Five reasons why Rwandans should start shopping online

On 21 November 2017 at 08:56

Internet business in Africa and Rwanda in particular is challenged with a need for a much deeper contextualization, rather than a full replication of models that are currently booming in America, Europe and Asia, namely Amazon, ebay and Alibaba.

Basic hurdles such as trust in this almost virtual way of transacting, the low tech literacy rate however changing, a fragmented market where things are redefined past every border, the logistical infrastructure and system with still a long way to go, the informal market/kiosk next door, or even the cost to access internet services are not to be undermined; in fact players in the digital realm will either have to find a way around these or work together to offer disruptive solutions.

However, as a consumer, it is exciting to be a witness of a steady progress that is leading us towards more sustainable economic systems, cutting edge infrastructure in technology, transportation and other services. Online market places, electronic stores, electronic services in transportation and public services are key indicators that the time is now, to catch the wave and adapt slowly, than later when it’s all over the place. For a boost of trust these are some of the things that are making a number of people transact online:

The Way To Go: 2 scenarios rang a bell for me that digital lifestyle will soon be all over the place: in an attempt to catch a bus from home to town, after a long time of using motorbikes through an app, I was denied entrance given I didn’t have my Tap&Go card, the only way one can currently pay for their fare with public transportation; a similar scenario happened when trying to get my passport renewed where most of the process is supposed to be done via an online portal before going to the immigration office.

Whether one is dealing with tax clearance, or looking for any document from a public institution, it’s now a custom to use an online platform. The government is leading the way, why not follow?

Products Availability: it is now a norm for many to fly to Dubai or China to shop for home appliances, clothes, furniture, and electronics with a quick assumption that we can’t find the same items locally or at least at the same quality. Most local e-commerce websites you visit give you the first impression “Are these things here for real?” These platforms are bringing the most hidden gems of the country to our attention in all variety.

Home Delivery and Sales: One is likely to encounter at least one delivery truck on the streets these days. Convenience can be perceived in different angles beyond the fact that you can drive to your favorite store and get what you need in no time given the size of the city — time is a key factor here, sometimes it’s that heavy item you are trying to get home, saving on fuel does not harm neither, traffic jams are slowly becoming a reality; this could be your way to avoid it. The stores are making it a point to sell at cheaper prices online to grow their client-base.

Detailed Information: with access to products descriptions, size, colors and other parameters, shopping online emerges to be a time-saver and a much easier process than the typical shopping experience, where there’s more experimentation which could easily result into impulsive buying.

Security: the foundations of e-commerce make it a much more secure alternative than any other form of shopping where you’ll find return policies, shipping policies and protection of payment and personal information all benefiting the person transacting and their purchased good.

Take a deep breath and make that first purchase, you could start with the cheapest item to minimize your risk, though there’s almost none. I warn you: this could get addictive.

Some of the stores worth trying: GroceWheels (Vegetables, fruits, meat & poultry, dry/hygiene goods), Shema Luxury (Home appliances & kitchenware), Kigali Discounts (Electronics discounts store), Toddle Care(Rwandan made toys & kids accessories), Kigali Pottery Collections(Rwandan made clay dishes & pottery), Huzabooks (African literature), Le Nirvana (Cosmetics shop), Dokmai Rwanda (Handmade leather items), Digitec Studio (Photo frames & memorial gifts with your own photos).

Source: Medium News




IgiheReader 21-11-2017 à 11:58

These are very valid facts. Time is a very important factor and the more learn to value our time so will we be ready to embrace this model for the benefit of all. Rwanda being a small country we could transact much bigger volumes online without creating more physical stores across the landscape. As a store owner knowing that my products are accessible across the country without me having to franchise or open branches all over is relieving.