You too can be an online trader
Posted Thursday, August 2 2012 at 16:51
Trading online is becoming increasingly popular in Africa and Kenya is leading the way due to its superior Internet connectivity.
Google trader, an online platform by Internet giant, Google Inc. is one of the latest entrants in Kenya’s online sphere that is seeing business grow their markets and attract more clients.
Walter Okoth is already reaping from this online space and hopes to expand his business further. He sells computers and says he has been receiving lots of calls from potential clients after he listed some of his products on the Google trader platform.
This, he says, has helped him cut down on the cost of doing his business, especially on adverts.
“Since I joined Google Trader seven months ago, it has helped me reduce the cost of doing business especially on adverts. I no longer have to print and distribute brochures around. I just post the goods and services I have and instruct the staff to keep updating the site.
"That keeps my business visible most of the time. There has been an increase on inquiries which eventually translate into sales. I can say that our sales have grown by over 10 per cent since we joined Google trader,” beams Okoth.
Faith Kamau found out about this platform through her mobile phone’s opera mini browser and tried it out of curiosity.
A merchant who sells clothes and associated accessories, Ms Kamau says her best-selling item has been moccasin shoes.
She was able to sell four items a week when she first joined and now she gets serious enquiries at least once a week.
“Google trader is user-friendly. As a professional marketer who chose to be a stay-at-home mum, it gives me the opportunity to market my products via a free online shop where I can sell even as I take care of my child.
"I have sold linen outfits online for five months now and so far so good. I have 12 new customers and get calls every other day. My business has made a 30 per cent profit,” says Ms. Kamau.
Through the free classified service launched in Kenya last year, businesses and entrepreneurs have direct access to a growing consumer market in ways they never thought possible.
Middle men have been removed from the trade process and entrepreneurs can now be responsive to the changing needs of their market. The distance between buyer and seller has been eliminated. All one needs is access to the web.
A survey by BDLife shows that the online platform is gaining popularity with more businesses and individuals listing their products and services for sale.