Fresh In A Box have just released a new 3.0 site and web app. On several occasions, I’ve remarked how that e-commerce is still in its infancy locally. I believe e-commerce is one of the most promising industries to embark on in Zimbabwe. I say this because people are steadily warming up to the idea of purchasing things online due to the widespread use of plastic money. Fresh In A Box I obviously is the most serious player in the local e-commerce right now. What they’ve achieved in just a short space of time is remarkable and is indicative of how much potential is locked up in e-commerce. Today I’m discussing some of the new features that Fresh In A Box has added onto its website and more. First off, let’s look at:

A Brief Overview Of Fresh In A Box

Fresh In A Box was started in October 2018 by Kudakwashe Musasiwa and Rufaro Dhliwayo. Delivering fresh vegetables in a box to customers was their basic idea. Their modus operandi was to strike strategic partnerships with farmers so as to always source fresh farm produce quickly at any given time. The way their business grew was astounding because deliveries moved from 10 boxes a day to a limit of 150 boxes a day in just a week. They started off with just fresh farm produce but they’ve diversified into other fast-moving consumer goods. Other product sets that are now included are alcohol and beauty items.

Placing Orders

To make ordering easy they tapped into the widespread use of WhatsApp by setting up a WhatsApp number. Essentially what you do is you send a WhatsApp message to 0774 162 442 and you’re given steps on how to order. Alternatively, you can also order through their website. Let me point out that the minimalistic approach used in designing their website is excellent. You’ll see what I mean when you check it out; it’s quite simple and easy to navigate. They recently pointed out that about 60% of their customers order through WhatsApp. This is a testament to the fact that using WhatsApp as an ordering platform was a well-thought-out strategy. If you go on the website you’ll notice that locals can order whilst diasporans can also order for their loved ones back here. The payment options for locals and diasporans are flexible enough for the respective customers in question. For instance, they accept Ecocash payments for orders placed by locals.

Voice Search

They recently added the voice search feature to their website. This feature is currently for those using Android phones but shall be extended to the iOS devices too. With this feature, you can use your voice to search for products on their virtual platform. With the new feature, you just press the microphone icon and then you say the name of the product you’re looking for. The web app will then return search results corresponding to your search criteria. This feature is definitely timely and brings convenience to the customers. Fresh In A Box has been expanding and so has their product range meaning it’s now hectic to manually search for products on their platform. The voice search feature makes the whole process simple, quick and easy.

Barcode And QR Scanning

Here’s how it works, you simply go to their website where you’ll see a QR code icon. By clicking on it you’ll be given 2 options i.e. to scan a barcode or to scan a QR code. You’re probably wondering where you can use this feature right? Well, what happens is that Fresh In A Box has product catalogues either online or physically in the form of fliers, posters and the like. So those catalogues will be having either barcodes or QR codes which you then can scan to get product details such as prices. Once you’ve decided to buy a respective product you can add it to your cart for ultimate purchase. The possibilities this feature brings about are limitless and exciting. For instance, they can literally sell their products from anywhere without having to display products (which in their case are mostly perishable products).

Another Development

Fresh In A Box recently moved from their relatively small warehouse to a new location. They’ve moved to a farm in Glen Forest which they’re in the process of rehabilitating. They’ve dubbed it the Fresh Farm. Some of the work they have to do there is to convert 3 boreholes to being solar powered. There are at least 7 green houses that need to be repaired. They now have a much bigger packing house but it requires thorough cleaning. There are cold rooms that requiring fixing and repainting also. Fresh Farm is looking to become an advanced, innovative and best practice farm in Zimbabwe. Once up and running this move is going to scale up their operations astronomically because they’ll be producing the crops themselves.

The Fresh In A Box story is so inspiring that we ought to take a cue from it. Kuda Musasiwa remarks that in October 2018 they were all unemployed but look at where they’re now. The business has epitomized how it is possible to sow in a time of famine and reaping big. It doesn’t matter the economy is ailing; if you think critically you can come up with huge business ideas.