As the internet penetration in Zimbabwe continues to increase, the viability of eCommerce is becoming a reality and entrepreneurs are coming into the space. One startup, arguably the only one that has made a deliberate move into the space, investing in a lot of offline marketing service, called 10ngah.com, launched recently. 10ngah (pronounced ten-ngah – which means ‘buy in the Shona vernacular) launched in July this year joining a space only a few have ventured into.
The eCommerce startup has started with a wide range of products that includes consumer gadgets, fashion, beauty products and even furniture. Payment for the products can be made via Vpayments, bank transfer and Cash on Delivery amoung other more international credit card options. An update on their Facebook page though confirms that “Cash it still KING in Zimbabwe” an indication their customers are preferring this method more than the electronic means.
Something 10ngah has done remarkably different from other online based startups in Zimbabwe is the investment in offline marketing for the service. The company has sponsored fashion shows, exhibited at one of Zimbabwe’s largest trade shows (the Harare Agricultural Show – no its not just about agric stuff), and physically distributed flyers to pedestrians and motorists in the country. Online, the startup has also run campaigns on Facebook, an effort that has seen them get an audience of close to 12,000 followers in a relatively short time.
10ngah is also employing theme based campaigns on the website like “Back to school”, and “Smartphone Wars” a sign they are paying more than just casual attention to the events and trends in the market.
According to the startup’s website, they currently deliver to locations in the biggest 4 cities in Zimbabwe – Harare, Bulawayo, Mutare and Gweru – with more cities to be introduced soon. We’re not sure yet how the startup is dealing with the issue of logistics but we will be finding out.
In terms of technology the website used the PrestaShop, one of the most used open source eCommerce platforms globally.
Have you used 10ngah.com? What’s been your impression/experience so far?