How to Attract New Customers in Your Online Store in Kenya [Tips]

How does a new business attract or even an old business attract new customers?

It’s easy to start a business but it’s not always straightforward how businesses should acquire customers.

How to Attract New Customers From Competitors in My Store

  1. Identify your ideal client/know your customer 

Do you know the reason you got started your business?

What was the purpose?

Knowing your ideal customer not only opens doors for more customers but also allows you to come up with a clear marketing message.

If you are going to sell shoes, what type of shoes, stilettos, for example, do you know who your buyer is.

Can you buyer afford the price you set for your stilettos.

The more you know about your customer, how much they’re willing to buy/pay for the stilettos, the more customers you attract.

Knowing your customer goes beyond their needs, you have to identify what they crave, the amount they earn and why they choose to shop with you.

Do you want more customers at your doorstep at every launch? Take time to understand your customer. 

2. Ask where does your customer live and what are their needs? 

After identifying your customer, you have to know where your customers live and what their needs are.

For example, you cannot sell stilettos to an outdoor enthusiast, can you?

Your customer is looking for a particular (rare) outdoor knife and you have it, how do you intend on letting your customer know that you got the knife?

How will you deliver the knife to your customer?

It’s not about knowing the address of your customer but understanding what they struggle with in their environment.

What services are they lacking and how can you be of help to them?

You attract customers when you know what they have been lacking and you provide it to them in their dream way.

For example, you live outside the country you choose to deliver goods to your customer’s doorstep, see?

Your customers will thank you for your convenience and will be more than happy to recommend others to your doorstep. 

3. Know your offer to customers. Know everything about your business

I saw a ‘carpenter’ that knew nothing about the woodwork business yet he owed one of the biggest woodworking shops in the region.

He’d sit down like the boss he is, when you walk into the shop, he points you or directs you to the real carpenter.

Most of the time the real carpenter got side jobs from his boss’ shop because customers went like this, ‘we don’t want that idle dude working on our projects.

He knows nothing’. What do you know about your business?

Can you talk about your business products with your eyes closed?

The more you know the more attractive customers are to you.

To know more, you have to keep your toes on constant research and renovation.

There’s no sleeping day.

If a customer asked you something about joinery and you didn’t understand something, go try it, go figure it out. Stop sitting idle in your business and keep on your toes.

That’s the major reason why I know a lot about writing but diverted a bit to talk about topics like this one, attracting customers.

Writers don’t treat their work as businesses, it’s a vocation to some of us, it was for me. We don’t believe in getting paid for our sacred gift.

I started talking about business and learning everything about business because it’d be a great addition to my skills as a writer and a business owner.

What else can you learn from and in your business that will be a great addition?

For example, if you are the woodshop example above, how about learning trees and felling trees for an additional income?

Customers want someone that knows more than them, you become attractive and customers will seek out your services. 

4. Make customers seek you out/become an expert or a guru

Knowing more about your business makes customers seek you out.

No one wants to waste their time and resources purchasing things from an ignorant shop owner.

If you’re a taxi operator, how are you standing out from the rest?

Are you sitting in your car idle the whole day talking about the woman you slept with and knowing about the woman that slept with who?

Or are you spending time knowing locations and scouting for locations you heard a customer finding out about yesterday? How many taxi drivers can drive you to a remote location?

A Taxify driver once told me, ‘I cannot go there because I don’t know where you’re going.

As rude as he sounds, his rating was 4.8 stars. An expert is a sought after machine. If you want to start an e-commerce shop will you go to Jeff Bezos or Steve Jobs?

If you want to create an electronic product will you seek Steve Jobs or Bernard Arnault?

When reading about media conglomerates, will you consult Rupert Murdoch or Donald Trump?

Customers are attracted by experts.

Experts know a lot more about the product they are selling plus more. Experts keep reading to find out more about their product and what they can do to improve on the product.

From today, as a greengrocer operator, learn more about saving, investing, expanding your greengrocer business.

Learn what Sam Walton did to take his supermarket giant from a small shop to an almost trillion-dollar company.

Customers buy from experts because experts are attractive to them.

What are you doing and how can you become an expert in your field? 

5. Build partnerships/engage with loyal customers 

You have been a loyal customer to a business, paying on time, always shop with them despite businesses of the same nature sprouting out from the neighbourhood.

One day, when you have a question or a dilemma, this business doesn’t get back to you how would you feel?

Why are business owners crying for customers all their business lives but never respond to customer’s needs or questions?

Why are business owners behaving like daylight thieves who came for your money despite you being loyal to their brand?

Engage with your customers.

