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How to Start Dropshipping in Kenya on Shopify for Beginners

Last updated on February 12th, 2024 at 10:47 am

Dropshipping in Kenya is a business model where you don’t have to worry about managing inventory since the products are shipped directly from the wholesaler. 

Dropshipping gives entrepreneurs an opportunity to start their own business for low startup costs and with minimal risk. 

This blog post will walk through how to get started dropshipping on Shopify for beginners in Kenya!

How does it work?

We have talked about Shopify in detail in our previous blog posts.

Essentially, Shopify is an eCommerce platform in Kenya that allows you to create your own storefront and sell products without worrying about managing inventory. 

How about dropshipping in Kenya?

When a customer places an order, you the item from one of your suppliers (your wholesaler), who then ships it directly to the end-user. 

You will only be charged for each purchase after it’s made which means there are no upfront costs or commitments! 

This makes dropshipping in Kenya ideal if you are looking for low startup costs and don’t have enough capital to buy inventory up-front. 

With Shopify, all you need in order to start selling successfully is a product idea and access to the internet!

Benefits of dropshipping

Here are some of the reasons you should be doing dropshipping in Kenya.

a). No upfront costs 

You need absolutely zero shillings to start dropshipping business in Kenya. 

In fact, all you need is a place to showcase pictures of your products, and whenever someone places an order, you go ahead and contact your supplier to ship the product to the customer.

b). No need for inventory

Working as a dropshipper in Kenya means there is no need for managing inventory or shipping products yourself.

As mentioned earlier, all you need is a product image and someone interested in it.

And when they buy, you get the cash, head over to the supplier, and purchase the product (no inventory or stock handled).

In fact, it is possible to sell products you’ve never seen or touched.

c). Can be started with little to no money down 

This one ties to what we mentioned earlier, you can start dropshipping in Kenya with little or no money.

All you need is a hot-selling product, a supplier, and a place to showcase those products.

Continue reading to learn how to figure out each one of these.

d). Perfect for market research

Dropshipping is a great way to test out an idea before investing in it yourself.

If you have a dream of maybe one day running a successful online store in Kenya, you may first start with market research.

This helps you figure out what is lacking in the market, and whether people are willing to buy the solution.

And that is where dropshipping comes in.

See, by first dropshipping a product, it helps you test the waters and figure out if there is enough demand in the market.

And based on the results, you can either stock the product or abandon it altogether.

Just like any other thing, dropshipping in Kenya doesn’t go without downsides.

Let us look at some of them.

Disadvantages of dropshipping in Kenya

x). Low margins 

The reason why Shopify allows you to start dropshipping without any upfront costs is that the margins are lower. 

You will be able to make a nice profit if your product sells, but it is still not quite as high of a margin compared to selling products yourself.

x). Higher risk 

Since you won’t own the inventory and will only be acting as an order fulfillment service for your supplier, there is greater risk involved than starting out with your own wholesale company. 

What this means is that you need to do some research into what suppliers around the world offer good services before committing or else you might end up in trouble! 

x). Shipping complexities 

Dropshipping is great because there are no upfront costs involved, but one thing to consider is that your supplier will be responsible for shipping the product out. 

This means it is important to make sure your supplier has good quality products and offers affordable rates so that their margins aren’t too low

x). No control over branding

Another downside of dropshipping in Kenya versus manufacturing yourself is that you won’t have any control over how the customer perceives your brand or receives the product itself. 

Branding can be a very important factor when starting off since customers may form an opinion about your company based on what they see before even purchasing anything!

Now you have some knowledge about dropshipping business in Kenya, let me show you how to get started.

Steps To Get Started Dropshipping On Shopify For Beginners in Kenya 

1). Find a niche 

The first step to getting started with dropshipping is finding a niche! 

It is important that you find something specific and unique about your product so that it stands out from the competition. 

If you are having trouble coming up with ideas, try taking this quick quiz or using Google Trends to see what people are searching for more often these days

2). Perform competition research 

Once you have come up with a niche idea, it is important to do some research about your competitors. 

This will allow you to see what brands are currently selling in this space and how they’re doing so that you can position yourself competitively

3). Find a supplier 

After you have a great product idea and have done some research on your competitors, the next step is to find an appropriate supplier. 

Shopify has partnered with many suppliers around the world that specialize in drop shipping so look through their listings or reach out to ones from other marketplaces.

Here are some tips to consider;

How to find a dropship supplier you can trust

In addition to being able to offer low costs and fast shipping speeds like any good dropshipper should, there are also certain qualities one should be looking for when searching for a supplier partner! 

Being able to make sure your chosen dropship company offers these things will set them apart from others trying to do business the same way as you: 

  • Reputable – it is that whatever supplier you choose can be trusted to fulfill your orders on time and as expected. Do some research into the company’s history before committing
  • Good quality products – it is important that you choose a supplier who offers high-quality goods for their customers so they’ll be happy with what they receive and continue to buy from them in the future! 
  • Affordable rates – another thing to look out for when choosing a dropshipper is whether or not their margins are too thin, which means you won’t make much profit if any at all. 

Luckily, Shopify has partnered with suppliers around the world like this one who offer competitive prices allowing both parties involved (the supplier and drop shipper) can generate income without having either party suffer losses because of low margins.

How to source supplies through and Oberlo

a) Alibaba 

One of the most widely used platforms by entrepreneurs worldwide in order to connect with suppliers who provide wholesale rates or even private label services if needed which allows them to successfully launch an online store without needing a large budget upfront! 

In addition, there are many ways active sellers can use this platform not only for sourcing new inventory but also finding unique items from around the world they wouldn’t be able to purchase locally thus money on shipping costs down the road! 

b) Oberlo 

We mentioned a little about Oberlo earlier.

