My last insert on e-commerce boom in China sparked lots of interest and debates, especially from guys on the TechnoMAG TECH TALK Whatsapp group with very exciting and interesting responses from Zimbabwean techies.
While I blatantly headlined : Why e-commerce wont work in Zimbabwe, I still have no regrets of such and still stand firm on my opinion. I also maintain that unless we renew our mindset, the status wont change until we put away our medieval ways of e-trading.
The opportunities are real, and they are not confined to any geographical limitation. China was one of world’s poorest countries back then but has today overtaken other economic powerhouses like the USA. It is through implementing sound economic and political policies over a time that transformed China to a leading global economy.
Forbes magazine quoted:
Though relatively new to online shopping, Chinese consumers already make up for almost half of global online retail sales, and are only growing in numbers. Online retail sales amounted to $581.61 billion in 2015, surging 33.3% from the previous year. The volume of online sales in China now exceeds that in the US, and online sales are expected to grow 20% annually by 2020. Furthermore, online shoppers represent the vanguard of China’s growth story, since they tend to be young, urban, and highly educated. They have a different attitude toward shopping than older generations, which were shaped as savers by more challenging political and economic circumstances. Younger shoppers are more willing to spend.
Just before we delve deep into how they managed to come out of the woods, here are some interesting take-outs from contributors from our TechnoMag Whatsapp group
Macmillan Posted: Fascinating! Don’t you think the reason why e-commerce in Zimbabwe ‘looks like’ it doesn’t work is about the cost of acquiring the wares? Since our industry is paralyzed, we import 1st then sell. Already the products are bound to be sold at a premium price.
Another participant weighed in : yes…Our industry is no longer on a comma, its dead.
Smartgo Founder had an interesting take : I think capitalising more in selling services than products makes sense in our economy for now, Lets take for example , Mkambo for agriculture produce it could be our own like Alibaba specializing on agriculture produce only
This is a massive point to take home. If we cant have proper prizes or affordable wares, at least we can work on buying and selling services online, that really saves time.
Macmillan also spoke about the plastic money charges in Zim, this is by far the biggest inhibiting factor. We should be encouraging e-commerce in Zimbabwe but our systems are actually discouraging plastic money due to overcharging.
Moc: Also with current huge internet charges mmmm can’t imagine me and my friends kugeto kuMbare doing shopping online. Then u expect to see someone cycling bringing my groceries kuMatererini kumaflats.
Mr Magaisa had another eye opener: investing in infrastructures like postal system, broadband, and transportation networks.
This we need and cant do without if we are serious about developing our e-commerce system.