Kenya alongside many African countries is experiencing rapid proliferation of Internet access, and most people are getting online on their mobile devices. The growth of Internet has largely been driven by the growing use of smartphones as they become more affordable coupled with a growing middle class.
It has also opened a new realm of business, e-commerce where vendors can showcase their products and customers can easy buy at the click of a button. This has led to an emerging trend where vendors are listing their products on different e-commerce websites, some of the retailers have physical stores and are looking to bridge the gap between offline and online sales while others are selling entirely from home.
E-commerce allows retailers to list their products on an e-commerce website, update stock, monitor sales as well as pending, shipped and cancelled orders on their own. The seller can choose to retain the products and deliver to the e-commerce company once an order is placed in what is referred to as drop shipping or the seller could allow the company to keep the products in their warehouse for a period of time within which if the items are not sold he could collect them.
To sell on the website, the products need to be new, unused, unopened in original packaging and must include original manufacturer’s warranty.
The seller will then upload the product images with the description before the product goes live on the e-commerce site.
Currently only Jumia and Kilimall thrive in this model with Jumia maintaining lead with hundreds of retailers and brands such as Infinix, Microsoft, Maybelline, Binatone, Bata, Text book Centre, JUA Energy opening virtual shops on the site
What do you need to do to sell the most on an online marketplace?
#1 Choose the right marketplace for your products
Work with a marketplace that has a good reputation. You will be entrusting your online marketplace with products worth millions of money to keep in their warehouse. The integrity of product warehousing, handling, returns and payment is critical. Also, choose an online marketplace that can drive sales for you, has flexible payment methods and a dedicated customer service.
#2 Take great pictures – Shoot to sell
The right photo makes the difference. Make sure you draw attention to your item by setting it up against a plain white backdrop, use a tripod for a steady clear image, your image should take 80-90% of the frame to allow buyers see all angles. Capture all angles of your product in high resolution and in close ups for unique details. Ensure your lighting is balanced.
#3 Choose your product titles/logo carefully.
Consult your marketplace account manager on which are the most efficient titles for your product category, ask them to use the most searched key words for example, if you are selling mobile accessories consumers will search for common words such as headphones, earphones, charger or by brand make sure the key words are optimized to display your products on search.
#4 Make your product description engaging
Stop telling customers what they can see e.g. Its red, comes in small, medium and large bla bla bla . Instead make the customer envision having the product, take them inside how it feels to have it, build a picture in their mind and an urge to action.
E.g. The 5.0-inch display, just the perfect size for watching movies, surfing the internet, displaying pictures and reading e-books. With the best size for one-hand operation, with limitless screen design, you can explore an ultimate visual effect far more than 5.0-inch can give. Gentle, smooth, and responsive, it will never let you down.
#5 Bundle with a free product
It’s psychological to want free things it gives the customer the winning feeling. Show the cost of both items below it and make the customer feel that they are saving. It works.