Apr 2017

How to be part of Zambia’s eCommerce journey?

eCommerce is a relatively new but a growing market in Zambia. Some firms have websites, but few are equipped to conduct online transactions.

In seven Sub-Saharan countries, eCommerce makes up one to three percent of GDP, and is predicted to make up 10 percent of total retail sales in key markets by 2025, with 40 percent annual growth over the next 10 years. The total retail economy is projected to grow rapidly, along with the population as a whole and its spending power per capita (for instance, see this KPMG report).

Challenges with eCommerce in Zambia: Trust

There have been many reported cases of online distrust and fraud especially in the recent years. With constant warnings and reminders by even social sites and emails to be cautious when it comes to exchanging personal information such as bank account details.

Some businesses have come up with ways to make their consumers a little more comfortable with their online businesses. Some of these services are purchasing terms such as ‘cash-on-delivery’ or 100% money back guarantees.

TRUST goes both ways in eCommerce, as much as a consumer needs to trust an online trader; the trader needs to trust a consumer. If anything with companies making all these terms and conditions to make consumers feel safe, they too need to make certain precautions to insure that the consumer does not exploit their systems. The sad truth is, the scepticism for online trading goes both ways in Zambia.

About 64 percent of African online users lack confidence in the security of online transactions, 77 percent are worried about online financial fraud and 45 percent of users have suspended online transactions halfway due to security concerns, according to media reports.

I-Rock’s Answers

I-Rock believes in full transparency from both Zambian online traders and consumers. What this implies is Zambian online traders need to create a relationship with consumers to ensure that they can be trusted and more especially consumers can trust them.

We hope to sensitize and raise awareness to Start-ups and SMEs, I-Rock means business and business to us means trust. Our sort of thinking is leading the online trading market to more stability not just in Zambia but in Africa as a whole to ensure that start-ups and SMEs can involve themselves in eCommerce without fault or fear.

Challenges also presents opportunities: If you want to get involved in online trading in Zambia as an entrepreneur, explore the possibilities and ensure your company levels up to the companies already in the online trading business. Join PEPZ and I-Rock and participate in this year’s eCommerce Clinics.

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