Don’t ignore a customer just because they shopped with you for a decade.

Offer the discounts, the excellent customer service, the originality that attracted them to you.

Yes, it’s hard to keep a loyal customer and that’s how businesses lose. Engage with your customers on social media, do special loyal customer discounts, welcome your customers the same way you did on DAY ONE.

Stop the communication because the customer became family, even family relationships die when it’s about to take, take, take.

Make customers fall in love with you by being there for them, listen to their worries and needs about your products. You need them no matter how long they shopped with you.

The more loyal customers are to your brand, the more your brand attracts more customers. 

6. Follow up 

I have messaged a business I have been loyal to for the past 5 years. And until today, I have never heard from them. I stopped shopping with them or talking to them.

Just after leaving, they want to apologise by offering me discounts.

If it were you, would you listen to such a business? A business that follows you after an exit isn’t an attractive business to patronise.

They come only after the money and that’s what I felt.

I ignored and deleted their emails, maybe even blocked them. Want customers to be loyal and attracted to you, learn the act of follow-up.

Did the customer leave your premise feeling angry, tired or complaining that your product or service today wasn’t the best? Why not text or email them with a nice offer.

I have seen and heard of brands refunding customers full payment during the Christmas holiday for confusing an order.

Confusing an order.

If you’re the customer offered a full refund, will you leave the business?

You will talk and post about your bad experience and excellent follow-up offer n social media to families and friends, right.

Following up for a business means, you want to keep your customer/s interests at heart and you own up to your mistakes. 

7. Use social media then add your business name, location, what you do, post content related to business and post often 

Despite the increase in social media businesses, Kenyan entrepreneurs lagged behind, they don’t know how to use social media to their advantage.

It’s not about having a Facebook page with a million followers and zero engagement or buyers.

Don’t buy followers, that’s how greedy some people became.

They buy clout. Build instead. Building means, you know and understand what the customer wants.

And customers want business owners not to cheat or entangling themselves in cheap scandals of buying.

Have you ever heard of the girl on Instagram with millions of followers that couldn’t sell a t-shirt to the millions?

You don’t want that.

You want to use social media to show the value of your product and why customers chose you and will continue to choose you.

Use social media to attract customers by showing up and showing them that you value their feedback by implementing the strategies they suggested to you.

And importantly use social media to spread messages about a cause you support.

I say, whenever you get famous as a blogger, influencer, use that to empower the society around you.

Remember people are stuck in a get rich quick schemes they cannot free themselves, or stuck in their scarcity mentality.

Or talk about issues dear to your heart like kids’ education and what specialised knowledge can help do for society, for example.

Customers are attracted to social media businesses with a purpose, what’s your purpose with your Facebook page?

Tell others why you decided to start a business on social media and how it’s impacting you and the globe. Also, engage with your customers.

No matter how small or big your following is, talk to your customers, did you begin your business to get quiet on them or ignore their questions or get too busy on them?

Most often, there’s always something new to talk about for business owners.

Customers love and get attracted to brands/businesses that post often. You want to be in your customer’s mind; stop disappearing.

By posting often doesn’t mean you post 50 posts a day for three months then your customers never hear from you for two years.

Find a schedule that works and stick to it. There’s a reward in being consistent offline and online. 

8. Improve SEO (websites) by starting a blog, use your business-related keywords 

The question I get asked the most these days is do I need to start a blog even though I don’t know how to write? And the answer I give is, let a blog business not overwhelm you.

A blog business is a marketing tool for your business.

For example, this blog brings me business non-stop and no matter what I say about quitting freelance writing, I get asked to write articles for very good money; the long-form content.

And some clients ask me to express myself or put my experience in their content.

A blog is a business and a marketing tool.

Treat your blogging career as a hobby and you won’t make money or get new clients patronising your store.

A blog attracts very niche or highly targeted clients if done right.

For example, you\re a freelance writer that wants more clients to start by talking about your struggles as a freelance writer, how you got started and why you got started.

Then talk about other secrets of successful freelance writers like having a blog and how your blog helps you get clients. The use of keywords or targeted keywords is what makes you a guru, a professional writer or an expert.

Using the example of the freelance writer, the most famous freelance writers are Elna Cain, Jon Morrow, Carol Tice.

if you want more information about freelance writing, their websites pop up with so much information, you choke. 

9. Do giveaways/discounts 

I see a lot of channels on YouTube giving away discount offers even when they’re new.

Instead of focusing on giveaways before you grow a loyal customer base, focus on creating value to attract the customers you want in your business.

Giveaways are a good way of encouraging customers to buy from you or visit your business.

