Ask Raru founder Neil Smith anything about eCommerce

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rpm

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Neil Smith is one of South Africa’s most successful ecommerce entrepreneurs, having founded Take 2 and Raru.

We are giving you an opportunity to ask Neil anything about eCommerce. He will select 10 questions to answer, and everyone whose questions are selected will get a R200 Raru gift voucher.

There are some basic Ask Anything rules. A summary:

  • One question per post. If you have multiple questions, use multiple posts.
  • No personal attacks
  • No support questions (like “My Raru order …”)
  • No unsavoury questions
  • No trolling
  • No “Why don’t you answer my question?” posts
  • Keep it clean and civil, and ensure the discussion is constructive

Please post your questions in this thread. Neil will select and start to answer your questions at 12:00 on Wednesday 6 June.
 
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rpm

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How did eCommerce change from the time when you launched Take2 to when you launched Raru - if at all?
 

rpm

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Do you have any regrets selling Take2 to Tiger Global Management?
 

IzZzy

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What have you done differently with Raru as opposed to when you started Take2?
 

IzZzy

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What did you do to pass the time while your restraint period (I'm guessing there was one) ran between your exit of Take2 and the birth of Raru?
 

IzZzy

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Do you think a merger between Takealot and Raru would happen?
 

IzZzy

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What are your views of the absorption of Kalahari with Takealot?
 

IzZzy

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Do you see growing competition from traditionally brick and mortar retailers into the online space (e.g. makro / IC)? If so, how does Raru have the edge in its field?
 

Ianf1

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Is there a lot of hand holding needed for customers?
 

konfab

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How have you designed your systems to be able to handle a large (and I hope growing) e-commerce site like Raru?
 

konfab

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If you could change one thing about your technology stack, what would it be?
 

Edelweiss

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1) As an industry stalwart, what advice would you give someone seeking to start their own small e-commerce startup?

2) Looking forward into the future, what do you think the relationship between traditional tech/electronics brick and mortar stores and ecommerce electronics/tech businesses will be?
 
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Mephisto_Helix

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Do you think South African e-commerce is equal enough to the international giants to be competitive should one of them actively launch in SA?
 

SauRoNZA

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1. Would you say that it was necessary for The Shopping Matrix to have failed for you to have learnt the lessons you did to make a success of Take 2 and by proxy now Raru?

2. Considering you started a new business in much the same space as the one you sold to a massive global conglomerate can you tell us what is wrong with Takealot that makes you think Raru can succeed in the same market? Or are you simply insane?

3. How much of Raru's success do you credit to it starting up inside the local forum (if any at all) communities where you are a "real person" to many and not just a faceless enterprise in it for the money? And do you purposely limit the business to that small personal nature or do you foresee it falling away at some point?
 

eg2505

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where do you think the next growth area is for Ecommerce sites in South africa? as how will you compete with a global giant such as amazon setting up shop in locally in SA.
 

Primo

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Can we expect daily deals similar to Takealot, loot and other retailers ?

Is there benefit to this ?
 

ichigo

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Will you bring back UK imports again plus improve them?
 
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