Amazon, the world’s largest e-commerce company, has revealed plans to enter the South African market in 2024.
This expansion is projected to alter the local retail environment, increasing competition for both traditional brick-and-mortar stores such as Pepkor, Pick & Pay, Shoprite, TFG, Massmart, and Retailability, as well as the online retail sector’s Naspers-owned Takealot.com.
Amazon, which already has a strong presence in South Africa through its Amazon Web Services (AWS) tech company and offices in Cape Town and Waterfall City, stated in a statement that Amazon.co.za will allow South African sellers to interact with customers across the country.
“Amazon will provide 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,” Robert Koen, the General Manager of Amazon’s Sub-Saharan Africa region said.
The online shopping giant stated that starting on Tuesday, independent South African sellers have the opportunity to register their businesses on its online marketplace.
“More than 60% of sales in Amazon’s store are from independent sellers – most of which are small and medium-sized businesses – providing a vast selection of products, competitive prices, and great convenience for consumers,” the company’s statement read.
This decision comes at a time when South Africa’s e-commerce business is seeing rapid expansion, with online purchasing gaining traction, notably in the aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak, and contributing significantly to traditional retail sales.
“The launch of Amazon.co.za in 2024 will provide independent sellers throughout the country an opportunity to rapidly launch, grow, and scale their businesses while leveraging the innovative capabilities provided by Amazon,” the group’s statement reiterated.