Before 2020, e-commerce was a dream that was just beyond the horizon in Zimbabwe. Many still preferred to do their shopping in the traditional manner, by going to a physical outlet and collecting whatever it is they wanted to purchase. Now, this isn’t to say that there are those who wanted to shop remotely but the concept was only (to my understanding) popular when it came to fast food deliveries. This natural order has changed over the last year or so. Businesses are now looking to leverage digital channels because customers have been conditioned (to one degree or another) by the pandemic to look for goods and services online. This spring of e-commerce has led to a number of websites that are in the mould of Shopify with a local twist. And there is yet another entry to the e-commerce marketplace by way of Kumba Store.
The folks at Kumba Store are coming out of the gate strong
It’s strange to start off the section with a drawback, however, it is worth mentioning that Kumba is only servicing Harare only. But that is the only blemish I could find because they seem to have everything else checked off. The marketplace, at present, is focusing on cosmetics, skincare, alcohol and personal care products, however, they intend to continually add more categories throughout the year.
There is no sign-on fee but there are a couple of subscription packages the store offers:
- Silver Subscription – US$80/per year
- Gold Subscription – US$150/per year
The packages will cover things like payments integrations for local currency through EcoCash and Bank transfers as well as USD payments through PayPal, Visa and Mastercard. Vendors can still collect cash on delivery if their client so wishes. Kumba Store also has a logistics or fulfilment partner by way of Rocket Delivery and the service charges US$3.00 for locations within the Harare East Area.
Vendors will, like most e-commerce sites, get sales analytics and trends, inventory management, logistics as well as order tracking. Kumba Store is also looking to deepen ties with local business and plans to roll out a loan facility In the not too distant future. For customer and vendor security the team at Kumba Store are using the secure Amazon’s web hosting services.
Here’s hoping that the folks at Kumba will soon be extending their services to other parts of Zimbabwe very soon. You can check out store for yourself with the link here
Check out: The gap yet to be filled in local e-commerce
ZimSwitch’s V-payments was a good innovation for the time but it had too much friction to make it viable back then. Now with e-commerce making strides, local businesses need a seamless innovation that can make it easier for customers to pay online with their ZWL$ cards.