By Edward Mukaro
SMALL and Medium Enterprises operating in the country are set to catapult their business units globally, through ZimTrade’s newly launched, Shop@Zim, an online platform that will enhance engagements of local companies with international buyers, as well as improve visibility of locally produced products and services.
The COVID- 19 pandemic has affected most businesses that are mainly into export, as most players in the sector have in the past under-utilized online platforms, but can no longer afford to do so, as the pandemic has strongly limited physical engagement between buyers and exporters, at a global scale.
ZimTrade said, “This is one of the technology-centred solutions developed by ZimTrade for local exporters that will expand the visibility of local exporters, particularly small businesses in international markets.
“The goal of the store is to be the one-stop-shop for authentic Zimbabwean products obtained at the source.”
For local companies, ZimTrade says, the platform will create more streams of generating foreign currency and harness the benefits of the digital economy for corporate level and national level economic growth.
Shop@Zim is expected to provide local companies with a medium to reach out to export markets without being limited by border closures and travel bans.
“Currently, the platform has been designed to facilitate business to business engagements between local exporters and international buyers.
“Plans are to expend the platform so that it accommodates purchase of commodities, including product units, by the end-users.
Undoubtedly, global markets are fast moving towards online transactions and the current environment has created more opportunities for businesses with online business solutions.
According to JUMIA, the outbreak of COVID- 19 brought to the fore the indispensable role of e-commerce as consumers across Africa relied on its delivery system to access essential products. There was never a time in the history of Africa – until now – that e-commerce has become extremely relevant to the everyday lives of Africans.
With forecast that e-commerce sales will reach 17.5 percent of retail sales worldwide by 2021 and the evolving new normal, analysts believe that the potential of e-commerce platforms like Jumia, serving as the powerhouse of the logistics value chain and the Fintech revolution.
By Edward Mukaro