WhatsApp is the most preferred sales and marketing channel for small and medium-sized businesses a report has concluded.
The survey by SME Consultancy firm Viffa Consult states that the messaging platform has proven effective in business growth.
Assessing the utility of e-commerce among small businesses in Kenya, the report also featured other third-party platforms including Instagram, Facebook, and Jumia as well as walk-in customers as top acquisition channels for consumers.
Social media apps ranked as the second most popular sales and marketing channel after referrals. The Kenya SME Go-To Market 2021 Report also concluded that businesses on WhatsApp and Facebook often sell through open and closed groups.
Government-backed trade fairs, private sector lobbies, walk-in customers, and third-party websites were also featured in the survey. Individuals account for 59pc of SMEs’ customers, with private companies and the government each accounting for 12pc of the small businesses customers.
However, despite the increasing influence and use of e-commerce channels for buying and selling, the lack of cost-effective delivery, the lack of finance, and the lack of fit with target customers were identified as key barriers to adoption.
Other barriers identified include a lack of technical skills and IT knowledge, as well as the inability to weigh the costs and benefits of implementing e-commerce.