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Amazon launches online shopping service in South Africa

AMAZON  (AMZN.O) launched its online shopping service in South Africa, challenging a number of online retailers dominated by Naspers’ (NPNJn.J) Takealot.com.

Africa’s most advanced economy is usually seen as a good entry point for companies to expand into the continent and Amazon could be doing the same, analysts have said in the past.

The launch of its service comes at a time when South Africa has seen a sharp rise in online shopping after the pandemic created an opportunity for e-commerce to finally take hold, with retailers doubling down on investments in response.

Amazon.co.za will offer same-day delivery and next-day delivery with more than 3,000 pickup points. Shoppers will get free delivery on first orders, followed by free delivery for subsequent orders above 500 rand ($27.07), it said in a statement.

Customers in South Africa will be able to shop from a selection of local and international brands across 20 different product categories such as consumer electronics, home and small kitchen appliances, including international brands such as Apple, Amazon said.

More than 60% of the items sold in Amazon’s stores globally are from independent sellers – most of which are small and medium-sized businesses.

“Building a strong relationship with South African brands and businesses is incredibly important to us. We want Amazon.co.za to be the place where they can reach millions of customers,” said Robert Koen, managing director of Amazon Sub-Saharan Africa.

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South Africa’s growing and evolving retail sector has also attracted international fast fashion e-commerce retailers Shein and Temu, with their rapid rise driven by robust demand for their low-priced apparel. Temu launched in the country earlier this year.

Retailers are also doubling down on e-commerce investments as internet connectivity and smartphone penetration rise in the country.

By The African Mirror