E-commerce giant Amazon has officially declared its intent to launch its online shopping service in South Africa in 2024, opening up new horizons for local sellers. 

With more than 60% of its sales driven by independent sellers, the online service promises to be a game-changer for small and medium-sized businesses, offering a diverse product selection and competitive pricing.

South Africa will be the company’s 21st country with a local domain name-based website and only the second in Africa after Egypt.

This move aims to empower local entrepreneurs, giving them the tools and platform to thrive in the competitive e-commerce landscape.

Local businesses eager to launch  

Starting 17 October 2023, South African sellers can register their businesses.

Prominent South African businesses, such as African Mamas Crafts and Reader’s Warehouse, are already expressing enthusiasm about the upcoming launch, as shown in a statement from Amazon.

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African Mamas Crafts founder Nomaswazi Tinus sees the launch as a chance to amplify their impact, stating: “African Mamas is very excited at the prospect of working with Amazon locally to leverage their tools and expertise to grow our e-commerce business. We cannot wait to embark on this journey of growth.”

Reader’s Warehouse director Sean Bulpin said: “This presents an incredible chance to expand our e-commerce business and tap into a broader customer base in South Africa.” 

The move comes as South Africa’s online retail sector is experiencing growth after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Commitment to seller empowerment

Amazon Sub-Saharan Africa regional general manager Robert Koen highlighted the company’s dedication to fostering local businesses. He stated: “We look forward to launching Amazon.co.za in South Africa, providing local sellers, brand owners and entrepreneurs—small and large—the opportunity to grow their business with Amazon”. 

The online service will not only serve as a marketplace but also as a hub for valuable tools and programmes. It will offer a range of services to empower sellers, including educational content such as articles, videos, webinars and case studies. 

The launch in 2024 is poised to be a catalyst for the rapid growth and scaling of local businesses throughout South Africa, leveraging the innovative capabilities provided by Amazon.