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Amazon Launches a Flagship Marketplace in South Africa

By Oluchukwu Ikemefuna

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Amazon launches in the South African market. It will officially begin operations in its first African country. With 3,000 pickup points, buyers will enjoy free delivery on their first order.

Amazon Launches In South Africa

Amazon Launches In South Africa Market

South Africa is the retail giant’s first marketplace in the sub-Saharan region. The company already has a market in Egypt. It will be going head-to-head in South Africa with local competent players like Takealo, Makro, and Bob Group’s bidorbuy. Amazon has to participate in this competition to tap the e-commerce revenue, which is worth $3 billion annually.

Although Amazon is launching in South Africa without its famous Prime membership program. That implies that there are no media services and no Prime-only service tiers. Service tiers like free shipping for a large trove of items, and sticky tools.

Amazon Launches In South Africa: Benefits and Opportunities 

The e-commerce giant said that initially, it plans to sell international brands and local products spanning some 20 product categories. It will offer same-day and next-day delivery as well as 3,000 pickup points and is offering free delivery for anyone’s first order as well as subsequent orders exceeding R500 (~$27).

Robert Koen, managing director of Sub-Saharan Africa, Amazon said, “We are excited to launch Amazon.co.za here. We provide customers with great value, a broad selection including international and local products, and a convenient delivery experience. 

From today, customers can count on Amazon.co.za for a stress-free shopping experience, fast and reliable delivery, access to 3,000 pickup points, 24/7 customer support, and easy returns. Customers will also enjoy free delivery on their first order.”


Amazon’s entry sets up an interesting battle with incumbents like Takealot, whose competitive advantage is a great understanding of the South African market. The retail giant will also have to contend with the country’s rigid competition regulation landscape which has seen incumbents having to significantly restructure their operations.

However, despite the complexities of operating in the South African market, Amazon also possesses competitive advantages to weather the storm. The company already has a significant market in SA, with Amazon.com being one of the most visited websites in the country. Amazon also has the financial muscle to take on Takealot which has over the years seen its growth rate dwindle from 72% annually to 15% over the last two years.

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Abdullahi Kafayat
Abdullahi Kafayat

Abdullahi Kafayat is an enthusiastic writer interested in the tech world. She's a graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University and has a BSc in Chemistry. You can reach her at Kafayatabdullahi17@gmail.com.

Articles: 275

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