagement, lowering your costs)
- Pick the location around your business if you wish to avoid shipping fees.
- The age should reflect the bracket of those who use your products. You can’t be advertising to 18-year-olds when you are selling a product for adults, you will be wasting your money
- Get the detailed targeting right
This can make or break your ad.
The secret is to use the ‘AND ALSO’ rule.
By doing so, you are eliminating random people.
If you are selling handbags, you can choose those interested in handbags and still win.
But to nail it, add things like ‘online shopping’ as a second filter.
This means that your ad will be seen by those who like handbags, and also likes online shopping.
And that is how to market boutique business in Kenya.
What to do next about how to market boutique business in Kenya
Of course share this guide is learned something, I will appreciate it so much.
Secondly, subscribe to my YouTube channel because I am currently working on insane guides on social media marketing in Kenya.
You don’t want to miss that, do you?
Lastly, here are some free resources to help you with advertising game in Kenya.
Marketing is my profession, been working as a digital marketer for over 5 years now. Back then, things were different from what you see today. That is the reason why I started this blog, to share my experiences and how I handle marketing challenges I encounter. I hope you find them useful. When not watching cartoons, (yes, I know what that means), you will find me creating content for my blogs.