When it comes to eCommerce there are many options to consider. Two of the most common focuses are online stores and online listings (or directories). In Zimbabwe, there have been several online stores popping up in the past 3 or so years. There have also been a considerable number of online listings or directories coming up as well. Both spaces still have lots of room for more players to step in. This is all relevant to building Zimbabwe’s digital economy and its place in the global digital economy. Today I am talking about one of those online listings or directories you should know – Hararelife.
Who Is Hararelife?
Hararelife was founded by Ellison Mukono, a young Zimbabwean, currently based in Shanghai, China. He graduated from a business school in Shanghai. Hararelife is a listing website that shows you where you can go eat, and party, and keeps you up to date on upcoming events in the city as well as places you can stay – from hotels, inns, motels, lodges and homestays, amongst others. The website also works as a city guide in Harare.
What Hararelife Offers
The website also enables people to leave reviews on services they have used before, hence making it easier for other people to decide on what to try or know what to expect. Haraelife.com also features an online store which can enable people to buy things for people in Harare from abroad or local using PayPal only [for now]. They hope to integrate local payment systems [e.g. EcoCash, One Money and TeleCash] by the end of the year 2022. Their main objective is to bring the city to their customers’ fingertips, both locals and tourists. They hope to make it easier to find what you are looking for and bring customers a handful of options.
When And How did Hararelife Start?
They started working on the website back in October 2021 and officially launched the site on April 11th, 2022. Hararelife was started as a result of the founder’s (Ellison Mukono) personal experience. For example, the inconvenience of asking friends where to go for dates, shopping or where to find a place to rent, and so on. It was just daunting for him. He did not know many places around the city and would not get enough details and descriptions about a place that would make it easy to narrow down his options. Facebook was another cheap option, but most of the groups meant to give you information would end up being spammed by messages or ads of people selling other things that had nothing to do with what he would be looking for.
Hararelife’s Reach And Target Market
They have a broad target market. They are here to serve locals who do not know where to get different services in the city. Plus those people who are visiting Harare and do not know where to go shopping or where to stay or eat out during their stay in Harare. They hope to help everyone looking for anything at all or something specific in Harare, to get information the quickest way possible. Additionally, they seek to avail detailed information with reviews from local users or guest users.
The Team Behind The Hararelife Brand
They have a dynamic team of 5 people at the moment and they divide the tasks from uploading information, designing fliers, marketing campaigns, website maintenance, and searching for new listings and ongoing events in Harare. You can know more about the team on the About Us page on their website.
Current Challenges They Are Facing
The challenges they have been and are still facing are people stuck in their old ways. That goes to businesses too. Some companies have turned down their offer to list their businesses on their website even when they told them they would do it for free for a while. Other people are used to finding information via social media platforms like Facebook and maybe Instagram.
Another major setback is the fact that data is very expensive in Zimbabwe. It hinders other people from using the site, as they will be concerned about the data usage. We hope to have an individual Hararelife Data Package shortly when we start getting as much traffic daily.
Openness To Business Or Investment Partnerships?
They will surely be open to investment partnerships shortly. However, they always welcome strategic partnerships which they have been able to accomplish with some big names in Zimbabwe.
The best way you can help push Hararelife forward is to share the news on social media and use the application and get the name out there. People can also help by giving them feedback on what they can add or improve on the site. Leaving reviews on the listed businesses also goes a long way in terms of helping build the brand. Kindly get the word out there. Your support keeps the business and dream alive. Search – Find – Go. It is a rare life! You can check out the website here. You can engage them on Facebook and Instagram. Alternatively, you can email email@example.com or WhatsApp at +86 130 7214 2245.
This is a brilliant concept. To cast the net wide, Ellison should have made it ” Zimbabwe life” within which he can have segments of urban centres, e.g. Harare, Bulwayo, Mutare, Gweru, Kwekwe. You will be surprised with the better offtake outcome outside Harare . Harare is battling to cope with numerous tech introductions. Cast your net wider across the country, you will get break even numbers much earlier than you expect.
Dont give up. Open a twitter account and hold spaces there, it will help.