Get ready to have your packages delivered on time, because Amazon is reportedly looking to bring its own marketplace to South Africa. The company is looking to make a name for itself here, taking on the likes of Takealot and Makro’s online stores.
The news comes from leaked documents shared by Business Insider telling us that Amazon plans to expand to four other countries, along with South Africa. Belgium, Columbia, Nigeria, and Chile are all set to get the Amazon treatment with South Africa. If the leaks are true, South Africa could look at having its own Amazon market as early as February 2023.
Amazon’s plan – codenamed Project Fela – tells us that the company is bringing its business here soon. Not only are we getting the online marketplace, the company is also preparing to launch Prime memberships. Finally.
Project Fela isn’t the only sign we’ve had of Amazon’s plans for South Africa. Just a few months ago, MyBroadband reported that Amazon was shopping around for warehouse space in the country. This means Amazon has been planning this expansion for quite a while – slowly working out the kinks before an official launch. Amazon has also reportedly begun talks with courier companies and local fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) retailers.
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South Africa only has a few major online retailers to work with at the moment. The big names are of course Takealot, Makro, and Superbalist, though most will probably be taking the backseat in our minds once Amazon is around. Although the addition of such an established company could force the other companies to up their games.
We’re not exactly sure yet what kind of services we’ll be able to expect from Amazon at launch. For example, some countries use Amazon to have groceries delivered. This seems a little too complicated for a launch, especially in South Africa. Still, that’s not to say it won’t launch with that service included. It’s more likely that Amazon will want to establish itself first before expanding the business.
The inclusion of Prime memberships will be a game changer. We may get a watered-down version at first – but we’ll have to wait and see. In the States, a Prime membership encompasses a lot of services. Discounts are offered if you’re a member, and deliveries are a lot quicker. We’re talking the same day quick. There’s also free music and books from the site, and Prime Video (which has already launched in SA).