BY MISHMA CHAKANYUKA
A SELF-TAUGHT Zimbabwean, Washington Mkombodzi has created a free online shopping application, ZimexApp which provides a virtual platform for small businesses (SMEs) to reach out to the market.
Mkombodzi said he saw the need for a central place that would allow people in Zimbabwe to post and list their products because the internet has become the main information provider.
“Due to limited marketing knowledge, retailers could not reach out to more people in Zimbabwe. ZimexApp offers them a central place to post and list their products and reach millions online. Internet is becoming the main place of getting information in Zimbabwe,” he said.
The platform currently has 455 registered accounts and it gets an average 300 visitors daily.
“ZimexApp is not generating any revenue at the moment. I cover the cost through my other projects. I have future plans to introduce features that will be generating revenue which will not change the goal of the website of providing small-to-medium enterprises and sole traders of a place to freely market their products,” he said.
The platform has unique features which other online shopping online stores do not offer, Mkombodzi claimed.
“ZimexApp is a 100% Zimbabwean made product with unique features to address Zimbabwean situations. These unique features include allowing people to state prices in three currencies (South African Rand, United States dollar and real time gross settlement dollar).”
“Visitors using mobile phones can quickly communicate with sellers, all created accounts automatically get an online shop page created with their logo, contact details and listed products for free, users have the ability to create custom categories in their online shops and it offers easy management of posted products,” Mkombodzi said.
Mkombodzi said in the short to medium term, he expects the majority of SMEs and sole traders to use the platform to enable him to develop the system at a faster rate.