Big Amazon South Africa Prime Day mystery

Amazon is keeping dead quiet on availability of its Prime subscription service in South Africa, while its annual Prime Day sale is just around the corner.

Amazon Prime is a hugely popular subscription plan in the US and several other countries where Amazon has marketplaces.

As of April 2024, it reached 180 million members in the US and over 50 million elsewhere.

Prime combines a plethora of benefits for various online shopping, streaming, gaming, and ebook products from Amazon.

In the US, the Amazon Prime subscription of $14.99 (R276.08) per month provides the following benefits on Amazon.com and related products:

  • Free 2-day delivery on millions of products
  • Free release-day delivery on books, movies, music, and video games ordered before 19:00
  • Free on-demand takeaway and grocery deliveries
  • Amazon Prime Video subscription
  • Amazon Music subscription
  • Prime Gaming subscription on Twitch
  • Amazon Photos cloud storage

While South Africans can also subscribe to Prime in other countries, they cannot enjoy delivery-related perks.

Prime could help set Amazon.co.za apart from its established local competitors — including Takealot.

However, there is no mention of the service on Amazon.co.za, which went live in early May 2024.

Several e-commerce experts previously told MyBroadband the company would definitely roll out Prime in South Africa, possibly alongside the launch of its South African marketplace.

“If you observe their launch strategies across other markets, they lead with Prime and the associated benefits of the programme,” said TFG Labs co-head and Superbalist co-founder Claude Hanan.

“This is consistent across developed and emerging markets. I see no reason why they would not do the same in South Africa.”

Unlike Amazon.com packages, Amazon.co.za packages don’t feature the companies’ Prime branding.

One possibility is that Amazon plans to make a big splash of its Prime subscription launch in South Africa by aligning it with Prime Day.

This annual event sees the company offering deep discounts on thousands of products across its marketplace, often beating Black Friday offers.

This sale is again set to take place in July, with many Prime Day deals that will again be available exclusively to Prime members.

MyBroadband asked Amazon for feedback on its plans for Prime and Prime Day in South Africa, but it had not provided comment by the time of publication.

In an FAQ article about Prime Day 2024 on its website, Amazon lists all the countries where it has run the sale previously but it does not share available countries for 2024.

Prime Day with Prime benefits was previously available in Austria, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, the UK, the US, Poland, and Sweden.

Amazon has also also offered Prime Day deal events in Egypt, India, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

Takealot launches own “Prime” subscription

Takealot appears to have been well prepared for Amazon Prime launching in South Africa.

Just two days after Amazon.co.za went live, Takealot rolled out its TakealotMore subscription, which offers similar free and same-day delivery benefits as Prime for Takealot customers.

TakealotMore does not currently include video or music streaming subscriptions.

However, Takealot CEO Frederik Zietsman said that the subscription will be “ever-evolving” and further perks could be introduced to TakealotMore in the near future.

While MultiChoice no longer shares the same parent company as Takealot, it would not be completely unprecedented if the former siblings partnered and offered a bundled package with Showmax.

Alternatively, Takealot could work with other major video or music streaming services like Netflix, Disney+, Showmax, Spotify, or YouTube Music on bundled deals.

The table below compares the two tiers of TakealotMore that are currently available.

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Big Amazon South Africa Prime Day mystery