The problem is some of the ‘customers’ aren’t attracted to your business at all; they’re not the target, they come for the giveaway.

And when you stop the giveaway, they disappear with the wind. With that cleared, people want to win something from a business they love or a craft business they follow.

I follow a crochet channel, Bag O Day because I learnt to crochet from her channel and she does a lot of giveaways every single day or almost daily.

She gives the yarn/wool to her subscribers.

She sends the yarn to you wherever you’re in the world and you must be a crochet fanatic or lover or beginner or she gives the rules for entry.

Don’t give anything blindly to people that won’t spread the message for your business to bring in more customers.

You want to be selfish, giving away to people that deserve the award will appreciate the gesture by spreading the word to other fanatics. 

10. Use the power of video marketing 

No one should cheat you that video marketing isn’t working.

Video marketing became popular in 2013 or early 2012.

I decided to go with the trend by starting my YouTube channel even though I never posted anything until 2017 and became serious in 2019.

Why are people enticed by video? Why does video create more conversion or why does video sell faster? People aren’t patient to read blog posts.

But an entertaining video is fast, engaging with a bit more details, your personality.

People want to see the people they buy from. If you didn’t know Jeff Bezos or Steve Jobs would you buy from their businesses?

If you didn’t know the story of the Nike shoe or Samsung would you buy from them?

Apart from personalities, videos are thought of as engaging and with more details.

These days, though, the proliferation of video ads made consumers resort to video adblockers to not listen to ads because ads are intrusive and annoying.

The more people see you on camera, the more they get attracted to your message, your product and yourself. To attract customers with video, create value.

Do you know why people subscribe to your channel if you’re a YouTuber?

They do so because you offer them the value they cannot get from other channels.

For example, people tell me that I offer the most simple way of making a living working online and earning good money.

That I talk about the content they don’t see from other customers. What do you want to offer your customers with your video?

Is it value-added content, content that is never seen before, insider secrets about your industry, entertaining?

Whatever aim you have in mind for video marketing, keep the customer in mind and first.

You are doing it for the customer and the customer loved you for it. 

11. Use billboards like buses

Ever seen a bus company with a huge ad slapped on it? Did you immediately go to check the page or note it down to confirm the business’ existence?

That’s what car advertisements do; promote curiosity.

Customers are looking for businesses to go to.

Putting your ad on a moving car prompts customers that wouldn’t know about you eager to find about your products or service.

You can pay bus companies like the Modern Coast to help advertise your business or you can buy a used bus and take it around town to help market your business.

It doesn’t have to be a bus, could be a beat-up car that drives and doesn’t consume fuel.

Drive slowly around neighbourhoods then if you can make customers around your neighbourhood come to you.

For example, use a microphone and some enticing music then a giveaway. I saw this method of the business ad as a kid these days only politicians use the method to get votes.

You start a dancing competition then reward the kids. The kids’ competition attracts a bigger crowd that wants to hear what your offer is. Be creative in getting your message across.

You could use charming language as, whoever reaches the Facebook group, Gertie’s Pillows, and buys a pillow tonight will get a free pillow or a discount.

Use a language and an offer that pulls customers together.

Or you could give food shopping vouchers.

Plan ahead so that your promotion doesn’t wear you out or make you suffer losses.

Wrapping a paper around a bus or car will only attract customer’s attention, ask yourself what do you want customers to do when they reach your business page?

Do you want more likes, follows, purchases, subscribers? Whatever the outcome, always start with a plan then execute.

 

12. Go to events 

The more events you attend, the more customers get to find about your products. What events or fairs get organised in your region and can you attend them?

For example, before the coronavirus, a farmer’s market event got organised in Serena Hotel in Shanzu.

We saw beautiful businesses from around Africa getting displayed and people from all over the country came to attend. More handmade businesses got customers.

The more customers know about your products the more they patronise you. No one wants to buy products from unknown vendors. It’s a fact in business no matter what people tell you.

Picture yourself buying a facial cleanser from a home-beauty guru who you have never heard of before. Would you trust the ingredients they use in their products?

The more people know about your products, the more they trust you because of the previous raving customers.

What event can you organise in your area and what people do you expect to have in attendance?

Remember, you don’t have to rely on physical events due to covid 19 restrictions, you can organise virtual events too. Use Facebook or Instagram or Google Ads to let as many people come to your event as possible.

The first time in organising events the turn up is discouraging but you get better at mastering your marketing message next time and more people turn up. 

13. Start a podcast 

Why are customers more attracted to podcasts? Because customers love to interact with various channels of ads.

