E-commerce platforms have been launching left right and centre over the last couple of years because the pandemic brought about a need for businesses to have an online presence but without the hassle of having to engineer a website from scratch. Over the last couple of years or so we saw a number of websites come to market like Otarkie, Kuda Musasiwa’s Fresh Ideas launched an e-commerce website builder, Mutapa.co, and Kumba Store only to mention a few. Now, there is a new zero-rated player in the market called Kwingy who is looking to, in their own words, “disrupt the online shopping experience in Zimbabwe” which is officially launching tomorrow.
So what is Kwingy offering customers?
Kwingy is looking to muscle into the market with five core pillars which, according to the folks at Kwingy, are “speed, convenience, safety, quality, affordability and customer centrism“. The e-commerce platform is starting out in Harare with services extending as far as Chitungwiza, Ruwa and Umwingsdale.
That’s all fair and fine, however, there are a few boxes that need to be checked. The first is thing is who is on the platform and what are they selling. According to Kwingy they already have 1000 merchants and when I was browsing the website there were categories for electronics and gadgets, fashion and clothing, hardware, cosmetic products, and many others.
The store is still sparsely populated in some categories but that might be because it is still in its relative infancy.
The second is payments, every customer and merchant wants to know how the money will change hands. Well, like most e-commerce platforms Kwingy has most of this covered with Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, mobile money and the option of cash on delivery. The team over at Kwingy say that they also created this platform with the diaspora in mind, as evidenced by the payments options. It looks like they want to get in on funnelling those impressive remittance figures we have been seeing into products and services.
The last thing is logistics, and the question we always ask here is how are things going to move from A to B. The answer to this was
“We are very obsessed with how you will receive your package when you shop with Kwingy, which is why we have ensured the product regardless of size and prize. Every package is delicately and professionally handled. We ensure this by following industry standards which compel us to have primary, secondary and for very fragile packages, we will also use tertiary packaging”Kwingy
Additionally, packages will be trackable and there is a support channel in a customer’s dashboard to lodge any queries if something should go wrong. However, the team a Kwingy say that packages will be checked by at least 4 people before it finally makes it to the customer’s doorstep for quality control.
Furthermore, Kwingy says they built an efficient delivery system that has been built on top of one of the most powerful maps API. Moreover, and most importantly the site is zero-rated or data free to Econet subscribers.
“Our team has built Kwingy with the basic Zimbabwean in mind making sure it is accessible for free to over 10 million people on Econet”Kwingy
You can become a merchant too
For anyone who is looking to become a seller, all you’ll need to do is click on the sell new product and you’ll be able to list your product or service on Kwingy
The dashboard also allows merchants to manage their products/orders as well as their money.
A lot to live up to
Creating an online platform is one thing, but its success is something else entirely. There are a lot of good things going for Kwingy, chiefly the fact that is data-free. This means that you can access it even if you don’t have a data bundle. And this is great because the escalating cost of data has meant that selling online has been reserved for those who can afford a wider data bundle or through WhatsApp.
With that said, it will be really interesting to see how Kwingy will do against the competition. Zero-rating is the company’s biggest cheat code. However, the proof is in the pudding and the service day-to-day has to match the effort put into creating the platform.
To find out more, you can check out Kwingy’s virtual launch tomorrow at 10 AM with the link here.
Kwingy Launch event
You can watch the official launch of Kwingy with the player below or the link here