Amazon announces launch of online retail in South Africa in 2024

Amazon.com Inc. is finally set to make its long-awaited foray into South Africa’s online retail landscape next year. The tech giant has opened its virtual doors to South African sellers, marking a significant milestone. This delayed entry was due to various hurdles, including disputes over land for its Cape Town offices. South Africa’s burgeoning middle class, widespread internet access, and urbanisation trend offer a promising market, with e-commerce accounting for just 4% of retail. Amazon’s launch is highly anticipated, and local competitors like Takealot are gearing up for the competition.

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Amazon Will Open Its Long-Awaited Retail Business in South Africa Next Year

By Loni Prinsloo

Amazon.com Inc.’s long-awaited start of its online retail business in South Africa is planned for next year.

The US tech giant invited potential sellers in South Africa to register their businesses on the website, starting Tuesday, the company said in a statement. Amazon’s entry was delayed over issues including a dispute with local groups over land for its Cape Town offices. 

South Africa has a growing middle class, nearly three quarters of the country has Internet access and more people live in urban areas than in most other nations in the region. E-commerce makes up about 4% of retail in the country, meaning there are potential riches to be won. Online retail sales in Africa’s most developed economy increased 30% to $2.9 billion last year, according to a study by World Wide Worx market researcher. 

“We look forward to launching Amazon.co.za in South Africa,” Robert Koen, general manager for the company’s sub-Saharan Africa business said in the statement.

Naspers Ltd.’s Takealot, the nation’s top online retailer, has been strengthening its portfolio in anticipation of Amazon’s entry, including introducing delivery within an hour for items ranging from phone chargers to toys. 

Although Amazon has provided web services in the country since 2004, it has held off on launching its e-commerce business in a country that is struggling with power cuts and poor connectivity in some places

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