Ecommerce is back open for business!

As of the 14th of May 2020, South African online stores and e-retailers can finally resume operations

Thursday’s Government Gazette (download a copy here) finally allows South Africans access to ‘unfettered e-commerce’, with some sensible precautions and rules in place. We take a look at what these are, and what this news means for South African e-retailers.     

Which ecommerce stores can now operate, and what can they sell? 

Unlike physical stores where Level 4 restrictions remain in place, online retailers can sell any products with the exception of alcohol and tobacco products. While all other goods are now permitted to be sold online, there are some rules worth noting. Retailers must: 

  1. Give prominence to those goods which are manufactured in the Republic of South Africa” (An effort to support local manufacturers, suppliers, and employers) 
  2. Provide for as many payment options as possible for consumers” (This is a bid to ensure poorer customers without access to payment options such as credit cards are also able to access online stores.)

Guidelines for ecommerce websites in South Africa:

Understandably, all ecommerce businesses will need to adhere to strict safety measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19. The measures you’ll need to take include:

  • Goods must be sanitized before leaving the warehouse or depot 
  • “Retailers must provide written guidelines for customers on how to safely disinfect their goods before use”
  • All parties will need to wear face masks at all times, and delivery drivers may not enter the home of a customer if they aren’t wearing a mask 
  • Customers and delivery personnel must keep a distance of 1.5m between them  

Enormous potential for South African E-retailers

To say the reopening of ecommerce has been met with excitement would be an understatement! According to Parcelninja CEO Justin Drennan, “When e-commerce opens up in South Africa, they are going to be having Black Friday volumes every day.” Many online retailers will also be playing catchup, hurrying to get the backlog of orders out. 

With South Africans’ normal shopping habits so restricted, this situation presents an unparalleled opportunity for ecommerce businesses. If there was ever a time to invest in an aggressive digital marketing strategy, it’s now! 

Once in a lifetime opportunity 

Ruby Digital is standing by to offer expert advice at this critical moment, and can assist your company with everything from building your e-commerce store to driving and increasing online sales. This a genuine once in a lifetime opportunity for any South African company already in the ecommerce environment to further extend their reach, or looking to expand their offering into it. If you’re ready to take full advantage and seize this moment, then get a free proposal from us now!

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