Online shopping and small businesses

Mobile devices allow consumers to conduct their transactions online. There are many online payment options and there is the option for payment on delivery.

INTERNET access has increased opportunities for many individuals and households to enjoy the benefits of the worldwide web. The Zimbabwean population is one of the most literate on the continent of Africa. Almost every Zimbabwean is a proud owner of a smart phone.

Mobile devices allow consumers to conduct their transactions online. There are many online payment options and there is the option for payment on delivery.

Affordable prices allow many shops to have E-commerce websites. E-commerce is accessible to all industries from transport, retail, to fast food, among many others.

Orders placed online are promptly responded to via WhatsApp integration. Most questions that customers have may be answered on WhatsApp. The advantage of WhatsApp is one of the widely used communication platforms in Zimbabwe. Online shopping through WhatsApp is a model that works for most small businesses. E-commerce creates digital stores helping businesses to display all their products.

Sales online allow less physical presence in brick and mortar, which reduces operational costs by a marginal percentage. The goal of every business is to reduce costs and increase profits.

The size of Zimbabwe’s digital market guarantees a substantial amount of profit is made annually by every business with a marketable model. The online model is important to include for your business to remain profitable.

To run an E-commerce website is cheap in the long run. It is only costly to set up from web designing charges that vary. Once a site map or structure is drafted, it becomes easier to estimate the resources needed to manage a website for a small business usually taking less than 24 Hours to publish.

Running an online business requires two most important things, which are: domain registration and a web-hosting package.

Domain is the name and web address of the business. Hosting is the rental for occupying the digital space with the online store.

Small businesses and the informal sector that do not have offices may thrive digitally. The main goal is to supply customer needs and wants via an efficient and effective internet. There is value for money in E-commerce as fixed costs are low.

The extra cost to online shopping is distribution as delivery is considered expensive. Customers, who buy online, have the option to collect their shopping. Our market research reveals Zimbabwe has a large buying and selling sector, which is ready to be catered for online.

A look outside shows the success of online models like of, and, among others. Locally, and are described as among the top advertising websites for online and physical businesses. promotes all Zimbabwean shops with customer ratings and reviews. showcases businesses and success stories. exhibits suppliers and goods available in the market. There are endless possibilities for businesses that are online. Brands are built online.

Resellers that supply cars and other high value products stand to benefit from online sales.

A car sale in Harare can reach people in Mutare, Masvingo and Victoria Falls remotely. Those, who are growing in business, can adopt a drop shipping model, by only looking for customers and outsourcing the inventory.

Drop shipping has been on the rise internationally where you can be a middleman for products that you are able to sell.

Drop shipping only requires know-how. The success stories of E-commerce and online business are Jack Ma of Alibaba and Jeff Bezos of Amazon.

Chikwenhere is the author of Affirmative 21 Laws How to Confess. He is a brand strategist, image consultant and founder of Zimbabwe Brand Association. — [email protected] or visit, and

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