There are customers that love the traditional way of consuming or finding out about businesses, via billboards or checking the classified ads.

You have to know what your customers love then use various advertising channels to attract more customers to you.

I see business gurus talk about Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola never stops advertising. Coca Cola ads get creative and impressive each year and they know their target market.

On a hot Sunday afternoon in the tropics or inside the bush, after ordering a nyamachoma dish, what’s the best way to down the nyamachoma?

Of course, coca-cola and even kids can drink it. Using a podcast may seem different than on video, but it’s not. In fact, because the customers cannot see you, get creative.

For example, apply flowery language or the language your customers use.

If you’re selling shoes to the people without shoes in Kenya, will you fancy language over a podcast? You want to use sheng, or available easy to understand language to get the message to your customer.

Using a podcast to attract customers means learning the art of copywriting.

What makes the customer buy?

What attracted them to the podcast?

Is it the title of the podcast, ‘Toka Kwa Umaskini’ or are you hitting home with your content?

Some people prefer to listen to podcasts because it’s cheaper, you can download them without spending time on the internet.

Or you can use podcasts on the go.

Know your customer then provide your products in different formats and customers get attracted to you. 

READ MORE: How to Create a Paying Podcast to Advertise Your Business in Kenya 

14. Concentrate on design does your website look professional?

What’s the message? Are the links correct on your website? Can you get contacted from your website?

Are you available for your customers on the channels you use for advertisements? Or are they flower-based platforms? Can customers recognise your business with your logo? What’s the story behind the logo? What’s your story? 

15. Concentrate on the word of mouth.

Have a great product then customer service, encourage customers to spread the word.

Has a customer discovered your product or service and loved it?

Encourage them to spread the word.

Customers trust customers that know about an unknown product or service.

Can you imagine you want your teeth to get whitened because of fluoride, do you pop yourself in an office unknowingly or will you resort to a friend who you know got their teeth fixed in Dr K’s office?

Customers buy from brands their friends recommended because they trust their friends. You want to be a brand trusted by others.

Why do you think Mpesa became a thing in Kenya?

We trusted what others told us.

My mum told me after resisting Mpesa, ‘There’s nothing as powerful as having money in your phone which you can access anytime.

There’s no need of queueing and wasting time at the bank’s ATM that attracts thieves and conmen’. I got sold there and then.

If it weren’t for her, I would never sign up for Mpesa because I knew it was a service meant to fleece or steal away my money and disappear.

Ever seen such banks in Kenya?

Get the people, get their money then declare bankruptcy?

That’s why customers get attracted when they hear about your business from another customer.

And that’s why Google reviews pave way for businesses to make or lose customers.

If I’m searching for a product or service and one Google review says, ‘Best, excellent customer service’, I appreciate that and go patronize the business.

Know what you’re looking for with reviews, businesses are notorious for buying reviews.

Only read the very detailed reviews then make a decision. Some customers got paid to gloat about a conman. 

16. What’s your after-service? 

Some businesses are the best customer service providers on earth.

But dare you have a complaint about their product or service and you will cry.

For example, after purchasing solar panels from a company that went under a few months later, I realised I may need more advice on how to move the panels, can I move them to another location without damage to them or will I be left with no functioning devices?

Your business cannot only concentrate on customer service without thinking about questions customers ask later on.

A customer may buy a phone and find they need another one or a newer model after a week, do they have to purchase another one or can you take the one they have at a discounted rate?

Or are you never going to be available because the customer ‘nisumbua’ because they ask so many questions?

If you want to remain in the customer’s mind for a long time, think of a way to attract them to your business after the purchase.

How can you continue making your customers Kings? Making your customers Kings after a purchase attracts them to your premises years after you forgot about their purchase. 

17. List your business on online directories

Listing your business on online directories like Yahoo Local, Bing Places, Google Places/My Business attracts customers that love to shop online first before heading offline.  

18. Create and distribute flyers 

To find new and attract new customers for your business, create and distribute flyers.

You can use Canva, a free online design tool to create your flyers.

People receive and throw their flyers anywhere.

Give them a reason to keep viewing your flyer by saying you will give them a discount or an after-sale service.

In your flyer, ensure you have the social media pages, website and business phone number that customers can use to reach you.

Also, giving flyers isn’t outdated as people presume, it’s a nice way of getting new and interested customers and also to remind your existing customers that you are available for them. 

19. Volunteer to your community /share and create value 

Sharing your talent/gift with your community, by, for example, starting a community centre for girls to learn woodwork, you not only help spread your talent by imparting ‘free’ knowledge to others but you help attract new customers. 

