Last Updated on 23 February 2020 by Gertrude

Amazon brought to the world a new shopping trend … online shopping. Amazon found its success online as a general Walmart, Target or Nakumatt (Before its death).

You don’t have to strive to be the next Amazon, in fact, with Amazon dominating as one of the biggest e-commerce stores in the world, strive to stand out instead.

Don’t feel discouraged, if you prefer the general e-commerce route, go for it. This is for you with limited funds and eyes to dominate as a niche e-commerce store.

What’s an e-commerce store? And how does one start a niche e-commerce store as a Kenyan in 2020? 

The future is creating eCommerce stores which are specific. 

Before we begin we will answer some burning questions about what a niche e-commerce store is. 

The Most Frequently Asked Questions About Running a Successful Ecommerce Niche Store in Kenya 

What’s a niche eCommerce store?

A niche e-commerce store is a store selling specific products. For example, you can decide to sell only motivational t-shirts or gay t-shirts with Print on Demand. Or tote bags or children’s clothing or plus size women wear. A niche store doesn’t divert a lot. But note, some entrepreneurs decide that they will be a general niche store where you sell any print on demand product there is from totes, socks, tanks, t-shirts, backpacks etc. The niche focus is print on demand but the product categories are varied or wide. That’s called a general niche store. Another example of a niche store, dogs, the most favoured pet and profitable niche. Instead of talking about dogs, which makes it very general, you become very specific by

How do I know what niche to choose for my store? 

To choose a successful niche for your store you have to combine it with some love/passion. So, ask yourself what you love doing in your daily life. Something you can sell online as an e-commerce store. Check these passion businesses to do in Kenya online. Now, ask if you can monetise your passion. I love writing but didn’t know how to monetise writing because I said, ‘’writing is oversaturated’. Don’t talk yourself out of your passion, money follows passion. 

Why must I begin from a niche eCommerce store? 

It’s easier to break even when you begin from a niche e-commerce store than with a general store. A niche store helps your passion and expertise for the subject to shine through. 

How does one find a lucrative product for an e-commerce store? 

To find a lucrative product to sell in your e-commerce store, if you are stuck, check these profitable products to sell from China that Kenyans buy online. 

I am worried that with a niche-specific store I won’t find success, help me

Contrary to what people say, success is in the niches. I thought I would run this blog as a general audience blog, but found it hard to stand out. I decided to focus on what I love talking about the most in my daily, ways to make money online. I decided to break the myths about the kinds of work one can do online. And boom, boom, boom, the success came. When you focus, your readers or customers thronging your store know the kind of products you deal in. Broaden the horizon after finding success. 

What does it take to run a successful niche eCommerce store? 

It takes patience, diligence, confidence in what you are doing, it takes dedication. In fact, it’s more than a fulltime job. 

What are some lucrative products I can sell in my niche store?

Some of the highest paying products you can sell online include electronic accessories, beauty products, shoes, bags, kids products, kitchen products and accessories, pet products, cameras, drones, camera lenses, camera accessories. I mean the list is endless. Check the most profitable products on Amazon, then settle on a category. 

I heard that you can begin a store without carrying inventory, I am interested 

Yes, you don’t have to have inventory, a big plus headache for you as a beginner e-commerce owner/operator. Start with dropshipping. A dropshipping store is a Shopify/Oberlo store, where you get products with the Oberlo app from Aliexpress straight to your Shopify store. 

Is it easy to break even with eCommerce?

Yes, it’s easy as long as you remain niche-focused. Also, don’t forget to create content for the products you have in your store. 

I am afraid I don’t have a budget even for a niche store. Kindly help 

It’s simple, begin with dropshipping, from the comfort of your home. And the best part, you need less than 10,000 shillings. Shopify beginner store costs $29.95/9 per month. As long as you have a laptop, that’s about the cost you will need. To advertise with Facebook ads, you need to begin with a $5 budget a day for 7 days, that’s $35. You don’t have to use Facebook ads, begin from pinning and your Facebook followers. Learn how to use Pinterest for marketing your e-commerce or other social media you feel happy with. Learn about the trends of the chosen/preferable social media so as to keep selling/sailing. 

