Silver lining in cash crunch

13 Aug, 2017 - 00:08 0 Views
Silver lining in cash crunch

The Sunday Mail

Ishemunyoro Chingwere
THE exponential increase in the volume and value of plastic and Internet-based transacting is spawning start-ups that are developing value-added services.

Last week, Savemari became the latest to launch an online click and collect system that is designed to tap from the Diaspora community.

The service, which allows for the sale of local goods and services through the web portal, mimicks the models used by China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba and American-based Amazon.

The platform is operating in Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa. New businesses are increasingly leveraging on the internet to avoid costs associated with brick-and mortar establishments.

Savemari CEO Mr Peter Konoro said last week that technology brought borderless markets and unlimited possibilities.

“Most businesses enjoy local popularity, but what about potential customers outside their city or country?”

“Links are key to viral marketing. If you have many online sites linking to you, information about your business readily spreads all around the world,” he said.

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe statistics released on August 2 show that electronic payment systems aggregate values and volumes rose 23 percent and 131 percent respectively during the first six months of 2017 from the same period a year earlier.

Cumulative values stood at US$37 billion, with June alone accounting for US$7,5 billion – up from US$5,5 billion in the same month in 2016.

Mobile payments contributed the most, rising to US$1,1 billion in June 2017. At the launch of the service, National Business Council of Zimbabwe president Mr Robert Zhuwao said marketing was one of the biggest challenges facing local businesses.

“As Zimbabweans, we are one of the most educated peoples in Africa … what is it that we are missing?” asked Mr Zhuwao.

“Why I say so is because the biggest weaknesses for indigenous business is we have poor marketing. We don’t know how to take our product out there, we don’t how to connect with our customers.”

Savemari was designed and patented by Mr Konoro and has so far been launched to corporates. It will be opened up to the general public on September 1.

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