A third-party app that can help those looking for dropshipping suppliers find the best products at wholesale rates as well as connect with manufacturers who offer private labeling services. 

This makes it easy to launch your own eCommerce store because you don’t need much money upfront to get started! 

It is also free and fairly simple to use which is another attractive benefit of going this route especially for entrepreneurs interested in starting their first business online but might not have a large budget or any prior experience setting up an online storefront through Shopify, WooCommerce, etc. 

c) Wholesalers 

If none of these methods work there are still plenty of other ways entrepreneurs around the world source new inventory such as finding wholesalers through Google or reaching out directly to brands that might be willing to send you samples for free in return for your feedback on their products.

4). Build your store 

Once you have a niche idea, competition research, and supplier in place it is time to build your store! 

Shopify has partnered with many suppliers around the world so look through their listings or reach out to ones from other marketplaces.

What do I need? 

  • A Shopify store setup 
  • Wholesaler account (we recommend Oberlo) 
  • Product images that can be used in your product listings 

When you sign up at Shopify, they offer 14 days free trial that comes with a $300 coupon towards a purchase of an eCommerce theme. 

What are the steps? 

First, you need to set up a Shopify store in Kenya that will be used as your dropshipping business. 

Then, you will want to connect your new Shopify account with Oberlo (an app within Shopify). 

To do this: Click “Apps” at the top of any page in your admin panel and then select “Manage Apps.” – Search for “Oberlo,” click on it and install.

After installing the app, go ahead and sync all of your products with Oberlo by clicking on ‘Products’ from the left menu navigation bar. 

Once synced, we can now add our products onto our newly created storefront. 

If you don’t have an e-commerce theme yet, I recommend checking out the Shopify Theme Store.

Visit your store’s homepage and click “Add a product” in the left navigation menu – Enter some basic information about your item (title, price)  and then publish.

Once you have published all of your products to be listed on your storefront, pick which one will go first by moving it up or down on the list using drag and drop. 

Lastly, make sure you tag each image with relevant keywords! 

You can do this at any point after publishing them but before paying for an ad campaign.

5). Customer acquisition plan 

Finally, it is important to develop a customer acquisition plan for your store. 

Where will you find customers and how do they typically behave online? 

Once you have this information in place, implement the following marketing strategies into your business operations:

a). Social media advertising 

One of the most effective ways is through social media in Kenya! 

Paid ads are great because they allow businesses to target their ideal audience at an affordable price. 

If you are not quite sure where to start with paid advertisements or what platforms might work best for your niche consider taking Hubspot’s quick quiz here.

b) Content marketing 

Another very useful tool that allows users to reach out to relevant audiences interested in learning about various topics related to their products is content marketing. 

This includes things like blogging, vlogging, and other forms of content marketing. 

Content provides a great way to reach those who are already looking for the solutions your products provide as well as customers that weren’t necessarily aware they were in need of what you are selling.

In order to be successful with this method however it is important users invest enough time into their blog or website so visitors can see value when reading through them

c). Email marketing 

Email marketing in Kenya is another effective tool used by marketers around the world. 

It allows businesses to stay connected with past leads and develop relationships over time which results in more conversions down the road.

A good place to start with these kinds of campaigns would be an autoresponder service like Mailchimp.

d). SEO 

Search engine optimization is also another useful marketing strategy that allows those new to dropshipping in Kenya a way to start getting their products out there without having as large of an advertising budget.

In order for this method, however, it is important users invest enough time into building up content on their website and optimizing it so search engines can see the value in what they are providing.

e). Remarketing

Remarketing campaigns are very similar to Facebook ads except instead of targeting new audiences you will be focusing your efforts primarily on past leads who have already visited your site but didn’t convert. 

A good place to get started with these sorts of campaigns would be through Google Ads in Kenya.

Common questions about dropshipping in Kenya

Is dropshipping a legitimate business?

Yes, dropshipping is a legitimate business in Kenya and can be used as an effective way to start your own online store! 

What niche should I choose for my Shopify site?

A good place to start would be with something you are already interested in or have some knowledge about. 

If it is something you don’t know much about consider doing some research first so you can speak more authoritatively on the subject matter before diving into this sort of project. 

Do I need a large budget to get started?

No, fortunately, there are many ways entrepreneurs around the world use to generate income without needing too big of a monetary investment upfront such as using small ad budgets and spending time building their brand through content marketing strategies like blogging which can both be done at a low cost!

Is dropshipping only for digital products?

No, although it is most commonly used to sell physical goods online there are plenty of entrepreneurs who have been successful with using this business model in order to successfully launch and grow their own e-commerce stores selling services as well. 

How do I find suppliers?

There are many ways someone can go about finding the right supplier for your Shopify site depending on what you are selling.

If you already have an idea of where you’ll source your products, ask them if they offer wholesale rates or other benefits that would make working together more affordable down the road once you start generating revenue from transactions taking place through your store. 

Another great resource is Oberlo which is a third-party app that can help you find suppliers for your products!

How can I set up my store? 

The first step is setting up an account with Shopify which is a reputable platform used by millions of entrepreneurs around the world looking to build and grow their own eCommerce businesses! 

In addition, it is free and fairly simple to use so there are no hidden costs involved when signing up, unlike some other platforms that charge monthly fees if you don’t pay upfront with a credit card. 

Another great benefit of using this particular solution compared to others is how easy it makes scaling your business because they offer unlimited bandwidth meaning as soon as you start revenue from sales taking place through transactions on your site you won’t have to worry about paying more for this service going forward.

Read also: Shopify Mpesa Integration: A Comprehensive Guide

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