South African retail groups are investing heavily in their online presences as they wake up to the prospect of rising international competition as well as the growing pool of Internet-connected users ready to shop online, says Kevin Meltzer, Business Development Executive of EOH Consology.
He says that the country’s e-commerce market has reached a tipping point, with millions of people who have been online for a number of years and who are now ready to use digital channels for a wider range of interactions and transactions.
“As models from the likes of World Wide Worx show, once users have been online for five years or more, they become ready to transact more on digital platforms,” says Meltzer. “We’re now at a point where we have enough of these mature online users in South Africa to justify heavy investment in the online channel by the country’s retailers.”
Meltzer says that many of the roadblocks to e-commerce have fallen by the wayside over the past few years. New payment mechanisms such as mobile money and debit cards mean that online shopping is no longer only for those who qualify for credit cards. What’s more, consumers are better educated and informed about how to transact online securely, which has increased their confidence in digital commerce, he adds. Of course, rising quality and falling prices of mobile and fixed-line broadband have also helped to drive the growth of online shopping in South Africa. (more…)
Up until now, the only place to purchase bespoke Jack Daniel’s fashion wear or collectable items was by making the trip to the JD Hardware Store in Lynchburg Tennessee. Now, local Jack fans can do their online shopping and enjoy free delivery to anywhere in South Africa, from Sandton to Springbok, thanks to the newly launched JD online store.
Located on the local Jack Daniel’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/JackDanielsSA, the retail store – called The Jack Daniel’s Hardware Store – is the first of its kind within the South African liquor market.
The store sports a range of branded men’s and ladies fashion clothing and other specialty items from custom-built jukeboxes to the classic Jack Daniel’s T-shirt. Marketing Manager for Jack Daniel’s South Africa, Dino D’Araujo says the online store is the answer to the countless fans who’ve wanted to buy genuine JD-branded merchandise, “The store provides a great range of high end clothing and memorabilia, catering for both casual shoppers looking for interesting gifting ideas, as well as the serious Jack collector”. (more…)
Recently I had the privilege of meeting with Donna Stephens, Head of Marketing & Customer Service at eRetailer TAKEALOT.com (previously knows as Take2). We met to discuss :
1) A name change,
2) The public disclosure of the ambitious goals at TAKEALOT.com
Based on this discussion I thought it a good idea to present a perspective related to how well TAKEALOT.com is positioned to achieve these goals.
In October 2010 Cape Town based e-retailer Take2 was co-acquired by Kim Reid (former Naspers senior executive) together with New York based hedge fund, Tiger Global Management. The tripartite partnership seems to have the internal equilibrium needed to change the landscape of e-retailing not just in SA but in Africa. The acquisitions fit neatly into the [assumed] strategy of Tiger Global Management who have more than US $ 9.5billion under their control and who have been steadily investing in emerging market internet-related businesses. Kim Reid seems the ideal candidate to man-ship given his considerable depth of experience with the Naspers owned MIH Group, no stranger themselves to investing in emerging internet-related businesses. Then there is Take2, a company started by seven investors in Cape Town in 2002. Take2 quickly moved to the position of SA’s second biggest online retailer, selling books, DVD’s, games, CD’s electronics, toys and much more … with what I am told is a very loyal consumer base.
On announcement of, without doubt, very ambitious goals the media responded with what could be best describe as ‘stoking the fire,’ perhaps to determine just how much of a threat TAKEALOT.com represents to established and market leading e-retailer Kalahari.net. After-all there is an old saying that goes: ” If you try to steal the giants lunch, the giant is likely to eat you for lunch.” In this case I assume that by announcing the following goals…. (more…)