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Amazon opens its first Prime-free marketplace in South Africa.

Amazon ‘s long-awaited e-commerce debut in Africa has finally happened two years later. On Tuesday, the digital giant inaugurated its South African marketplace.

In South Africa, the e-commerce giant will compete with local players like Takealot (majority owned by Naspers), Makro, and Bob Group’s bidorbuy to tap a $3 billion market.

Amazon has entered South Africa without Prime. That means no media services, no Prime-only service levels, such as free delivery for a large selection of items, and no sticky mechanism to keep customers coming back to the site.

We will update this page as soon as we hear back from Amazon about the possibility of adding Prime to the area.

First, the service e-commerce behemoth will offer foreign and local brands in 20 product categories. To attract consumers, Amazon offers same-day and next-day delivery, 3,000 pickup stations, and free delivery on first and subsequent purchases above R500 (~$27), excluding Prime benefits.

The country’s market may not require a U.S.-based player. Local companies believe it is a healthy indicator for the country’s e-commerce sector, which wobbled worldwide following high use during the COVID-19 epidemic.

Competition is wonderful news because it validates African e-commerce and grows the industry. South Africa is a unique market with developed retail networks, dependable supply, and a competitive e-commerce environment, Jumia CEO Francis Dufay told Eltrys.

Amazon announced its African entry two years ago, in Nigeria and South Africa.

After that announcement, Amazon delayed both launches. South Africa’s debut was scheduled for April 2023, according to Amazon. The company postponed its debut until October 2023, during which it initiated the onboarding of independent merchants in the nation and recruited merchant developers, software developers, and operational staff.

The corporation has also delayed its February 2023 Nigerian debut and has not provided an update on its opening date.

The potential is obvious. Africa is still in the early stages of digital commerce, which may present challenges in improving supply chains and logistics and getting more consumers to buy and pay for goods online, but it also offers the company more growth potential than other, more mature markets.

“We are excited to launch with thousands of South African independent sellers. In a statement, Amazon Sub-Saharan Africa managing director Robert Koen said the company offers outstanding pricing, a wide range of foreign and local items, and easy delivery. We value good relationships with South African brands and enterprises, big and small. We want to reach millions of customers.”

Amazon enters the South African market, challenging the R55 billion (~$3 billion) business controlled by Naspers-owned Takealot, which accounts for roughly half of online sales. Walmart-owned Massmart is likewise planning an e-commerce drive. Amazon’s entry coincides with a rise in online buying in South Africa after the epidemic, which has boosted e-commerce merchant investments.

Juliet P.
Author: Juliet P.

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