Describes how widely e-Commerce is used, the primary sectors that sell through e-commerce, and how much product/service in each sector is sold through e-commerce versus brick-and-mortar retail. Includes what a company needs to know to take advantage of e-commerce in the local market and, reputable, prominent B2B websites.
Last Published: 8/8/2017

Overview
E-commerce has not yet taken off in Zimbabwe due to low internet penetration.  With the installation of broadband currently in progress, e-commerce may improve in the medium term, especially when targeting the wealthier classes of consumers.

Current Market Trends
Zimbabwe has low levels of eCommerce because the culture of online purchasing has not taken hold in the country.  In addition to this, local courier services are expensive and delivery to remote areas is rare.  Furthermore, there have been very little marketing of the virtues of eCommerce in Zimbabwe.

Domestic eCommerce (B2C)
There is very little B2C trading in Zimbabwe because of the constraints noted above.

Cross-Border eCommerce
There is no cross-border eCommerce taking place in Zimbabwe.

B2B eCommerce
There is no B2B eCommerce in Zimbabwe.

eCommerce Services
There is one major provider of some eCommerce in Zimbabwe, supported by a mobile phone service provider.  However, the development of the service has not progressed well.  In addition, there are a number of legal firms that deal with eCommerce law in spite of very low levels of utilization of eCommerce channels.

eCommerce Intellectual Property Rights
This aspect has not received much attention in view of the low eCommerce levels in Zimbabwe
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Popular eCommerce Sites
Currently, there are no popular eCommerce sites in Zimbabwe.

Online Payment
While the country now has payment systems, most are still in their infancy and are either still in development or the consumers do not yet understand them well.

Mobile eCommerce
Consumers are able to transfer money through mobile applications but the volumes are not high due to connectivity problems as well as low internet penetration ratios.

Digital Marketing
This is still very low, but may improve as the level of internet penetration improves.

Major Buying Holidays
None.

Social Media
In recent year, use of social media for communication purposes has improved, but the government is currently drafting a bill designed to curtail use of social media.
 

Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://export.gov/usoffices.



Zimbabwe Trade Development and Promotion eCommerce