I have noticed several times how Zimbabweans in South Africa yearn for Zimbabwean products. After visiting this site; on their way back they try to buy as many Zimbabwean products as possible. This is usually because those products are not readily available in South Africa. Having to wait to come to Zimbabwe or for someone to come from Zimbabwe is surely not sustainable. I am glad to let you know, if you did not already, that there is now a solution to that predicament. This is an eCommerce platform or online shop called ZimboShop. In this article, I share a chat I recently had with ZimboShop.
WHO IS ZIMBOSHOP?
ZimboShop was founded in 2018 as a simple eCommerce platform that is now fast evolving into an aggregated one-stop shop for all Zimbabwean related goods and services while in South Africa. Our goal and objective are to provide our target market with a well-curated vibe of Zimbabwean foods and services that gives you a feel and bridge into Zimbabwe as close to you as possible. We aim to use the best cost-effective and convenient home from home feeling to bring a truly personal and homely customer-centred experience that creates a lasting relationship.
WHEN & HOW DID ZIMBOSHOP START?
The original idea was simple and was to incorporate ZimboShop as a Zimbabwean foods and services eCommerce site. As part of our initial traction model, we went for a Mobile unit which we affectionately call The Caravan. The eCommerce and mobile unit gave a great product-market fit but also a great platform to fully understand our target market pain points and real needs. That started the journey and identity of a highly agile ZimboShop.
WHAT IS YOUR LONG TERM VISION?
Connecting and offering a variety of Zimbabwean goods and services through unparalleled use of technology and convenience.
WHAT KIND OF SERVICES DO YOU OFFER?
Our services and upcoming new offerings can be succinctly summarized in below growth pillars:
FOODS – We offer the best-curated favourite Zimbabwe foods brands that we all love and miss when away from home. Recently we opened our flagship The Plug in Edenvale Johannesburg and with that we are aggressively growing our product range with our procurement team mandated to collaborate with rising Zimbabwean brands. Varisync and Glens Foods are two such fast-growing brands we are working with.
LOGISTICS – Best in the industry services to send your goods and groceries to Zimbabwe while in Johannesburg. Our key efforts are going into logistics with cross border transportation growing astronomically. We are expanding on the goods and groceries transportation side and with cross border passenger services already in a trial phase. We created a sister company called Dirano to give logistics the attention and focus it requires as a growth unit for us.
SERVICES – We want to start growing our business partnerships especially those in Zimbabwe with services like drop shipping and hosted virtual shops across our growing target South African market.
WEAR – We are so excited about the growing fashion industry and believe it has great potential. We are in advanced talks with big names and sporting organizations to make Zimbabwean brands available across South Africa. (Hint #FambaMatayi)
Technology – We are in the final stages of beta testing our chatbot named ZimboAssist. We will be launching it within the next few weeks. You can join the beta testing by saying Ndeipi or Linjani on this number: +27 619 838 026.
TELL ME ABOUT YOUR ZIMBOSHOP TEAM
We have a team of 12 currently and growing fast. It currently comprises of the following CEO (Johnson), Operations (Richard, Mercy, Lisa, and Chaitezvi), Procurement (Dumi and Clement), Marketing and Content (Harriet and Magumo), Harare Region Logistics (Clement), Bulawayo Region Logistics (Tau), and Masvingo Region Logistics (Mahiya).
CURRENTLY, HOW DO YOU CATER FOR YOUR FINANCIAL AND MATERIAL NEEDS?
We have a group of equally enthusiastic and supportive investors that have supported our vision as the executive team.
WHAT CHALLENGES ARE YOU CURRENTLY FACING?
The pandemic affecting almost everyone is the biggest challenge. The logistics of getting products from Zimbabwe is sometimes affected by lockdown rules both in Zimbabwe and South Africa. The sending of goods to Zimbabwe under the logistics wing, fortunately, has on the contrary been on the rise under the same pandemic challenges.
WHAT FORM OF ASSISTANCE WOULD YOU NEED TO OPTIMIZE AND GROW YOUR BRAND?
We need more collaborative partnerships with like-minded rising brands that we can grow together into this exciting future. To make our business more viable, we are working hard to connect and forge direct relationships with product manufacturers. On the Dirano side, we want bigger volumes partners that can assist us to offer more frequent trips between SA and Zimbabwe.
FOR THOSE INTERESTED IN ASSISTING YOU FINANCIALLY OR MATERIALLY HOW CAN THEY DO THAT?
Our mailbox is open for all firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, we are reachable on our social media handles.
TELL ME ANYTHING YOU FEEL YOU WOULD WANT THE PEOPLE OUT THERE TO KNOW
We have made sending goods and groceries to your loved ones in Zimbabwe easy and guaranteed with our best in class service. We even do collections across Johannesburg for now.
This is the perfect platform to soft-launch our chatbot called ZimboAssist which you can now use to buy goods and services on WhatsApp. You can even buy bus tickets now via WhatsApp and also track your groceries to Zimbabwe online via WhatsApp by saying Ndeipi or Linjani on this number: +27 619 838 026.
There are various options on how you can get in touch with ZimboShop. You can use the ZimboAssist chatbot by saying Hi on +27 619 838 026 on WhatsApp. You can visit their website here. You can call them on + 27 743 263 263. They are on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok. You can also join their community groups here.