By Gilbert Lungu, Country Manager for Zambia at Cellulant

As established brands in the retail sector aggressively compete to acquire, cultivate, and defend their share of the Zambian consumer’s spend, those that connect, engage, and transact in the most unified and frictionless ways will be best positioned to grow wallet and market share.

The grocery store of today, be it a multinational retailer or your neighbourhood corner shop, has morphed into a shopping destination where consumers can buy everything from a fresh cup of coffee to sip on as they walk through the aisles, to flowers and prescription medicine. But far from being places for discretionary spending, COVID-19 made it abundantly clear that these stores, and more broadly this sector, are vital to households across Zambia – a trend that was even more evident in markets that enforced complete and mandatory lockdowns.

The pandemic introduced new challenges for the numerous players in Zambia’s retail sector, with everything from day-to-day store operations to supply chain management requiring meticulous planning and implementation to protect suppliers, employees, and customers. As this was happening, awareness and adoption of digital-first grocery shopping experiences, particularly from a payment perspective, were steadily growing.

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