Online shopping is a quickly growing industry in South Africa, so much so that Spree.co.za, Media 24’s answer to Zando has reported a 500% increase since launching in April 2013.
Krishna Motukuri, CEO of Media24’s ecommerce division, is excited about what lies ahead. “Since launching in April 2013, spree has grown by more than 500% to become South Africa’s e-commerce destination of choice for women’s fashion. As e-commerce adoption in SA continues to grow rapidly, we are doubling down on our efforts and expanding into several new product categories,” she said.
The companies strength lies in the connection it makes to the arsenal of popular magazine’s that the publishing giant, Media 24, owns. Spree simply made the customer journey between the stylish clothing displayed in magazines and the final product on their bodies much more shorter and convenient.
On the job front, the expansion of such an enterprise would create a good opportunity for more employment in South Africa, even if on a small scale for now. To ramp up for the year ahead spree will be growing its staff complement substantially over the next few months. The Cape Town based business will add to its existing team by bringing in additional software developers as well as more retail and online marketing experts.
As for smaller competitors who wish to open online retail stores in South Africa? Well there is no monopoly just yet due to the still developing nature of e-commerce in SA. Keep your eyes peeled on what was once known as the dark continent though. As broadband access increases in Africa as well as technical know-how, gutsy entrepreneurs are stepping into new digital territories with successful international e-commerce models like Amazon and EBay to guide their way. The local Zando.co.za is also a significant player in the industry, also serving as a competitor to Spree.
There’s something fresh and exciting about technological revolution. As it spreads its way through the world, it creates opportunities for development and change. It changes the structure of societies and creates roles we never thought of before. Twenty years ago, there probably around a million lesser content and social media managers in the world and even fewer ‘portable phones’ and a few million lesser ‘portable phone’ related jobs. Something to think about.
For the reason above and many others, we say ‘Viva technology plus e-commerce! Viva!