If there is one industry that has been significantly transformative globally it is eCommerce. Ecommerce is in principle the practice of buying and selling anything online. The industry has grown in leaps and bounds particularly due to the pandemic. The lockdowns that have been commonplace since the beginning of 2020 have largely led to this. The eCommerce industry offers so many approaches some of which are business to business (B2B), business to customer (B2C), customer to customer (C2C), and customer to business (C2B), amongst others. Those are in essence the 4 core eCommerce models. In this article, I shall be discussing eCommerce business ideas for Zimbabwe.

Ecommerce Or Online Stores

The most important thing is that you must know what sells best online. Of course, some might have already had or have had brick and mortar businesses. They can double up or completely migrate to having an online store. Some of the strategic things to sell in an online store are groceries, farm produce, furniture, electronic gadgets, clothing, jewellery, cosmetic products, kitchenware, and vehicles, just to mention a few. You can use platforms like Facebook and Instagram to start selling your stuff online. A simple WhatsApp Business account can literally serve as your online store especially because of its catalogue feature. Alternatively, you can develop or get a web store developed for you. It does not necessarily have to be complex. It can even be a one-pager or a few pages – the core components are the catalogue and the checkout.

Content Creation And Propagation

Blogging, vlogging, and podcasting are all avenues for eCommerce. You can charge for people to access in form of subscriptions. You can alternatively make access free but make your audience the product by charging for ad placements. Content creation can also be in the form of e-books and online courses. Those two are being slept on in Zimbabwe; so much potential to make money through those. You can even develop a simple but relevant online course that you can teach through WhatsApp. You would have to incorporate the selling of things like merchandise to have a fuller eCommerce experience. So you could develop and sell branded apparel in line with your brand. For example, if you set up a successful YouTube channel you can do that.

All these are examples I am using to trigger your creative thinking because the possibilities are infinite. It is also important to note that content creation can also branch off into things like affiliate marketing. This entails the inclusion of referral links in your content for people to purchase stuff from other brands. Examples of global brands that have affiliate programs are Amazon and Shopify. If someone ends up making a purchase using your referral links you earn a commission on that. So with content creation do not limit yourself; explore and exhaust all possible angles of revenue.

Virtual Assistance Services

This is one business idea that is yet to pick up steam in Zimbabwe. However, moving forward this is going to be a buzzing industry. Being a virtual assistant entails virtually offering administrative services to a wide range of clients. The 3 most common types of clients are company executives, businesses, and entrepreneurs. The areas of focus are so many ranging from consultancy, project management, personal assistance, copywriting, proofreading, appointment scheduling, data entry, to social media management, and so on.

You can set up a website or simply use the common social media platforms we have. The great thing is that you can start, run and sustain then virtual assistance business all online without even meeting clients physically. In Zimbabwe, virtual assistance services are steadily growing in demand. You can even offer such services to Zimbabweans in the diaspora or just about anyone in the world.

Online Marketplaces

I am going to leave this to your creative imagination. I will just paint a picture for you. So, you know we have places like Mbare Musika, the ‘Mupedzanhamo’, places like Magaba, and so on. We literally have places like that in every small town and city. Why not come up with a virtual version of such business joints where people can do business online. You can even choose to niche by say, fresh farm produce. Imagine a place where any farmer in Zimbabwe can connect with prospective clients online. That is the basic idea I am dealing with here; obviously, the possible approaches are countless. Take advantage of how more and more people in Zimbabwe are now regularly active online.

These are some of the best eCommerce business ideas you can try out now. The prevailing circumstances are conducive to the proliferation of eCommerce. This year the eCommerce industry is even projected to reach a historical high in terms of sales. By the end of this year, it is projected that sales realized from eCommerce will reach almost US$5 trillion globally. One important thing to note is that you must leverage the Zimbabweans in the diaspora. That is a huge market which is estimated to number beyond 5 million people. This market is very strategic to establishing your eCommerce business.