EMBRACING E-COMMERCE IN ZAMBIA
Electronic Commerce (E-commerce) in simple terms is online trading. E-commerce which is very convienient is something that most Zambians are yet to embrace.
We are living in the digital era and as much as it has its disadvantages, it also has a lot of advantages. I know that some Zambians are skeptical and others are just ignorant when it comes to doing anything online (online registration, online shopping etc.). Truth is technology shall keep advancing and we need to embrace it.
Technology has brought convenience. People can easily operate businesses online. You don’t have to go to the bank to check your bank balance.
You can easily send money from one account to another and pay your bills from your phone. So, why are very few Zambians considering e-commerce? Is it lack of information? And why are some who are well informed still skeptical?
When I was working on my online store, I realized that quite a number of people have never bought anything online and preferred sending money via Zoona to making an online payment. Others had trust issues and wanted to receive the product before making a payment.
You don't have to know how to code to create a website.There are so many website and online store builders out there. Some of these are Wordpress, Shopify, Wix, and Weebly just to mention a few. All you need is to sign up almost like you do for social media platforms.
We need to embrace the digital era and use it to our advantage. With an online business comes freedom. It is independent of location and depending on what you are offering your customers can be located anywhere in the world.
We are a people with so many skills that someone out there might be looking for. We can create our own online marketplaces. I have seen a Zambian version of Freelancer coming up – Zedlance and an e-commerce platform Dotcom Zambia. There are a few online stores coming up which is a good sign. It is cheaper to start an online business as compared to a brick and mortar.
I would like to hear your views. Feel free to comment.