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Amazon makes African debut

By , Africa editor
South Africa , 07 May 2024
Amazon customers can enjoy same-day and next-day deliveries, says the company.
Amazon customers can enjoy same-day and next-day deliveries, says the company.

Amazon, a US-based online retailer and web services provider, has officially opened and is now offering e-commerce services in South Africa.

The firm said today that customers can shop from a selection of local and international brands across 20 different product categories through its app or by visiting its website.

Shopping categories include consumer electronics, sporting equipment, toys, home, and small kitchen appliances, and feature international brands such as Apple, Sony, HP, LEGO, Chicco, Maybelline, Pampers, Neutrogena, and Johnson's.

Amanda-Jayne, King Kong Leather, Masodi, and Tiger Lily will be among the prominent local brands sold by independent South African dealers from the platform.

Amazon has also partnered with goGOGOgo, a South African non-profit organisation that allows shoppers to package qualified purchases in handmade gift bags.

GoGOGOgo, headquartered in Johannesburg, is dedicated to increasing the capacity, skills, and knowledge of grandmothers, often known as Gogos. Made from recycled plastic and handsewn, the gift bags directly support local businesses and income generation opportunities for Gogos raising children.

Robert Koen, Amazon's MD for Sub-Saharan Africa, stated that customers will receive free delivery with their first order. He added that in addition to fast delivery, customers can also choose from 3,000 pickup stations, and access to a 24/7 customer service centre.

Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, South Africa's Minister of Small Business Development, said the platform that Amazon offers for SMEs to sell directly and deliver to customers across the country is important for unlocking opportunities for smaller businesses.

“This will create jobs and contribute to government’s objective of repairing the legacy of poverty and inequality. This is the heartbeat we want to hear,” she said.

The company stated that it provides independent sellers with on-boarding tools, payment processing solutions, and promotional elements to help them be discovered by clients, as well as reporting and analytics to enhance sales.

“Building a strong relationship with South African brands and businesses – small or large – is incredibly important to us. We want to be the place where they can reach millions of customers,” said Koen.

He said the launch today is only the start and the company will be working on improving and enhancing its experience over time.

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