How do I create a memorable eCommerce store like Amazon?

Know how to properly brand your store. Choose a memorable business name, buy a domain from or HostGator then transfer it to your hosting site, in this case, Shopify. To cut the hustle of domain name transfer, simply buy a domain name from Shopify. Remember to create a memorable logo and have a great tag line for your business. Learn more about branding in this article where I go in-depth about why branding is important in your eCommerce niche store. 

Best Tips for Running a Successful Ecommerce Niche Store in Kenya

Find in-demand products which are profitable 

Finding the most lucrative products to sell is the biggest headache a niche store owner has. But there are apps or platforms to help you search for the products to sell. Scour the Amazon best-seller product page, see what products rank high in sales all the time. Now, search for similar products or accessories not sold on Amazon, search on Aliexpress or Alibaba, then list them in your store. You can use Google Trends, Ecom Hunt, Trend Hunter. Check Facebook groups you are in, put your ears on the ground and listen to what people say miss and they would love to have in their lives/miss. 

Have the skill to sell your products

Some e-commerce niche store owners get scared of marketing their products to customers. Instead of getting scared of marketing, be confident and bold. That’s easy said, think it like this, ‘If I am not proud of the product I am selling, why must anyone be interested in it?’. Instead of feeling you are overbearing with marketing, create short ads then link the product. It can be funny or share a video relating to the product and include the link to your shop. I have learnt there’s no shame in marketing myself or my products. If operating a dropshipping store, order the product to have a feel, pros and its cons. Customers appreciate when the sellers are genuine. Marketing requires for you to be yourself. 

Learn how to market your products online and offline 

Learn how to use social media marketing to get your products to as many people as possible. This is where FB ads pay off if you have some knowledge about FB ads and marketing. Also, use Pin ads or YouTube ads, remember videos create a cult watching and sharing. Be funny or exciting, use copywriting language to capture the audience. Don’t forget even though you are running an online store, some of your customers, if not many, come from offline. Market to them through billboards, car wrapping ads, announcements, discounts, free offers, timely delivery. 

Choose hot-selling and trending products 

You can choose to sell the hot-selling and trending products but you have to withstand the competition. Niche down more or offer what the next store doesn’t. For example, upsells. If you are selling Maltese dog beds, offer an upsell of chew bone or a newly released leash or how to train a Maltese dog to behave better book/video training. You can offer a discount or free products saying, ‘Free shipping worldwide when you shop above $100 items or enter this coupon code GERTIE000 to get 20 per cent off’’.  

Choose evergreen products

Evergreen products never go out of season, just like blog posts focusing on businesses. That doesn’t mean to not keep updating the content. In fact, the more updates the greater the traffic. To sell an evergreen product, research, and research again. For example, makeup and women products never go out of season. Same as kitchen products. These products keep getting high ranks not only on Amazon but for a newbie reseller. You need to research what’s missing so you can help fill the gap. Remember, evergreen products are profitable and in-demand, oversaturated. You need to stand out. Check what the competition does then offer it slightly differently. If the competition doesn’t show how to choose a particular women foundation, give tips on how to choose the foundation, concealer for all skin colours. See, what Rihanna did with Fenty, she saw a gap in the women’s products, she loves make-up and now she’s richer than Bey or Madonna. 

Solve customer’s problems with your products 

Using Rihanna’s Fenty above, help solve customers problems. There are no products for the black women, add them to your collection. Have what’s always there, then more. There are no accessorising belts for plus size women, include it in your shop. Like Rihanna, focus on what you love. Because when you do what you love, you will notice what’s misses and will want to enhance the product. 

Test trending products early 

After listing a trending product in your shop, ensure you order it so you stay ahead with reviews, the good, bad and ugly. Like what makeup gurus on YouTube do, they jump on a makeup product to help their viewers know the good and bad. Even tech gurus, with the release of the iPhone 11, they jumped to give us an inside look into this phone craziness. 

