We stumbled upon an interesting ad that has led us to believe popular retail chain OK ZImbabwe could be planning to launch an E-commerce platform.
What ad is this?
They listed an ad looking for a Digital Media and E-Commerce marketing Officer. To us, looking for an E-commerce marketing officer only makes sense if you’re actually trying to establish an E-Commerce platform. We reached out to OK for a comment on whether they will actually be entering the E-Commerce field anytime soon but they were not available. If they do respond however we will update readers as to what their position is.
Could OK Mart become the Zim version of Game?
It will be interesting to see if OK’s E-Commerce platform will be similar to South African mega-stores Game. Nowadays people living in South Africa can actually buy products from the store but back in the day there was no option to buy.
Basically, the platform was only a price-listing platform that enabled customers to see prices for various products before going to but said products physically in-store. Of course, the factors that will ascertain which type of platform OK will be is influenced by many other factors including how and if they can actually implement a delivery system among other logistics.
Competition in the e-commerce arena?
Right now if OK is to move into the world of e-commerce their main competition will be the somewhat underwhelming Hammer and Tongues online platform. At the time Hammer and Tongues launched their online retail store we were very much excited but they are yet to get the traction one would expect by now.
Maybe OK will have a more pleasant time in this arena due to the fact that they are a more recognisable brand in terms of retail (or conventional ‘shops’) whereas Hammer and Tongues are primarily associated with auctions but it does seem the general eagerness to shop online is still quite low.
Will people actually adopt online buying
Last year, we wrote an article trying to better understand what would convince more people to adopt e-commerce. Back in 2016, another E-commerce startup ZIMALL kicked the bucket as well after failing to gain traction. The issue of trust also comes down to online buyers being afraid to give their money to a company or individual they will then fail to hold accountable. For OK, I also don’t think this will be able a major problem because they have an established brand thus buyers will not feel like they are experimenting.
What are your thoughts on the state of E-commerce in Zimbabwe? What will act as the catalyst to set this industry ablaze? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
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