Yes, you can shop online in Kenya. There are several stores owned by Kenyans and non-Kenyans that allow you to do this.
I am writing this article for three reasons
There are people interested in starting their own online stores in Kenya but are afraid to start because they are not sure whether Kenyans have embraced this concept of shopping online.
- There are buyers who are willing to make purchases online but are not sure if it is safe and if they can trust the people running these stores with their money.
- There are people worried about the cost of making purchases online – some think it costs more than when buying offline.
Here’s what online shopping is: it is simply making purchase from stores on the internet and having your purchases shipped to a location you specify, for example your home or office.
Offline stores have a location and in that’s the same with online shops: they have a website you can visit any time of the day to buy whatever they are selling.
What can you buy? Anything?
Like offline stores, the ones online also sell different products. There are general stores – the ones selling different products and niche stores – focusing on a single product or one tiny segment of a market.
Here in Kenya, we have stores selling fast moving consumer goods that we get from shops and supermarkets several times a year. There are stores selling electronics, grocery, books, ebooks, online courses and more.
How do you shop online?
Shopping usually involves visiting the website of the specific store you want to buy from. So you must have internet access. Here is where your phone or computer comes in handy.
After visiting the store, you can look for the things you want to buy by clicking on the different categories, using the search function and adding your purchases in your cart by clicking a Buy Now or Add to Cart link or button next to a product.
Once everything you need is in your cart, you can then proceed to My Cart page to view what is in it. How do you this? Usually by clicking a link that reads like: View my Cart or My Cart.
At this stage you can also remove certain products from your cart, increase the quantity of a particular product, say from one copy of a book to two. When you are satisfied, you proceed to the checkout page by clicking the button or link that reads Checkout, Proceed to Checkout or Checkout Now.
On the checkout page, you need to provide details like your name, address, choose a mode of payment, shipment address (if the location you want the goods to be shipped to is different from your address), your email address and phone number.
When you are done with that you then click Place order, or Complete order. The goods are then shipped to you when your order has been processed – usually when payment has been received.
With digital products like ebooks in an online store, you are given a link to download your ebooks once you pay for them – no shipment, no waiting for hours or days before you get your purchases.
Payments can usually be made via debit and credit cards, PayPal, M-Pesa, Airtel Money, Pesapal, Yu Cash, Orange Money or transfer of cash to a bank account owned by the store you make your purchases from.
After buying anything online, there’s always some waiting time before a delivery of your purchases is made.
Shipment attracts a little fee from online stores. Others claim to offer free shipment for certain goods. So, the policies around this differ from store to store.
Can you shop for someone else?
Yes. You can buy goods and have them shipped to someone else by providing their address as the shipping address for that particular purchase.
Why shop online?
It is easy and can save time in certain circumstances, especially if you can’t find what you are looking for in the offline stores you visit.
Do your online shopping for ebooks and online courses to improve your life and business. Go to Niabusiness.com online shop section to check the various products and services on sale.