Consider buying enthusiast products 

Enthusiast products are hobbyists products. These ones tend to be so expensive. Hobbyists products are cameras, survival kits, costumes, camera lenses, drones, antiques, robotic cars, robotic toys. Hobbyists do anything to get the best accessories to help satisfy their hobby. Most hobbies become businesses. And remember, hobbyists have ready money, so start thinking what hobby are you into and how can you profit from it by starting an e-commerce niche store?

Invest in products with high-profit margins

Are the products you want to sell have a high-profit margin?. This one means, are these products bought at lower prices but sell at higher prices? If the answer is, NO, rethink your products. For example, many electronic accessories are $1 on Aliexpress, sell such products for $10 -50 to get a high-profit margin. Such products you list as free shipping worldwide.  

Pros for Running an Ecommerce Niche Store in Kenya 

Tailored ads 

A niche store eases the mind of the operator by having targeted ads. You don’t have to the kind of product to advertise. Your marketing message is very clear. 

Knowing your marketing ads budget 

You already know you will spend $5 a day for marketing your products. You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars because your store is a general store. 

Know your target market 

You have your target market spelt out to a T. You know about their income, education level, what they are willing to spend online or offline for shopping if they have a disposable income. You know a lot about them than they know about themselves. 

You become a guru/expert 

With a niche-focused e-commerce store, you establish yourself as a guru, this helps you make more money. People can ask for advice about their health issues if you are a nutritionist with an e-commerce store. Or they can come to you to help select work from home gear because you have all the information at the back of your finger tips. 

You can monetise the niche eCommerce store in a variety of ways 

You don’t have to run an e-commerce store only or make money off of it alone, you monetise by providing coaching sessions or consulting for others who want to set up niche stores. See what Oberlo does with their wealth of info about dropshipping? 

Success comes faster with a niche store 

A niche store makes the owner up to $40,000 in the first year of business. This means it’s easier to earn four-figures faster of up to $5000/500,000 a month. I have excluded four months for learning, tweaking and breaking even. 

Cons for Running an Ecommerce Niche Store in Kenya 

Being too specific 

There’s nothing as being too specific, it becomes too boring too fast. But sticking on such a boring phase wears out as time goes by. You can become too tired to talk about work from home, for example, that’s why you must begin a niche store from passion

Being brushed off as unknowledgeable 

Some people believe a niche store owners knowledge is limited. And some love to challenge the notion of niche that’s why they included general niche to help broaden your knowledge. Don’t get intimidated. 

Running out of ideas 

If you are not passionate about your niche, ideas may run out or risk repetition. Go back to your topics to see what you haven’t listed in your shop. 

Lax due to the success

Sometimes, it can go in the head when you have achieved success to the extent of becoming tired of marketing or advertising your products. Because you know customers will come after all they know you. This is where you go back to your branding and branding message including your mission /vision for your e-commerce store. 

How to become a general store 

It can get a little confusing on how to become a niche general store after being a niche for a long time. Ask your buyers what product they would love to see. Or ask them if the new product you want to introduce appeals to them.

The pros for running a niche e-commerce store outweigh the cons because a beginner e-commerce store owner will not only save time, money but their sanity.

When it comes to creating marketing messages or branding for their stores.

Find inspiration stories on niche e-commerce stores on Oberlo to learn about the pros/ cons.

My favourite niche e-commerce store is by Tatiana, check her out.

She makes more than $40,000 a month selling shapewear and she creates content about all the different shapewear in the world.

See, the key is a focus. 

Do you plan to set up an eCommerce niche store as a Kenyan in 2020 and the information wasn’t clear?

Now, you know why a niche e-commerce store is the best idea to help explore your passion for a product.

What niche e-commerce store will you start in 2020 in Kenya and why and do you need help setting your niche store up? 

Online Businesses / Online Work in Kenya