We have entered an interesting time for eCommerce in Zimbabwe. One could argue that the coronavirus and subsequent lockdowns have spurred the developments we have seen in the Zimbabwean eCommerce space. While it is certain lockdown has brought our attention to some of these businesses you also cannot help but get the feeling that when the conditions are set for something to happen it will happen. Pachikafu.com is one business that certainly gives me this feeling.
Pachikafu.com is a food-related eCommerce aggregator. They have a genuinely interesting approach to eCommerce. With Pachikafu the idea is simple, they provide a platform that facilitates the meeting of buyers and sellers of food items. You can find people selling ready-made food, confectionery, meat, fruit. Vegetables, herbs, spices and so much more. All of this in one place. What makes Pachikafu’s approach stand out is that you can search for food items on a location basis so you will not be subjected to the pain of finding the perfect item only to learn it is on the other side of the country. Not that that is a problem as sellers can provide delivery for items.
The ordering process is really simple as well. All you have to do is add your desired item to the cart and process your order nominating whether you want to pick it up from the supplier or prefer to have it delivered to you if this is available. In the ordering process, you can also nominate the date and time of delivery or pick up. Once all is confirmed your order is sent to the provider of the items and they will confirm the order.
What if I can’t find what I’m looking for?
Pachikafu has an ace up its sleeve and its how they treat customers who cannot find what they are looking for. In essence, Pachikafu is a listing website; providers of food items create listings telling customers what they have. Pachikafu provides customers with what we can call a reverse listing which allows customers to create a listing for what they are looking for that they cannot find. That is thinking outside of the box.
Knowing what’s important
Time and time again we’ve seen that aggregators enjoy the best of internet activity and business in Zimbabwe and there’s nothing to suggest this will change anytime soon. Pachikafu’s approach adds some much needed “out of the box” thinking while also considering the importance of geography. Zimbabwe is still very much a partial eCommerce country where people are likely to start a transaction online and complete it offline. Many businesses have tried to fight this to their detriment, Pachikafu rides with this to allow customers the choice to complete the transaction online or offline.
Taking Zimbabwe as it is, not what we want it to be
Another thing Pachikafu has done well, to their credit, is to identify the state of the Zimbabwean landscape. Zimbabwe has many micro-producers and sellers. These people were affected by lockdown more than most especially in being unable to travel. Pachikafu’s solution gives sellers and producers a much-needed platform that takes care of a big part of the selling. The cost of establishing your own eCommerce infrastructure is prohibitive in any country, in Zimbabwe it is an absolute nightmare. And that’s just setting it up. Keeping it working presents a battle of its own. Pachikafu provides the necessary infrastructure while producers and sellers stick to their core business.
You should go and have a look at Pachikafu’s smooth responsive website. You can also find them on Facebook as well. The same website can be used to create a store for your products if you would like to join as a seller.