How to Sell Merchandise for Your Brand in Kenya

sell merchandise

How to Sell Merchandise for Your Brand in Kenya

Getting to sell branded merchandise is a great way to generate revenue and visibility for your Kenyan business

Selling branded merchandise is a great way to generate revenue and visibility for your Kenyan business.

Kenya has a robust consumer market if you understand the landscape. Follow this guide to profitably sell your shirts, hats, bags and other branded items locally.

Start with Great Merchandise Designs

The first step is creating compelling merchandise people want to wear and use. Focus on high-quality materials and distressed, vintage aesthetics. Nature imagery and Swahili words resonate locally. Collaborate with Kenyan designers to incorporate motifs that appeal to local style.

Run small batch tests of multiple merchandise options before mass production. This lets you gauge demand and fine-tune the products.

Optimized Webstore for Sales

Once you have merch designed, set up an online store to sell it from your brand website. This makes products easily shopable for the Kenyan digital audience.

For the website, use intuitive e-commerce platforms like Shopify or WooCommerce. Make sure your hosting can support the extra traffic and load. I recommend platforms like Tara Host that offer unlimited bandwidth and resources on fast SSD cloud servers to maintain great website performance.

Focus on mobile optimization and local payment methods like M-Pesa. About 85% of Kenyan web traffic comes from phones so a seamless mobile experience is vital.

Promote on Marketplaces

Kenyans love shopping on digital marketplaces. Get your merchandise on platforms like Jumia, Kilimall, Masoko and SkyGarden. This exposes you to built-in consumer traffic.

Offer discounts exclusively on the marketplaces to incentivize purchases there. Run targeted ads on them to increase product visibility.

Optimizing listings and building your seller rating on these marketplaces takes time but generates sales. Think of them as digital malls where you can open up a merch shop.

Spread via Influencers

Influencer marketing works extremely well for driving merchandise demand in Kenya. The influencer scene here is thriving. over 60% of consumers rely on influencers for purchase decisions.

Gift your merch to popular Kenyan influencers in your niche. Micro-influencers with 5K to 50K local followers are ideal. In exchange ask them to wear/use the items and post online using your branded hashtags.

This organic promotion exposes your products to highly engaged audiences. It’s more effective than directly pushing merchandise through ads.

Partner with Retail Outlets

While e-commerce is growing, many Kenyans still prefer buying merchandise in person. Partner with gift shops, apparel boutiques and other local retail outlets to carry your products.

Offer the merchandise on a consignment basis where the retailer keeps a percentage of sales. Make sure to negotiate prime in-store positioning to boost visibility.

Also, explore pop-up kiosks in malls and markets. These temporary retail experiences create hype around your merchandise launches.

Use Influencers and Social Media to Promote In-Store

Drive foot traffic to your retail partners through influencer marketing and social media promotion.

Run in-store giveaways and special events that influencers can attend and post about. The resulting buzz draws shoppers.

Geotarget your social media ads to users near store locations to make them aware of merchandise availability. Adding digital engagement to real-world retail maximizes sales.

Sell at Events and Tradeshows

Events are hugely popular in Kenya. Sponsoring and selling merchandise at tradeshows, concerts, conferences and other local events reaches targeted audiences.

Maximize sales by bringing diverse merchandise options in popular sizes and allowing customization on-site. Engage attendees with giveaways, contests and brand experiences.

Follow Up Post-Events

Collect lead info at events for sales follow-up. Email those who engaged with your booth to thank them and provide discount codes valid for 30 days on your online merchandise shop.

Text codes to event attendees if you have their mobile numbers too. This turns event interest into solid sales in the days and weeks after.

Provide Excellent Customer Service

Kenyan consumers value great customer service. Answer buyer emails and social media messages promptly. Resolve returns/issues fast.

Surprise occasional buyers with a small gift or personalized note. This fosters brand loyalty and repeat purchases.

Selling merchandise in Kenya is all about understanding the local context. Use the right mix of online, retail and event strategies tailored to how Kenyans prefer to shop. With compelling designs and solid marketing execution, your products will sell successfully! Let me know if you need any help getting your merchandise business thriving in Kenya.

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