We all remember EcoShopper, Econet’s online shopping platform with a glossy website that sells grocery bouquets for pickup at designated spots. It’s launch displayed interest in e-commerce from a large entity and got most people speculating on how e-commerce would be embraced by network operators.
Like everyone else who’s gone on the platform, one thing that screams out is how it only sells groceries and then requires you to collect them, something that saps the convenience out of e-tailing. It’s an omission that would have been pardoned if we were all new to the concept of e-commerce and online purchases.
In turns out that the online space is pretty much crowded, even though at times it’s with startups that make a lot of noise at launch then suddenly disappear. Nevertheless, there are some players out there that have remain viable and are solving a lot of problems through e-commerce and making some money off it. If you didn’t know that there online shops running, here are 12 platforms you want to check out.
This is an online shop that sells wares and goods via VISA, MasterCard, Zimswitch, EcoCash, TeleCash and Cash-On-Delivery. They have dropped the open to merchant mantra and actually gone after the merchants themselves displaying their products online. Kudos! Delivery is within 48 hours at discretionary rates.
It’s a Zimbabwean supermarket group that has 6 shops Nationwide. The Food World online store sells everything you would normally find in a supermarket. It accepts VISA, MasterCard, EcoCash, TeleCash and Vpayments. They will charge you a flat fee of $10 for deliveries. I like this delivery charge clarity with Food World which is missing from some sites.
This is another retail platform, with a name derived from and loosely meaning groceries. One flaw with the Magrosa presentation is the hidden checkout. For me, that’s the key I don’t have to figure out at all. Don’t rely on the half a centimetre logo to think the general person wil find it and know what it means. Magrosa accepts MasterCard, VISA, American Express, Discover and Paypal in international cards and bank transfer via CABS.
is an online marketplace that allows sellers and buyers to converge. It offers a somewhat different approach where it allows you to negotiate with the seller by making an offer below the indicative price. Another peculiarity is the selling timeline. After a certain period, a product is removed from the website. I don’t know whether it is the reason there are only a few products on the site. They accept bank deposit and Ecocash.
It’s another convergence platform for selling and buying online via VISA, MasterCard, Zimswitch, Ecocash and Telecash. It has a wider variety of products and better presentation. It caters well and draws more traffic from the diaspora than locally. They offer free delivery within a certain proximity and rated charges thereof.
What’s in the Diaspora?
MyZimStore is a payments domain that acts as a payments platform for the numerous subdomains divided
It’s a payments domain that acts as a payments platform for the numerous subdomains divided in to categories such as Florist, Gifts, Winery, Jewellery, Wedding and Leisure. The shop accepts MasterCard, VISA, American Express, Discover and Paypal. Obviously by the payment methods indicated, they are catering for the diaspora, but with local delivery for free in Harare and $10 per every kg outside the capital.
Zimbogini is an online supermarket that sales everything from farm produce to groceries via international cards like MasterCard, VISA, American Express, Discover and Paypal and locally, Ecocash. Delivery is within Harare only for now, with plans for Bulawayo in the short term.
It’s an online prepaid voucher platform. They sell airtime for TelOne ADSL, Africom, Powertel, uMAX, Econet Buddie, OpenAccess Wifi, MAXspot, Chillispot Wifi, Telecel Go, NetOne Easycall ZOL Phone, TelOne WIFI.
This is an online platform that simply sells recharge vouchers. Their website indicates that they sell ZESA Prepaid and Africom airtime. I am not sure whether they will be adding more merchants or this is it.
Online marketing with Offline payments
This is Webdev’s online version of the normal newspaper classifieds. It allows users to setup a quick shop front and add products and services for free. Interested buyers can contact the seller directly from the given details.
It’s an online platform that allows registered property agents to sell on the website. The money aspect is not available online. Shoppers will get a reference number on a selected item and opt to be called by the respective agent for further business.
It’s another real estate platform that offers buyers the opportunity to see and choose properties online. The one difference from Property 24 I observed is that when interested in a property, the real estate agents do not call you but you call them from their details provided online.
This is not a definitive list, there are a lot of e-commerce startups out to disrupt the market that I probably missed. Are there any other great platforms that you can think of?