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    How to start an eCommerce marketplace in Kenya?

    Do you want to start a marketplace in Kenya? Then you must be knowing that Kenya is one of the most growing eCommerce ecosystems in Africa.

    Moreover, eCommerce in Kenya has grown exceptionally over the last few years, primarily among small and medium businesses.

    There has never been the right time to start an online business in Kenya than now to see an ample amount of growth in online sales.

    Because now Kenya’s eCommerce Section is expanding and experiencing massive growth furthermore it is up as a global competitor in the e-commerce space.

    Henceforth, online multi-vendors are predicting and finding enormous growth scope and opportunities to uplift Kenya’s eCommerce Industry to the next level.

    Why start a marketplace in Kenya?

    In this smart-technological era, online buying and selling have been easier through live streaming, and social commerce. The ongoing pandemic scenario has changed the business structure of the entire world.

    Online presence is a must for every merchant. Almost everything is now digitalized. Kenya is obviously not left behind in the tech world.

    Entrepreneurs in Kenya now want to run the business with no geographical boundaries and physical restrictions.

    Kenya’s e-market is still developing and players are entering the e-Commerce market due to the high turnover. Online turnover is 20 times higher than traditional retail stores.

    Even many Kenyans still do not trust in buying goods online, furthermore online payment options are still unexplored.

    Hence this is the most suitable time to enter this market start an eCommerce marketplace in Kenya. Let the traditional vendors join your marketplace to increase the product order demand.

    This will help the marketplace owner to have enough variety of products to attract more customers for shopping.

    Helpful tips to start marketplace in Kenya

    You can go through more of Webkul’ss eCommerce marketplace success stories. And, get to know how our clients have benefitted using Webkul’s marketplace solution –

    For an e-commerce marketplace business, you need to consider certain other factors based on the country you will be starting your e-commerce marketplace.

    Just like marketplace cost/investment varies from country to country.

    Similarly, there is a certain additional requirement and legal regulations you will be needed to consider if you are planning to start an e-commerce marketplace in Kenya.

    Domain Name

    • Choose a unique and simple domain name easy to remember.
    • Do not use an existing well-known trademark.
    • It is also essential to endeavor trademark protection for the chosen domain name and the website logo.

    Data Protection Act

    To run a successful eCommerce marketplace in Kenya e-owner must adhere to the guidelines of Kenya’s Data Protection Act. As a website owner, you need to maintain a privacy policy to gather any personal information.

    Consumer Protection

    Consumers are the key to thrive in the market that’s why online marketplace owners are much concerned about consumer protection against unfair practices.


    As per Wikipedia Copyright is a type of intellectual property that gives its owner the exclusive right to make copies of creative work, usually for a limited time. As an online marketplace owner, you must review the entire website and do not copy others.

    Terms and Conditions

    Online trading developes a relationship between business owner and customer. Hence it is must to protect yourself and limit the legal liability by showing Terms and Condition on your website.

    What are the top Kenya’s marketplaces?

    If you are planning to have a Marketplace in the Kenya’s region then the following are the top leaders:




    So, being a new player in the e-Commerce Marketplace industry one can take reference of the above competitors.

    In such a cutthroat competitive era, the major question is What you need to start an e-commerce marketplace?

    What do you need to start an eCommerce marketplace in Kenya?

    If you have a plan to start an eCommerce Marketplace in Kenya, then, in that case, you’ll be requiring several components:

    eCommerce Platform

    The prime concern for the entrepreneurs to start an eCommerce marketplace is to decide which platform will be the right choice? Drafting out a few to help you to pick the one suitable for your e-businessBagisto, Magento2, OpenCart, WooCommerce.

    Web Hosting Service

    Hosting is an essential component for setting up an eCommerce marketplace. Check the below-specified list of cloud-based service through which the hosting can be achieved:

    • Amazon AWS Stack
    • Google Cloud
    • Microsoft Azure StackSSL, wherein the requirement arises of the cloud support team, which Webkul Offers.

    Domain Purchase

    A domain name should be unique because it signifies the registration of the domain to claim space on the internet. This registered name is used by the eCommerce business owner on the websites as well as in e-mail.

    Inventory Management

    Inventory/Stock management is the most complex part when it comes to setting up a marketplace. Usually, the stock of goods and services is massive in the marketplace.

    Thus, a reliable inventory management system is the most required feature of a marketplace. If it is not managed a proper way then it can become the biggest challenge to manage the records of inventory depleting and incrementing.

    Safe Secure Payment Options

    The main part of any online store is the payment procedure. It must be secure, safe, super convenient for the users to win the customers’ trust in Kenya.

    Any eCommerce business achieves success when it supports multiple payment gateways to allow an easy transaction.

    Shipping Methods

    Shipment is also an important part of any eCommerce business. It has to be handled in the right way with proper guidance.

