- Jan 28, 2010
How many of these companies have freemasons in charge? Is it a big thing?
How many of these companies have freemasons in charge? Is it a big thing?
There have a been a lot of improvements when it comes to e-commerce fulfillment and distribution. Gone are the days when companies were able to deliver in 3-7 days, now most customers are expecting 1-2 day delivery, and anything out of that is perceived to be an inferior service, which reflects badly on the business.What is the biggest challenge in South Africa when it comes to eCommerce fulfillment?
The process was slightly different to the normal way most businesses go about raising funds. We were in a position whereby we had a business which had been well established for a number of years and had a solid management team in place. We found that C5 was looking for tech businesses on the continent and was able to add value to our existing operations.How did you manage to convince C5 Holdings to provide R20 mil in Capital on this new venture of yours ( even with your well established track record from creating WantItAll) ?
For us it’s been relatively easy as we have complementary skills and have dedicated roles in the business. I feel that if you can compartmentalize each of the roles, and then have an open/collaborative approach to decision making, it will allow for a much smoother process within the business.How do you cope with having your brother and friend as business partners and be so successful - especially if everyone says never to go into business with friends and family ?
Lots of questions/comments in there to cover. Let me try get through them, briefly.Hi Justin
Having done a lot of online shopping, when smaller players like Sybaritic and Kalahari just started and the online shops of the day you could count on one hand, today they are a dime a dozen, what differentiates online shops these days, is customer support, shipping and stock lead times, prices and general support, the market hasn't really evolved all that much from 18 years ago, in my personal opinion.Customer support in South Africa has always been poor, lead time from supplier still poor.There is always the issue of capital expenditure of having certain stock on hand.Online shopping from checking out and paying to delivery is constant uphill frustration, fraught with delays, stock shortage or poor support.
As an example sent off an email to an online store about an order made on the 20th which still hasn't shipped after the lead time to procure stock lapsed already, the response was supplier is awaiting new stock, considering the lead time has lapsed already, some online store of yester year would have sent out a automatic email informing of delays and such.This is no longer the case with large online stores like takealot or raru even kalahari email support was atrocious.Takealot has done away entirely with their email support unless they email you directly or contact them via social media accounts.The matter hasn't been resolved, and no closer to receiving my actual order, short of having to phone them, email support is likely going to take at least 3 to 4 working days to sort out, which to be honest is totally unacceptable.I could phone them, but that is a unnecessary additional expenditure on my part for some thing as simple as keeping clients in the loop.
One would expect large online stores would have live support and able to deal with support questions quickly and easily, however the general online shopping experience is some where between a rock and hard place, the only thing that really works well is the payment systems.
If I could focus and improve one thing it would customer support as that sort of binds every department together, if you could focus and improve one thing from the online shopping experience what will it be and why.
I feel that payments, platform, logistics have largely been solved. I don't really see it as complex - its now a matter of having the correct team, selecting the correct niche, having enough marketing budget and being able to execute.What is the most complex part of setting up an e-commerce concern?
South Africa being South Africa as online shopping becomes more popular is there an increasing concern about security for packages and delivery vehicles?
I don’t really think either. Over the last few years, we’ve seen a dramatic shift to more people purchasing at night, and on mobile devices.Whose holding ecommerce back more in SA, the banks or the mobile networks?
I really believe that e-commerce in South Africa has improved dramatically over the last three years. We’ve been hearing about how large e-commerce is, and how every year is ‘the year’ for e-commerce, however only the last few years have shown dramatic improvements and growth in the space.Amazon is absolutely dominant in the United States. South Africa by contrast has some decent online stores, but nothing close to what is seen in the US. With this in mind, what could we do in South Africa in order to raise online internet shopping in South Africa to the same standard and levels of uptake as that in America?
Nice to hear you guys are having heated debates…. And you don’t have to worry about being blunt. Lets just give you a bit of the story….I got involved in a heated debate this past weekend and a interesting topic popped up regarding wantitall.co.za most savvy users don't make use of wantitall.co.za due to the pricing used on the website being quite a bit more, then importing the item your self with various fees it is still a lot cheaper then what wantitall can offer it at.You can't help but wonder who is the sucker that buys from wantitall.Even with all the various fees attached to items imported, there is still room for adding profit, short of asking double the price or more, to me it ends up looking more like greed then filling a gap in the market to import goods.It's not like there is lots of red tape when buying internationally, and works the same as any other online shop.
As the argument went on we agreed that the current pricing model really can't be sustainable in the long run, I have seen some people offering importing services, who then makes use of services them self to import goods that generally don't ship to South Africa and generally still works out cheaper then what wantitall charges.I do apologize for being a little straight to the point and a little brazen on the subject matter. So the question is does wantitall rely on consumer ignorance for it's business model to be sustainable in the long run or is there a specific reason why the current pricing model is used, how will wantitall react and adjust to a consumer rebellion.
Normally this is some issues relating to the product weight.Hi,
Despite Wantitall offering an outstanding variety of products, why is there more frequently than not, a price disparity between shipping the same item from Amazon.com yourself (including relevant import duties and shipping costs) and buying from the Wantitall website so large? Sometimes the item is several hundred percent pricier, and I would love to learn the reasons for this.
I'd have a look at what Andy Higgins and the guys at https://www.uafrica.com/ are doing. I think they provide an amazing platform to help get you to market ASAP, with exceptionally low cost.Hi,
There’s a gap in a certain industry that I want to take. How do you begin/how do you start setting up a website/online service to fill this gap, as this will take a notable investment?
I don’t think there was ‘inspiration’ – it was just something which happened to us. We essentially just set out to solve a problem whereby we wanted to get a product from the USA, and then it all just snowballed.The growth on internet user is growing in the country, but when you started it was still way less to the population of the country. With that hurdle in mind, how did you gather inspiration to move from a 9-5 to start your own company?
Shew, thats also something I'd like to do. People need to do good, as well as make money. Triple bottom line, and looking after people and the environment is something we are well aware of.Good Day, Justin
If i look at ecommerce i would say the market is really flooded with a lot of everything id say, i have been looking for something that no one else is doing yet, the one between the millions of everything that everyone is already doing or trying to do but i seem to be struggling to find that one.
What would you say would be one of the next big things or possible big things in ecommerce in south africa, which can make money but also improve the daily lives of south africans and create jobs for our fellow south africans?
I think ML/AI are terms being thrown around quite a lot, without really understanding the implications, or if its the best solution for the problem:How will you be using AI to improve the customer experience in your business?
Certainly looks that way for now. I no longer use DSTV, and my kids have never really seen an advert. Netflix + Showmax + Youtube for kids = on demand quality programming.Hi Justin
What is the future of DSTV and will Netflix and Amazon Prime make it a Kodak moment?
We've been working on this for a number of years. We've always taken a data-driven approach to our customers and marketing. Every cent we spend is accounted for and ROI analysed.Hi Justin
Customer and Product profitability analysis/pricing models are obviously key for e-commerce sites (as they are for any other retailer). What sort of emphasis do you place on this, and is there any particular software that you use for this particular purpose?
The guys at payfast, and Bidorbuy have been supporting crypto for a while. While I think blockchain is an interesting technology, I'm not sure which crypto/coin/protocal will be the winner.Seeing as you are so active, involved and you have such a big influence on the local eCommerce marker, what are your thoughts on Cryptos? And do you think they have their place to actually be used in the local eCommerce market to purchase goods?