What if Amazon comes to Zimbabwe?
Electronic commerce is taking off slowly in Zimbabwe due to a partial increase of internet penetration and installation of high speed broadband which is currently in progress with few users now being able to access high speed 4G/LTE network type as well as the smartphone penetration is rising steadily, this will help to improve e-commerce in the country. Whilst the culture of selling and buying online seem to be increasing with a lot of people mostly relying on Facebook and WhatsApp business platforms.
Amazon is an American electronic commerce and cloud computing company based in USA which was founded by Jeff Bezos on July 5, 1994, the company is a tech behemoth on a path to global domination, according to its latest financial results. The company stated that for Q4 ending on 31 December 2017, net sales increased 38% to $60.5 billion. Operating income also increased 69% to $2.1 billion in the fourth quarter. For the full year 2017, net sales increased 31% to $177.9 billion, while operating income hit $4.1 billion (down 2%).
A large part of Amazon’s commercial success is thanks to its ecommerce operations, with its online store renowned for a massive catalogue of goods and great prices. While Amazon does not ship certain orders to Zimbabwe, many of its products do not ship directly to the country and require a shopper to use a US-based forwarding service.
With Amazon growing its operations globally and South Africa often seen as the gateway to Southern Africa, what happens if Amazon comes to Zimbabwe? According to management consultancy McKinsey, e-commerce is expected to become big business in Africa, with the continent on track to generate yearly e-commerce sales of $75bn by 2025 and companies like Amazon in Africa is able to leverage economies of scale, although it wont be easy for Amazon to break the hurdles in Zimbabwe, but it can be easy if the company find ways to problems around cross-border payments, tariffs and intra-country differences.
Raru director, Neil Smith, told MyBroadband that no one knows if and when Amazon might come to Africa. The e-commerce marketplace is not a platform that has been explored greatly in Zimbabwe and it’s something we have to deal with every single day although the Africa Development Bank reported that Africa’s middle class is rising and they have money to spend. About a third of the continent spends between $4 to $20 a day a group that is expected to grow to 42% by 2060.
There is a serious need for local retail players to invest vigorously in the future like ecommerce, with other foreign companies coming to invest in our country local retailers should be fully aware that its either foreign companies will partner with them or they will out-classed by such companies like amazon, why? A lot of people turn to use their mobile devices more often before doing anything one would check if the product they are looking for is available and its location, and all this is done online, this means building a user-friendly website, offering a widespread of commodities and services, and quality delivery systems which will be timeous based.
The growing of ecommerce will also crop up some revenue on local courier companies where the retailers will need to use their services on almost every delivery so it’s a call for them to invest much in their systems, the use of drones will be very advantageous to them.
This system will also bring benefits to a cashless society especially considering the move from a heavily cash dependent economy to a cashless one.Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.