Amazon to take aim at Takealot with online marketplace in SA

Within the next year, you will be able to use Amazon locally in South Africa, with the retail giant planning to launch an online marketplace in early 2023. In leaked documents, it has become clear that Amazon plans to expand to several new territories in the next twelve months, including Belgium, Chile, Colombia, Nigeria, and South Africa.

Read: Last of Us Part I remake coming to PS5 and PC

Codenamed ‘Project Fela’, Amazon’s launch plans in South Africa is to fully launch locally by February 2023. This will include its own marketplace, local warehousing, as well as the launch of the Prime membership programme. It isn’t clear if Prime Video will then also be included as in other markets around the world, but presumably it would be.

At the beginning of 2022, it became clear that Amazon is hunting for warehouse space around the country. The company didn’t want to comment on the story at the time. However, Amazon has secured warehouse space in South Africa and is now in discussions with courier companies and local fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) retailers.

Takealot is the perennial top dog in South Africa at the moment when it comes to online shopping and has been largely modelled on Amazon’s business overseas. The Naspers-run company will need to remain on the tip of its toes to remain the dominant force, seeing how Amazon has been able to undercut almost every other marketplace on price around the world. The fact that Takealot owns the Mr D delivery service and uses it for its own deliveries as well certainly helps, but it won’t be enough in itself to stave off the American giant.

With the world economy in turmoil at the moment with inflation at historic highs in most countries, keeping prices in check will be important for online marketplaces to stay competitive.