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Rainbow Tourism CEO says multiple factors encouraging eCommerce adoption locally

In their most recent financial reports, Rainbow Tourism Group CEO Tendai Madziwanyika positioned Gateway Stream as a big part of the company’s future. In the same report, RTGs CEO also spoke about local eCommerce and how the company views the field.

Mr Madziwanyika noted that eCommerce is booming right now, writing;

Zimbabwe has a combination of factors that are creating an enabling environment for e-commerce to take off. These include a financially active and engaged diaspora market as well as a high internet penetration rate domestically.

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The diaspora factor

Madziwanyika’s words tally with the latest remittance figures. For the first half of the year, remittances coming into the country were up 33% to US$466 million. Increased remittances and lockdowns have forced Zimbos to start shopping online. It’s not much of a surprise that there has been more activity on that front.

Kuda Musasiwa of Fresh in a Box (FIAB) and Joey’s Pizza confirmed that a significant portion of their sales come from diasporans. In April, 90% of FIABs orders were from diaspora customers. Though that number has dropped to 40%, it is still nearly half the orders.

For Joey’s Pizza, the split between local and diaspora orders was around 70:30. This again indicates that diaspora activity is pretty crucial to local eCommerce.

Locally, what’s going on

RTGs CEO attributed a high internet penetration rate to domestic eCommerce activity. Researchers place the number of Zimbos on the internet just below 5 million – nearly 1 in every 3 people. It’s not clear how many can actually afford to shop online from this number. Ultimately though, the lockdowns from March forced many who could afford to buy online.

The lockdowns forced consumers to go the eCommerce way. Trust issues dogging eCommerce are being solved the longer consumers have no alternative option. Many potential buyers simply didn’t trust that goods would be delivered. Post-Coronavirus, shops open for fewer hours and people avoid crowds… This forces consumers to take the risk and try buying online.


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