A group of university students studying at NUST have come up with Yonkeyonke– an eCommerce store that aims to make fellow student’s grocery shopping much easier than it’s been before.
Speaking to one of the leads working on this idea -Takudzwa Machingura- it becomes clear what problem they were trying to solve. With no shops nearby, it costs students around $2 to go to town and then the cost of groceries which you then have to drag back with you, which is not the most convenient process if you know what the Zim transport system is like. If you’re a student it will probably sound enticing if you could get someone to cover this side of the shopping process and then deliver the groceries for you.
The team working on Yonkeyonke felt that making an online store was also appropriate because their target market (i.e the students) have access to Wi-Fi. Internet access is usually an issue to take into consideration when making internet-based services in our lovely country and having your most if not all of the customer base have access to it is a pain this team won’t have to contend with.
Browsing through the online store, there seems to be a number of vitals that students would want with everything from food items, to toiletries and stationery. The fact that this was made by students will also probably mean that they know what’s popular with their fellow collegiates. Yonkeyonke delivers to all students, with more perishable products being delivered on the day they are ordered. Less perishable products are delivered a day after being ordered.
What about pricing? I don’t think there’s a more price-sensitive consumer base compared to university students and thankfully, the price structure being adopted by Yonkeyonke seems reasonable (to me at least). For deliveries on orders less than $15 delivers deliveries are free and then on deliveries above that mark, whoever is ordering has to pay a mere $1. That sounds like a fair deal to me. If you’re wondering how the team working on Yonkeyonke then makes a profit on these orders well here’s how Takudzwa explained their business model to me when I asked how they make profits whilst charging next to nothing on deliveries:
As for the deliveries, we made sure our profit margins cover those expenses since we are buying at wholesale price and selling at retail price and of course we felt we had to compromise a little bit to boost the customer base.
Yonkeyonke sounds like a very cool project and hopefully, these students keep collaborating and solving problems. Isn’t that how that Facebook company came to being?