HARARE — Ownai, Zimbabwe’s largest online market, has launched a first-of-its-kind mobile shopping application (App) designed to offer a more intuitive online shopping experience and provide convenience and safety for customers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ownai, Cassava Smartech Zimbabwe’s e-commerce platform, has the potential to flatten the coronavirus curve by providing easy, digital access to groceries and other goods and services for customers, from wherever they may be.
This week, the government extended the current lockdown restrictions by two weeks, even as the number of infections and deaths begun to come down. It urged vigilance and encouraged citizens not to be complacent.
Amid the lockdowns, Ownai is encouraging the public to buy groceries and pay bills online to avoid movement and arrest the spread of COVID-19.
“We have brought together our expertise in technology, e-commerce and existing features of Ownai to come up with an App that makes it easier for customers to purchase and track online orders seamlessly,” the company said.
The company said the launch of the Ownai Marketplace App was part of a reimagining of the online shopping experience for customers, providing them with greater convenience, transparency and safety.
“The new App is just one example of how we are investing in technology to meet customers’ evolving needs and ensure safety at this time of the pandemic.
“Through direct and third-party distribution fulfilment centres, goods bought on Ownai are available at the touch of a button and are expeditiously delivered to the customer’s door step by Vaya eLogistics,” the company added.
Market watchers said with Zimbabwe’s smartphone penetration rate over 50%, there were opportunities for growth on the online shopping space as the time people spend on their mobile devices continues to grow.
A recent research survey conducted by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, revealed a surge in online and digital services. It showed that global online purchases increased by up to 10% across the board over the past year.
The Ownai App, which is available for both local and international clients, provides a secure payment solution that enables customers to safely execute their transactions via EcoCash.
To access goods and services through the App, shoppers should simply download the App from Google Play Store or from the Apple Store, register (or proceed as guest), select the category and quantity of products they want to buy and proceed to add the products to the cart.
The application will prompt the customer to insert their shipping information or physical address, select the payment method, and proceed to make the payment. The goods will be delivered within 24 hours of the purchase.