Today we have taken a giant leap forward and made our new Ecommerce facility live on thebestofzambia.com!
Any business in Zambia can now take online payments and sell their products through thebestofzambia.com. We know it is a very difficult time but we can work with you to launch your online shop right now — over the phone, via email, and through video conferencing facilities. We’re here to help.
This Ecommerce facility started off quite simply to take businesses in Zambia to the next level and offer shoppers in Zambia more convenience. Sadly, we find ourselves launching amid a global health crisis. We find ourselves in a very different launch landscape than we were expecting, with a tool that can to some extent challenge the negative impact of the virus.
Now, with the very real presence of Coronavirus, the launch of our Ecommerce facility has become much more importantly about making trading more remote and minimising human contact in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
To help incentivise people in Zambia to buy online, and in light of the likely impact of the Corinavirus, together with our launch partners we’re offering a 5% discount on all Click and Collect transactions. While 5% isn’t huge, we trust that every little helps.
In response to the spread of the Coronavirus, on Friday March 20, 2020 The Bank of Zambia issued a statement announcing measures “aimed at reducing cash transactions and facilitating increased use of mobile money transactions” with the aim of reducing “the risk of transmission of COVID-19 through the handling of cash”. The bank is calling for people to “stay safe, go cashless”.
Suddenly we feel a heavy sense of responsibility. We have to ship this feature fast, help businesses in Zambia to transition, and do everything we can to do our part in conquering this pandemic.
We encourage businesses to work with us. Our Ecommerce facility is now open for business, ready to help you adapt and reach your customers in what needs to be a cashless, and more remote, business environment. Our approach is to:
So, from today you will:
Over the next few days and weeks, more and more of the products listed in our product marketplace will become available for people to buy online through thebestofzambia.com.
Our new Ecommerce facility means that it is now possible for any business operating in Zambia to effectively sell online to buyers in Zambia. Whether you’re a South African supermarket chain (with Ecommerce facilities available in South Africa but not in Zambia), a builders merchants or fashion boutique start-up — we can help.
Our new Ecommerce facility is here for you. Clients who opt-in to Ecommerce, and commit to a close working relationship with us, can be assured that we will guide them every step of the way.
As well as offering a 5% discount on all Click and Collect transactions (in partnership with our launch partners) we also want to encourage a shopping experience that is compatible with social distancing.
While Click and Collect doesn’t completely eliminate human interaction, it does move the majority of shopping time spent browsing and making choices from a very public and crowded shopping space to a customer’s own private space. This means the only human interaction needed is a quick in and out pickup, as Click and Collect means that your package will be ready and waiting for you.
So, we’re working hard to:
Going forward shopping online will certainly offer you convenience, as well as encourage more and more sellers to ensure stock availability and provide detailed product and pricing information.
People can forget the frustration of taking the time to fight traffic and go to a shop only to find the product they want is out of stock. Trying to call a store to check stock and prices becomes a thing of the past. With more transparent product and pricing information available, it will become easier and easier for people to research and compare products.
In 2019 thebestofzambia.com quietly turned 10 years old! We want to take this opportunity to thank our wonderful clients — businesses that have stuck with us through thick and thin. Without them we wouldn’t be where we are now.
We are a small honest team that like to do things properly. It is extremely important to us to develop an Ecommerce system you can trust. We have spent more than 12 months solving the impossible’s, and the if’s, but’s and maybe’s of adding a dependable online shopping feature to our well-established platform. We’re tackling major challenges like online payment options, product delivery, customer service, stock management and the volatility of prices in Zambia.
As far as we are aware, there are now two dependable online payment providers available in Zambia. We are launching with Flutterwave who support payments through your bank card and MTN mobile money. In time we are likely to also partner with DPO who support Airtel Money too.
So as not to delay our launch we are kicking off with a Click and Collect model. You buy your products through thebestofzambia.com, select your best collection point and pick up the order at your convenience — either in person or by sending someone to pick it up on your behalf. The Click and Collect model is a lot more convenient, saves on delivery costs, ensures your item is in stock when you go in-store and is the responsible thing to do for your and other people’s health. Plus we are already exploring how to quickly introduce a delivery option.
It is no secret that there’s room for improvement in regard to standards of customer service in Zambia. This is problematic for us because we want the people who use thebestofzambia.com to have a positive user experience, from initial online product search through to product fulfilment.
Thebestofzambia.com is simply a piece of technology that connects a business to a customer for the purposes of a transaction. But we recognise that we have to be available if people using our site to make purchases have a problem. We are partnering with our clients to facilitate acceptable levels of customer service for those using thebestofzambia.com to buy goods in Zambia.
Due to systems we have in place with partner companies, stock levels will be fixed for one week and prices will be adjusted daily if required. These efforts have been put in place to ensure, as far as possible, that products you purchase are in stock and at the right price.
In conclusion, despite the many challenges and naysayers, we’ve stayed with our vision to:
Right now we find ourselves adapting on a daily basis to accommodate the changing landscape of life with Coronavirus. Our message is that we will do everything we can to help businesses and people here in Zambia to operate in a way that helps us all stay safe and healthy.
Do visit thebestofzambia.com on a regular basis to get the latest updates on our Ecommerce facility and the latest products available for you to buy online. Here’s to convenience, happy shopping and staying safe.
If you run a business in Zambia and want to quickly set up your online shop, please email us on email@example.com and we’ll guide you through the process.