Amazon.com has delayed the launch of e-commerce operations in South Africa until 2024, but has for the first time confirmed officially its plans to enter the local online shopping market.
It did not provide a firm date next year for the launch but said South African sellers can already register on sell.amazon.com/south-africa ahead of the store launch.
“We look forward to launching amazon.co.za 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,” said Amazon GM for sub-Saharan Africa Robert Koen in a statement.
“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 company added.
Indeed, attracting third-party sellers appears to be key to Amazon’s strategy in South Africa. It said more than 60% of sales in Amazon’s store are from independent sellers, “providing a vast selection of products, competitive prices and great convenience for consumers”.
Amazon has long had a significant presence in South Africa through its Amazon Web Services subsidiary. The company has development and support centres in Cape Town, where it has also established data centre infrastructure to serve the South African and broader African markets with cloud computing services.
The launch of an e-commerce marketplace operation in South Africa has been a long time coming, with speculation first emerging in 2022 about the company’s plans to launch marketplaces in both South Africa and Nigeria.
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Amazon reportedly plans to offer its popular Prime loyalty programme in South Africa, too, offering expedited delivery as well as subscriber access to the company’s Netflix rival, Prime Video, and Twitch, its game streaming platform. — (c) 2023 NewsCentral Media