The Strawberry Store

A whole lot of people dismiss Kenyan online business as being ahead of their time. Some people even go as far as claiming online entrepreneurs in Kenya as being misguided, or even plain silly. The usual explanation is that Kenya is still very new and untested as far as the internet goes…etc etc. But who will do the ‘testing’ if no one dares to try? The good news is that more and more Kenyan online businesses are being launched. When are you launching yours?

Today, we’re going to take a look at the Strawberry Store, a Kenyan online business that specialises in importing and selling home, office and institutional furnishings and accessories. One of the co-founders, Naomi Konditi-Kivuvani, has been interviewed over at Tujuane – click here to go and read the interview which talks about the Strawberry store at length.

What I found interesting was that the store exists purely online. There is no physical showroom or shop. While I have doubts on how well this approach works in Kenya, it is a commendable and brave move. For one thing, the expenses of the store are very much reduced and the only overheads are those of hosting and maintaing the website – which are usually very minimal.

When you buy items from the Strawberry store, you either collect them at their pick-up center near Adam’s Arcade, or you can have them delivered to you starting at Kshs 200/-. Again, this is a commendable approach. However, I’d think that several strategically located pick-up centers would work better.

So, how does the Strawberry store get it’s clients? Naomi mentions that they rely on email marketing and facebook advertising. Both of these are powerful ways of getting people to notice you, especially here in Kenya. However, I wonder how well the facebook campaign is doing. To me, facebook – at least in Kenya – wouldn’t be a suitable advertising medium for most products/services. Why? Well, the majority of people who use facebook in Kenya are teenagers and other youth. Unless you’re selling something that this group can afford and would want to buy, getting their attention is not worth much.

One thing that I would wholeheartedly recommend for the Strawberry straw is a blog. The absence of a blog was something that struck me within a few minutes of browsing the site. As far as internet marketing goes, a blog is almost always something like your mothership.

All in all, I love the work that Naomi and her team are doing. I recommend that you check out the site (and make a purchase).

Parting shot:

“Running a web-store may look easy, but it’s really harder than running an ordinary physical store. This is because there’s nobody just ‘passing by’ to come into the store, you have to make people be aware of the store using creative methods. ” – Naomi Konditi-Kivuvani.

Photo by Muffet.

Additional Resources


  1. I had already read the interview before this post, it is so encouraging to see kenyan entrepreneurs venturing in ‘untested’ territories in business. But i agree that strawberry store still can do much to get known. I’m not impressed by the general outlook of their website. I’ve seen other kenyan owned online businesses like, they are way better with innovative services too. But its all good. And no, its not easy.

    • Hmm, I got the same impression – I’d do so much differently if I was in charge of the Strawberry store. But, I’m not and they’re doing pretty well without me 😛 so I have to assume they know what they are doing.

      Hope they read this…..

  2. I just read somewhere about this kenyan social network,, that pays you to join and also each time a friend of yours joins. I haven’t checked it out yet. Could you kindly check it out and maybe write about it?

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