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Zim startup launches gifts e-commerce site network

MyZimStore.com

MyZimStore.comAs prospects of viable e-commerce business in Zimbabwe increase, startups are launching to meet the opportunities. One such startup, MyZimStore.com, has launched a network of websites to sell gifts and flowers online. The site’s target customers are both internet users in the country and those in the Diaspora.

The network of websites, all centered on the MyZimStore domain, comprises the following websites: myzimflorist.com, myzimgifts.com, myzimwine.com, myzimjewel.com, ourzimwedding.com and myzimleisure.com. According to co-founder Roddy Chakaipa, the idea behind the different addresses for what looks like related products was to create a network of sites that are separate businesses so that they didn’t saturate a single site with too many types of products.

The products sold on the sites are delivered anywhere in the greater Harare area by the next day.

“We didn’t want to deliver just another supermarket solution but something that offers exclusive product and service” said Chakaipa in his communication to us. “We realized this type of service for specialised goods was so lacking in Zimbabwe and also driven by the fact that people in the diaspora are not able to attend many events such as birthdays, funerals, anniversaries, graduations etc, so how best could they show love and support,” he explained their motivation.

So far MyZimStore.com uses the 2checkout payment processing platform as well direct deposits into their local bank account. He said though that they are looking to implement EcoCash as an option for their local customers. The websites themselves use the Magento open source e-commerce platform.

The other founders of the startup are Jo Powell and Karen Bean. The team feels the time is ripe to get into e-commerce as according to Chakaipa, online business in Zimbabwe as the industry “is on the verge of exploding.

MyZimStore.com are not the first to target the Diaspora with an online shopping service that delivers to Zimbabwean addresses. Other e-commerce sites with this model include magrosa.com and zimseller.com . A number of websites were also set up during Zimbabwe’s hyper inflationary era to address basic commodity challenges faced in Zimbabwe at the time. Some have since shut down or scaled down operations.


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6 thoughts on “Zim startup launches gifts e-commerce site network

  1. All the best to the founders..I think there is room to really succeed in this local niche from now on.

  2. Why are they going niche when e-commerce for everyday stuff hasn’t been met yet. As it they have limited their customers to masalad anoita zvema boxed gifts nema ruva. Why not solve ma shopping needs for regular net users as well? books even, gadgets, stationery, equipment etc.. And the many domains thingy just means as a customer i have to click around more and to things and the prospect of having to go through that… zvinopedza simba…

    When I’m on the jewelery domain and I search for wines then what? need to remember to click on the Wines site first… or maybe it does search the whole network so I end of each for wines on a Jewelery site? So unrelated might as well search for books and cars then. ZimStore itself is quite generic so. oh wait.. I have to look at all 6 sites first to know what I can and can’t search… I’d do one domain. One home for everything. A place i go to for my gift shopping and only remember that one address and I’m done.

  3. All the best! Though I wouldnt have taken the bambazonke approach. Dilutes your brand, like TN bank having a grill house.

  4. Reminds me of ZimGroups.com, some years back, it has everything ZimAuto.com, ZimProperties and large billboards across strategic locations in town and full page adverts in the press. All the best. On first glance I thought the article on Maruwa.co.zw, I think the guys are being quite innovative. They are taking a step further, combining online and offline marketing to gain traction and do real business.

  5. Anybody with $80 and a paypal account can set this up. all they have done is set up a magento multistore, using template – http://24x7themes.com/madame/index.php/

    Its almost as bad as the whole “joomla / wordpress template” stage zimbabwe went through a few months back?… sorry, my appologies….. still ongoing!

    can zimbabwe not do any better than this???? – do we not have better developers that this?

    If not, I encourage more people to do the same as Altivex foundry. Spend $80, get a site working with your overseas paypal acc, and start making money… to me.. nothing much to praise about. Cheap & tacky!

    Bambazonke indeed tinman 🙂

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