Amazon's entry into South African e-commerce slated for 2024

Amazon will launch its second locally-dedicated website in Africa next year, with its South African expansion. The e-commerce company currently operates in Egypt.

Amazon's entry into South African e-commerce slated for 2024

In 2021, the African e-commerce market was worth $38 billion and is projected to grow to $72 billion by 2025, according to Statista. This market is dominated by South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt, and Kenya.

Effective October 2024, Amazon wants to tap into this market, starting with South Africa where it intends to launch an e-commerce website.

“We look forward to launching in South Africa, providing local sellers, brand owners, and entrepreneurs—small and large—the opportunity to grow their business with Amazon, and delivering great value and a convenient shopping experience for customers across South Africa,” according to Robert Koen, general manager of the Sub-Saharan Africa region for Amazon.

This comes a year after some leaked documents revealed that Amazon intended to expand into five countries, including in South Africa and Nigeria. The global e-commerce leader will compete with Takealot, Everyshop, Makro, and other e-commerce platforms in the new market.

In July, South Africa's Competition Commission cracked down on online market platforms for anti-competitive business behaviour. According to a report by the commission, Google’s search dominance “distorts platform competition” in favour of large market players, like Naspers-backed Takealot.

Responding to the planned expansion, Takealot CEO, Mamongae Mahlare said, “It’s a great compliment to Takealot and the people that have built this business to where it is today, and our customers in South Africa that have supported that growth.”

“It demonstrates that we have built something that has built an investment case good enough for global companies like Amazon to want to come here,” Mahlare added. In March 2022, the company recorded a 27% increase in revenue to $827 million.

Per a statement shared by Amazon, businesses within the country are looking forward to the launch. “African Mamas is very excited at the prospect of working with Amazon locally to leverage their tools and expertise to grow our e-commerce business. We cannot wait to embark on this journey of growth,” said Nomaswazi Tinus, founder and director of African Mamas Crafts, a Johannesburg-based African business that employs home-based crafters in rural areas.

The launch of in 2024 will provide independent sellers throughout the country an opportunity to launch, grow, and scale their businesses while leveraging the innovative capabilities provided by Amazon.

“Amazon will have to ensure quality and affordable products and timely delivery to earn the trust of its customers. When the experience is sub-optimal, customers should have the ability to return the product and receive a refund or credit for this value,” Lavanya Anand, principal at VestedWorld, said.

Related Article: AWS’ historical roots in Cape Town, South Africa

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