20. Have goals 

Having goals like how many customers you want, setting time frames for the day or month you intend to achieve your business goals enables you to attract new customers.

Customers want to associate with businesses that match their goals and ambitions and knowing your intention beforehand makes customers trust you. 

21. What’s the best channel for attracting new customers? 

Businesses get stuck in doing business their way.

Before the pandemic, some luxury houses never listed their products online but after the pandemic, some luxury houses opened shop online.

Getting stuck in your previous ways of doing business either makes you extinct or go out of business.

To attract new customers, these luxury fashion houses realised the importance of attracting new customers online because their customers aren’t limited to their countries.

So, if you run an online business, ask yourself how can I take my business offline and vice versa because new customers sprout out from all over.

Plus not all customers have the same buying preference and they are your customers.

Also, if you don’t have a website, ensure to have one. Create content for the products you list or the services you provide.   

22. Know your competitors 

Analyse industry reports, check their products/services, analyse their SEO strategies, note their strengths and weakness on social media, read their customer reviews/ratings in order to attract customers to your business.

Analysing reports, ‘stalking’ competitors on what they do or provide, helps you find fault or missing links.

Customers get attracted to businesses that provide them what another business doesn’t provide.

That’s how IBM went out of business, Apple and Dell researched to find out the flaws of IBM and Microsoft too became prominent instead of computers, Bill Gates realised software missed. 

23. Hire competent staff 

If you want to attract more customers, hire a staff that knows how to make your business ‘pretty’ in front of your customers.

Your staff learns a whole lot about customer treatment from you and if it isn’t your priority to treat your customers right, your staff won’t either. 

24. Understand the buying process

Understanding the buying process means attracting new customers to your shop. For example, how did customers hear about your website, where did they land when coming to your website, what did they do when they landed on that page and why?

How long did they last on the page and what did they do? Did they leave with something better to talk about that they came back for more?

What do they do on your page to prompt them to make a purchase or to make an inquiry?  

25. Network 

My dad told me, show me your friends then I will tell you how competent or an idiot you are/will be. I didn’t realise what he said back then, nowadays, I do. Who’s your network? Some people even went ahead to say, your network is your net worth.

Can your circle of friends give you 20m shillings to pay for that house you adore?

Can you borrow money from your friends for adding to your business without going to the bank?

If the answer is NO, get some new friends.

Now, your network should compromise people that connect you to people that help you get new customers. You attract new customers because of your network.

Your network finds you and your business valuable because a friend mentioned your business. 

FAQs on How to Attract New Customers to Your Business

What Words Attract New Customers?

Free 

Exclusive 

Easy 

Limited 

Get 

Guaranteed 

YOU 

Because 

How Do I Keep Customers Happy?

Communicate often to your customers. Customers love it when they hear from you. 

Understand your customers’ needs and goals. What do your customers want to achieve? What are their goals and how is your business making this convenient for them? 

Connect personally – how do you feel when a business you patronise handles your needs on a personal level?

You feel valued and special, right?

Reach out to your customers, like how Java does to reach out to you when you visit their shop by asking, did you enjoy our services or rate our services today. 

Respond to questions 

Do you know the ins and outs of your business?

Take your time to learn about your business so that when customers ask you questions, you’re ready with the answer. There’s no embarrassment in not knowing and telling your customer, ‘let me find out. 

Approach each client as a special client 

Your customers are special, no matter their age or size.

Each customer that comes to your shop whether to window shop or buy the whole stock deserves to get treated like a royal.

How do you approach your customers? By sizing them first and saying, this one hasn’t come to buy but waste time or you welcome each customer as they come? 

How Can I Get More Customers Online?

Polish your website. Take time to understand how your website works or how long it takes to load or how the shopping experience will be for your customers. 

Be social. 

Use local SEO. 

Use paid ads. 

Use content marketing. 

Give something for free. 

How Do I Get My First 100 Customers in My Online Shop?

Treat the first customers as royals 

Start out by giving free 

Expand your network 

Find loyal 

What’s your niche? 

Use content marketing 

Use the art of storytelling 

Social media marketing 

Tell customers what to do when they visit your shop 

Test your idea by using various marketing platforms 

How Can I Promote My Business Without Spending Money?

Do giveaways.

Use social media. 

Use brand ambassadors. 

Customer referrals 

Use online marketing tools 

What’s customer loyalty? 

Customer loyalty is customer satisfaction, providing excellent customer excellence to your customers. 

What makes customers happy? 

Your promise to provide the best service 

Your products must be the best. 

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Online Businesses / Work in Kenya