Amazon South Africa is here

Amazon South Africa has launched its long-awaited marketplace in South Africa, offering local shoppers a range of products.

The eCommerce giant is giving local shoppers the option of door-to-door delivery or using one of 3,000 pickup points. There is free delivery on their first purchase.

Amazon has partnered with Pargo and The Courier Guy to serve its local delivery and logistics needs.

While it only launched its local marketplace this week, Amazon already has a strong customer base in South Africa.

Discovery Bank’s SpendTrend24 report showed Amazon’s US website is the third most visited eCommerce platform in South Africa.

The report further revealed that Amazon is among the most popular places for wealthy South Africans to spend their money.

Amazon’s South African launch comes amidst an eCommerce boom in the country. Online spending growth currently outpaces in-store fivefold.

The pace of this growth even surpassed other emerging market cities and was on par with cities in developed economies.

However, it will not be easy for Amazon to become the top dog in the South African eCommerce market.

Takealot, which currently dominates online shopping in South Africa, has a strong presence and excellent logistics.

Bob Group managing director Andy Higgins predicted that Amazon’s growth in South Africa would take longer than expected.

Higgins said one can never discount Amazon as they are the world’s most recognisable eCommerce brand with tremendous resources and skills.

However, expecting Amazon to come into South Africa and perform miracles from the get-go is misguided.

Higgins cautioned that it would likely take Amazon longer than most people think to establish extensive online operations. It will also struggle to beat Takealot.

“I believe local skills and expertise will outperform international resources, which means it will be difficult for Amazon to beat Takealot,” he said.

Amazon has what it takes to compete against Takealot and Bob Group, but that does not mean there will only be one winner.

“There is space for many large online marketplaces, which is the case in countries like Brazil where many marketplaces are thriving,” he said.

“In South Africa, we may see a future where there are multiple successful eCommerce players and online shops.”


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