Business idea – online retailer

This business idea is for an online retail shop. The shopping trends are beginning to change and many people in Uganda are now using the internet to shop for food, clothes, maids, builders, groceries, and all sorts of things. Personally I spend a lot of cash buying and paying for things online.

If you have access to a smart phone you can open up an online shop within a few minutes. It will cost you absolutely nothing. There is no rent to pay or electricity bills. You don’t even need any stock. The easiest platforms to use are Facebook market place,, and Next identify the goods on demand. You can use google trends and other analytic tools to determine what people are looking for. You can also listen in to different social media groups to see what people are buying. Identify someone who has a shop selling these items then negotiate with them to take pictures of the items. Assure them of guaranteed sales at a certain price. Your job is simply to market the goods.

Then upload these pictures of the goods on your online shop. You can do some promotions using well targeted online adverts. These should cost a few shillings. Also circulate the images widely through WhatsApp. Create a catalogue on WhatsApp and auto responder for your business. Also use Whatsapp status, Facebook and Instagram stories to market your goods. Use a separate sim card for your online business. Make sure the sim card is registered to receive mobile money.

When you receive an order negotiate with the shop owner to let you take the item on credit. You can leave something of value as security e.g. your national ID. Alternatively get someone to lend you some cash to kickstart your venture but only buy the products once you have a confirmed order.

Deliver the item to your customer and get paid. Get a network of boda bodas who can deliver for you the goods. Then pay off the shop owner and keep the extra margin for yourself. This will establish trust and they can give you more goods on credit. Be responsive, neat, organised and prompt and listen to your customers.

Grow your brand and reputation and build your hustle into a full blown business. Expand your business and import specific products from China through Expand your inventory by buying things from downtown and putting them in your online shop. 

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