Remember EcoShopper, the first attempt at online retailing that local mobile operator Econet made in the first quarter of this year?
Well, it looks like this move into e-commerce is being followed up with something else.
We have received information from an inside source to confirm what has long been said to be in the cooking at Econet – a classifieds platform called tengai.co.zw. The website isn’t up yet, but a look at some of the artwork related to it seems to show what we can expect from it.
Posting an advert on the platform will be free, along with free browsing for Econet broadband subscribers.
This becomes the latest move by Econet to double down on broadband-related services in an increasingly competitive telecoms market.
The field of e-commerce, though taken a shot at by a handful of startups locally is yet to be cracked wide open. Ironically, the biggest online success locally has been with another classifieds platform, the Webdev owned classifieds.co.zw. Perhaps Econet has noticed the potential in that segment of e-commerce and wants to make its own mark?
The name Tengai, which means “buy” in Shona, closely resembles 10ngah, the name of another Zimbabwean online retail platform. This new Econet platform will likely cannibalise the little brand equity 10ngah has built unless the two are working together.