At the start of the New Year one of our writers gave us his “what to look out for in 2015” list. So far he is on the money. One of his points was, “keep an eye on e-commerce in South Africa.”
With the very recent announcement of the Kalahari.com and Takealot.com merge it has simply proven that it was an absolute gem of a prediction.
It simply proves that the rest of the world is still very interested in the digital offerings of South Africa. Don’t misunderstand us, Kalahari was always going to succeed what with Naspers being its main backer but, they must be doing it right in order to attract a healthy merger like the one they’ve got.
It’s great news for e-commerce in South Africa as a whole and also proves that we are moving in the right direction and ultimately moving into a digital age where convenience is, as predicted, taking a leading role.
Make no mistake, e-commerce is not without its pitfalls and Kalahari.com had a far from easy rise, even with Naspers being its main backer. In fact if it wasn’t for Naspers they would have gone bust many years ago.
Foresight and belief got them through and simply waiting for their time was the key. You can argue that they had the wrong team in place when they started, their marketing was exceptionally poor before and post launch and all the other bits but at the time, we just don’t think South Africa was ready for it.
We believe congratulations are in order and they have done exceptionally well to have been offered the merge they did.
His other prediction of “2015 being the year of digital marketing” is proving spot on too. With the boom of e-commerce and a continual need for rapid, accurate information, digital marketing and digital public relations is seeing very real growth.
Business is rapidly increasing its footprint too and understandably so. You cannot afford to be lost in the digital soup if you are looking to achieve ahead of the competition and simply put, conventional media just doesn’t have the same effects anymore.
Infrastructure is improving here too, albeit at a much slower rate than we would like. There is fibre optics on the way and hopefully that will be sooner rather than later but, at least it is movement in the right direction.
There has always been a bit of a “lag” between South Africa and the rest of the world, we could attribute it to many things but, the gap is closing very quickly and the last thing we would wish on any business is for them not to be prepared when that gap of opportunity closes.
What were your predictions for 2015? We would love to hear from you and you can contact us here or on our various social media platforms.