Ex-Kalahari.com CEO Gary Novitzkas on Juniva, the health ecommerce store

Former CEO of Kalarhai.com, Gary Novitzkas, shows that niche ecommerce stores may still be the way to go for entrepreneurs. His store, Juniva, is based about the popularity of vitamins, supplements, and detoxing in contemporary society.

In a press release sent to Ventureburn, Novitzkas says he felt there was a shortage of quality, unbiased information about vitamins. This lead to talks around a solution around this problem, which evolved into an ecommerce store. The usage of an online platform, as opposed to brick and mortar, allows for a far greater reach.

Novitzkas previously held the position of Kalahari.com’s CEO from December 2010 to July 2012. Before that he worked for popular price comparison website PriceCheck.co.za and internet security firm VeriSign. “I’ve learnt that online retail addresses many inefficiencies in the buying process, namely education, product discovery and convenience. We wanted to use these elements to improve the all-round purchasing experience and convenience for our customers.”

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He also mentions where the inspiration for Juniva came from: “Walking into a store sometimes leads to walking out of the store with a multitude of products that you don’t really need, or even worse products that won’t provide the solution you are looking for, all because the sales rep was incentivised to sell a particular product, or was not informed enough to provide a tailored health solution.”

Novitzkas adopts the philosophy that only trusted products are listed on Juniva. “Our customers know that if the product is available through juniva.com it is a trusted product, has been thoroughly reviewed and were relevant race-tested to ensure that the label-science is accurate and that the claims that it makes can be backed up,” he adds.

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The company uses data to understand the customers potential future needs and provide them with a tailored retail experience. “We also provide professional education, insights and competitive pricing.”

Unlike Kalahari.com’s custom-built ecommerce platform, Juniva operates on Magento, which is a popular platform for large-scale ecommerce stores.

Juniva looks to eventually expand internationally. According to Novitzkas, he plans on continuing to expand the store’s ranges and collaborate with customers and the industry. There are also plans to introduce new technologies to improve product discovery and purchasing.



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