Online retailer, Takealot has recently announced that it has terminated its US and UK import departments because “the technical method used to provide the service is no longer available to us”.
Takealot CEO, Kim Reid said that, despite the group’s best efforts, it was unable to negotiate the sustainable use of the technical integration needed to provide these services to its customers.
“If you have already ordered using our US or UK import departments and have not yet received your order, don’t worry, we will continue to fulfill existing orders,” Reid said.
According to two well-placed industry sources, there was a dispute between Takealot and Amazon.com – from where Takealot sourced its US and UK based import products – on how Takealot uses the Amazon Application Programming Interface (API) and how the company sells the products.
One source indicated that Amazon essentially cut off Takealot from its API, making it impossible for the company to continue offering Amazon products.
Amazon cut us off
Reid explained that Amazon blocked its feed without any warning. “There is no way to negotiate with Amazon,” said Reed.
Reed said that Amazon has certain terms and condition on how companies can use its feeds, and while Takealot feels that it functions within these conditions, Amazon had a different view.
While Takelot is expected to lose some revenue because of this change (possibly less than 10%), Reid said that it may be a blessing in disguise.
The Takealot CEO said that it was very challenging to guarantee high service levels with its import service – a core focus for the company.
Reid said that Takealot’s focus remains on its local products and local suppliers, and that it is showing healthy growth in this area.
“We have ten, largely locally sourced, fantastic categories to choose from, and we are busy adding more selection and depth every day,” said Reid.