    There are various shipping providers available in the market. Select the best-suited shipping method for your business and customers.

    Above are a few of the common considerations, if you are planning to start an e-commerce marketplace. No matter in which Geo-location you will start your online business.

    However, if you wish to extend your marketplace to an advanced marketplace, then you can have a look at Webkul’s Plugins for the best solution, refer here.

    Also, if you want to have your marketplace for a specific location, then you can opt for a Hyperlocal marketplace. For more details please check What is Hyperlocal?

    The Hyperlocal Marketplace is advancing e-commerce for both the merchants and the consumers.

    Have a look at some of the benefits of the hyperlocal marketplace:

    • The hyperlocal marketplace raises the demands for the local stores in a particular geographical region.
    • It helps in providing a better shopping experience to the buyers.
    • Improves the delivery procedure of purchased products by the customers.
    • Also, it helps in developing the sales and revenue of the retailers to grow their business.

    What are the available payment gateways in Kenya for marketplace startups?

    There are plenty of payment gateway providers you can choose any of one based on your business need for the marketplace startup in Kenya.

    There are a few recommend payment gateways named M-Pesa, PayGate, PayPal, Stripe, Net Billing and, Paystack are best to use in Kenya & Africa.


    M-Pesa has got a massive success in the online market of Kenya and Africa, so this is also a realible payment gateway to go ahead with if you’re running your marketplace in kenya or willing to start the new.


    PayPal is the world’s most prestigious and most adapted payment gateway for any business person dealing in any business for the online payment process. Without thinking much you can go ahead with PayPal is it is a highly accept payment gateway in eyes of Kenyans.

    Even you can use Multi-Vendor PayPal Commerce to integrate PayPal Payment Method for their customers. This module incorporates the Instant and Delayed disbursement modes (also known as, PayPal Commerce).

    Even the sellers can integrate PayPal for their customers only after authenticating with PayPal. Both the admin and the sellers can process the refunds for the customers in their respective panels.


    Stripe is also a stable payment gateway in Kenya for marketplace startups. Even this payment gateway is also accepted in Kenya.

    Marketplace Stripe Payment Gateway will help the merchant allow the customers to do a checkout and make an online payment using Stripe Connect gateway.

    It makes online payment processing much easier to manage and also helps in return order refunds easily. With the Stripe’s secure interface, it provides a much safer transaction environment between the payer and payee.

    Which one is better to use in Kenya, PayPal, MangoPay or stripe payment gateway?

    PayPal is a top-class payment gateway for any business to go ahead without any hesitation.

    Also, by having access to a U.S. Stripe account, African startups will be able to instantly accept payments in over 130 currencies and a number of alternative payment methods.

    Moreover, MangoPay has a specific list of countries where it is authorized to process payments and Kenya is there in the list hence MangoPay Payment Gateway solution is also a better choice to proceed ahead.

    Kilimall the top selling marketplace of Kenya is allowing the shoppers to pay for the purchase through various payment methods. Shoppers can choose any of one for making the payment as per their convenience:

    • Mpesa Express
    • Mpesa
    • Airtel
    • Equity
    • Debit/Credit Card

    Marketplace Payment Process

    The payment is the most significant and sensitive part of the eCommerce marketplace. However, let’s have a look here, how payment processing is done in the marketplace –

    Default Payment Flow

    In the Default Payment Flow, the payment made by the customer for their purchases will go directly to the store owner’s bank account.

    And then, it’s their responsibility to pay the respective sellers out of the e-commerce platform such as NEFT, cheque, bank transfer, etc.

    Split Payment

    However, Split Payment Flow allows splitting the payment made by the customer as per the orders and commissions among multiple vendors. That too from the single transaction made by the customer.

    In split payment, the payment will automatically split between the seller and the admin as per the commission set by the admin in the marketplace configuration.

    The seller will receive the payment in its linked payment account concerning the payment gateway which the seller is using. And the admin will get the commission in their payment account.

    Shipping Procedure in Marketplace

    After the payment, shipping is the most essential part of any eCommerce business. The eCommerce owner needs to handle this part of online business with sensibility.

    After the customer has done the payment of their order, they will look for their products to deliver on time.

    Henceforth, Providing convenient shipping service to your customer is equally important as providing payment options.

    Henceforth, you need to choose logistic options that charge a reasonable price to ship the products depending on the size and weight of the product.

    Moreover, the best shipping is required because the customers will not prefer to purchase from your store if the delivery is delayed. Also, if they find the shipping charges too high.

    Summing Up!

    If you are willing to spread your eCommerce business, then there has never been a better time to be in e-commerce in Kenya. It is a peak time that you invest in Kenya and look for booming growth.


    Thus, that is all about the article on eCommerce Marketplace in Kenya. In case of any query or more details, kindly contact us at

    . . .

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