Takealot and Bob Group ready for Amazon battle

Andy Higgins

Bob Group managing director Andy Higgins predicts that Amazon will take longer than expected to grow in South Africa and that Takealot, Bob Group, and Massmart are formidable opponents.

Higgins is South African eCommerce royalty who has helped to launch and grow many prominent platforms, including Bidorbuy, Takealot, PayFast, uAfrica, and Bob Group.

He spoke to MyBroadband about Amazon’s imminent launch in South Africa and the impact it could have on the local industry.

Amazon will launch in 2024. Through its marketplace, Amazon will provide South African-based sellers with the ability to reach customers nationwide.

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

He said many marketplace sellers would expect Amazon to come into South Africa and perform miracles from the get-go.

“It will be wonderful for the local market if they do indeed perform miracles and grow eCommerce adoption in the country,” he said.

“I hope that Amazon’s launch in South Africa will uplift eCommerce and help everyone in the market.”

However, Higgins cautioned that it will likely take Amazon longer than most people think to establish extensive online operations.

Amazon has what it takes to compete against the likes of Takealot and Bob Group, but it 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.”

Having said that, Higgins expects that there will still be one player which dominates the eCommerce sector in South Africa.

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

He also backs Bob Group, which has built tremendous expertise in the South African logistics and eCommerce market.

Higgins said consumers will benefit from the rivalry between big players like Takealot, Massmart, and Amazon.


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