Amazon in South Africa to Focus on Customers, Not Competition

Amazon in South Africa to Focus on Customers, Not Competition
Photo: Shutterstock 14.05.2024 300

Robert Koen, Amazon's managing director for Sub-Saharan Africa, said this in a Business Day podcast.

Speaking to Business Day, Koen added that its well-established last-mile partners, network of 3,000 pickup points, and delivery promises will prove important for South African customers.

“We definitely don’t focus on what our competitors are doing. We’ve found that a successful formula is if we really obsess about our customers,” 

he said.

“They want great products, great prices, and real convenience when shopping online. If we just focus on that and listen really carefully to what’s working and maybe what’s not working, we can tweak the experience. That’s where our focus will be, on the customer, not on the competitor,” 

Koen added.

Amazon partners with DPD Laser and The Courier Guy —  two last-mile logistics companies “with a great reputation and really understand what it takes to be successful across South Africa,” he said.

Regarding customer support, Koen said Amazon’s network of local support agents operates from 06:00 until midnight each day, speaks various local languages, and understands the nuances of South Africa.

Amazon’s South African marketplace went live on Tuesday, 7 May 2024. The launch of the site has caused both excitement and concerns for local businesses and discussions about the digital giant's impact on the local e-commerce market. 

South Africa is one of the top 42 largest e-commerce markets globally. According to data released by World Wide Worx and Mastercard, e-commerce grew by 25% in 2023. A Deloitte study also found that more than 70 percent of South Africans shop online at least once a month. 

Amazon’s entry into the South African market introduces competition into an industry largely dominated by Naspers-owned Takealot, which commands nearly half of all online sales in the southern African country. Walmart-owned Massmart is also gearing up for its own e-commerce push. The timing of Amazon’s launch also coincides with a surge in online shopping in South Africa following the pandemic, which has spurred increased investments from retailers in the e-commerce sector.

Sources: Mybroadband, TechCrunch

digital markets  South Africa 

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