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Zimbabwe’s eCommerce Indicators: 9.5% Of Zimbabweans Make Online Purchases


Whilst going through We are Social’s 2019 state of Zimbabwean Digital report. One of the more intriguing sections of Zimbabwe they looked at was the eCommerce indicators assessing how prepared our country is for eCommerce.

So here are some of the indicators We Are Social and Hootsuites highlighted:

The data being used is from the World Bank Global Financial Inclusion Data set from this January, so it’s pretty recent. Whilst most of the data is pretty accurate as well my gripe with the data presented is that it doesn’t necessarily take into account some Zimbabwean realities.

That’s not to say the data is incorrect or that it doesn’t have any value. It does and to expect We Are Social to rank every country unique to its context would also be unfair.

One of the contentious points is the number of people using credit cards. A mere 1.3% of the Zim population use credit cards. That may be true but it’s not necessarily a bad thing as most people actually use debit cards in our financial system. In fact the NPS 4th quarter report states that there over 4.7 million debit cards in the country right now. That’s not an insignificant number by any means.

Are people actually buying online?

More interesting is the fact that 9.5% of the Zimbabwean population is making purchases or paying their bills online. That’s a small number of the population but it is quite significant.

…And who’s buying more online, men or women?

According to the data presented by We Are Social, more men are buying online than women. The gap is actually larger than one would assume with 13% of men making online purchases and only 6.4% of women making purchases. This isn’t the first time such a claim has been made, and according to Hammer & Tongue’s statistics, more men are shopping online.

Considerations to make

I’m not sure if the stats presented by We Are Social take into account the difference in channels when buying online as some people are buying online through platforms such as WhatsApp and Facebook which are not necessarily the same as the more popular eCommerce giants like Amazon.

Once you take into account the fact that the internet penetration rate is constantly growing each year, it’s fair to assume that from here eCommerce can only grow and there’s also a huge opportunity for players in this field.

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One thought on “Zimbabwe’s eCommerce Indicators: 9.5% Of Zimbabweans Make Online Purchases

  1. 4.7 million is not an impressive number by any means? From a population of 17 million plus, if we remove those that are below 15 years of age, 4.7 million is a big percentage for debit card holders. Even if some people may have more than one card.

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