Home Opinion and Features Amazon.co.za launches, aims to give Takealot and Co run for their money

Amazon.co.za launches, aims to give Takealot and Co run for their money

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US retail giant Amazon.com has launched in South Africa as Amazon.co.za, offering shoppers access to 20 product categories, including consumer electronics, sporting equipment, toys and home appliances.

Amazon.co.za is promising shoppers a reliable online shopping experience featuring great value, including same-day delivery, more than 3,000 pick-up points, easy returns, 24/7 customer support and free delivery on first orders either via its app or in a browser. Picture: Supplied

By Nicola Mawson

US RETAIL giant Amazon.com has launched in South Africa as Amazon.co.za, offering shoppers access to 20 product categories, including consumer electronics, sporting equipment, toys and home appliances.

The retailer is competing head-on with Takealot, South Africa’s largest online retailer. However, Takealot has a significant advantage in that it has been operating in South Africa since June 2011. It will also compete with Loot.co.za and other online retailers, like Makro.

Amazon.co.za is promising shoppers a reliable online shopping experience featuring great value, including same-day delivery, more than 3,000 pick-up points, easy returns, 24/7 customer support and free delivery on first orders either via its app or in a browser.

More than 60% of what Amazon sells across the world is from independent sellers, the bulk of which are small- and medium-sized businesses.

Amazon.co.za will also offer its platform to independent sellers, allowing them to rapidly launch, grow and scale. At the same time, Amazon will enable these businesses through educational content.

More than 60% of what Amazon sells across the world is from independent sellers. Picture: Supplied

The Minister of Small Business Development, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, said: “The heartbeat of our small business enterprises measures the health of our country’s economy. If they are pumping, the nation is growing. We welcome companies that provide opportunities for local sellers and entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.

“We are counting on Amazon to provide such opportunities to our small enterprises and look forward to working together to unlock these opportunities. This will create jobs and contribute to government’s objective of repairing the legacy of poverty and inequality. This is the heartbeat we want to hear.”.

Amazon has also partnered with goGOGOgo, a South African non-profit organisation that offers customers the opportunity to package eligible products in handmade gift bags. Based in Johannesburg and with projects across South Africa, goGOGOgo is dedicated to building the capacity, skills and knowledge of gogos.

Made from recycled plastic and hand-sewn, the gift bags support local businesses and income generation opportunities for gogos raising children. With more than four million children in South Africa being brought up by gogos, the project helps contribute to improved life outcomes for the families.

The founder of goGOGOgo, Jane Simmonds, said: “We are grateful for this wonderful opportunity to partner with Amazon, to expand our reach and make a meaningful impact in promoting positive life opportunities and health outcomes for gogos and the children they are raising, often in difficult conditions.

“Through this partnership, Amazon recognises the importance of our cause to support these extraordinary women in the vital role they play within their families and their communities around South Africa.”

Other local products that will be available include local brand NomakadeTM, which offers organic haircare products.

“Building a strong relationship with South African brands and businesses – small or large – is incredibly important to us. We want Amazon.co.za to be the place where they can reach millions of customers,” said Robert Koen, the managing director of sub-Saharan Africa, Amazon.

“Today is only the start of Amazon.co.za. We will continue to improve and enhance our shopping experience to serve customers and sellers across South Africa.”

– BUSINESS REPORT

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