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The South African ecommerce landscape is at an exciting stage where both big players like Takealot and niche ones like League of Beers are gearing up for what is hoped to be a mass adoption by the South African consumer market. Each online shop is trying to get a piece of the pie while the space is relatively fresh.
Not to sound too much like Uncle Sam, but you can get in on the action and help the industry grow and innovate. Having said that, we’ve rounded up a group of popular and up-and-coming local online shopping services paving the road for this industry to drive on.
While each service offers different features, we thought it beneficial to include most of their price tags. Doing a complete comparison of them all is almost impossible given their varying features and target markets.
The company tries to distinguish itself from the rest of the crop by focusing on all the layers of operations — from web hosting through to logistics. It’s been operating since 2012 and is already servicing over 300 online shops.
Launched in 2011, LiquidBoxShop hopes its competitive prices, quick delivery and attention to the local market will make it the obvious choice. It has over a 1 000 registered sites under its name and says it’s powerful enough to host high volume and complex custom functionality yet affordable for any startup.
WooCommerce is one of those local companies that’s managed to attract the global market. Started by Adriaan Pienaar, Magnus Jepson, and Mark Forrester through WooThemes, the WordPress plugin has achieved an enormous amount of success and is one of the most popular ecommerce plugins in the world.
With a focus on creating an online face for African startups, ViGO aims to give people a code free experience, and make everything as simple as possible. Unlike those mentioned above, it doesn’t focus entirely on ecommerce functionality but does include it as a feature. It also stresses the ability to build you sites on-the-go using your smartphone.
ViGo’s prices are very competitive and charges R300 per month for its Enterprise Package which would allow you to access its ecommerce features. You can opt for an annual charge.
Brought to you by ThisArmy, SomeAmmo lets you manage everything from orders, gateways, domains and stats in a hosted app.
You’ll be charged R999 per year. To get an idea of what these guys are capable of see House of St Junior.
While not a fully-fledged ecommerce site builder, this new plugin service by South African media giant Naspers, relies on pay-as-you-go payments that takes care of your online shop’s products, getting them from A to B. Pricing depends on the quantity and type of products. Some sites using its service include the popular etailer Spree.
ParcelNinja takes care of the logistics. It refers to itself as an ecommerce fulfillment service that stores, packs, and delivers all your goods. It also provides a web interface that lets you keep track of all your products. The service is currently being used by Wantitall and Superbalist .
Image by Franck BLAIS via Flickr