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    March 15, 2012

    Exclusive: Local e-commerce startup launches today

    Dave Perel, Obox Themes co-founder recently announced on twitter the launch of a new local startup called QikCommerce.


    There is no doubt that there is an upturn in e-commerce in South Africa with industry experts all agreeing that e-commerce is on the rise. Recent findings from experts including Arthur Goldstuck of World Wide Worx, Kalahari.com and the DMMA have all found that the industry is growing at a rapid rate, with more people accessing and becoming comfortable with using e-commerce websites every single day.

    Internationally, 600 billion Dollars is spent every year on buying goods online with more than 80% of the Internet population having used the Internet to make a purchase. In terms of numbers that means there are 178 million online shoppers in the USA alone. Locally the e-commerce industry is also on an upward curve with a reported growth rate of 30 to 35% every year. The current total sits somewhere in the region of 2 billion South African Rand being spent per year, with 46% of online retailers claiming that they are very profitable.

    Even more important is the attitude of people towards the industry with previous fears like security and credibility, a serious stumbling block. However, it seems that people‘s attitudes are changing, with 44% of people claiming that e-commerce has improved their quality of life. Reasons given include saving time, having fun shopping online and causing them less stress than traditional retailers.

    With 75% of people actively participating and recognising the importance of e-commerce and the role it will play in shaping SA‘s future, we have to ask ourselves why e-commerce only counts for 0.4% of South Africa‘s retail environment? The reason for this is because of the large barrier to entry for merchants and for customers with only 35% of customers reporting to own a credit card and very few independent e-commerce businesses who battle to compete against the heavyweights. But, times are changing and this is in part to the launch of QikCommerce.

    QikCommerce, alongside its partners Obox, PriceCheck, PayU, Semantica and Internet Express, is a tool that serves a a seamless integrated e-commerce solution , which allows anyone, with any kind of shop, to get their business online and trading within a few hours, without any difficulties.

    QikCommerce began when MIH IA approached Obox about an idea of creating an e-commerce platform to leverage their companies, PayU, PriceCheck and Internet Express.

    Perel, explains that “We saw the business potential and felt that we were up to the challenge. Up until QikCommerce, setting up an e-commerce store could be quite a mission with the main challenges of payments and shipping. It could take forever to get those two items integrated and working. We liked the idea that we could lower that barrier. That was our aim and I believe we achieved that.”

    By partnering with PayU and Internet Express, QikCommerce ensures that your credit card and shipping facilities are setup instantly which means taking 50 pages of documentation and months of delays out of the process by asking for only what is needed of you in order to go live as quickly as possible.

    By using WordPress, WooCommerce and the new Obox setup wizard QikCommerce provides merchants and customers with one of the best e-commerce solutions currently available.

    “Now its just a case of seeing whether our offering is appealing to the public”, says Perel.

    Follow QikCommerce on Twitter or visit their Facebook Page. 

    Listen in to our latest podcast!

    •  I think it’s great initiative. I like the approach to lowering the entry
      barriers for the ‘small guy’. I’m keen to see how aspects of the
      e-commerce model, shipping and billing particularly, impact the ‘small
      guy’. In SA, shipping at an ‘affordable’ rate usually  takes 3 to 7 days, if couriers could commit to 1 to 2 days (emulating the US), I think that innovation would motivate more of SA’s online public to embrace e-commerce.

      • David Perel

        Hi Noah,

        We are working closely with our shipping partner to get the best rates. There are a number of items we are working with them on but the most important is bringing down local costs of delivery and the time it takes to deliver nationally.

        Both are high on the priority list 🙂

        ~ Dave Perel

    • Great idea, but this is not good for me. I am in planning stage to launch a very similar venture…and here I thought I only had 1 or 2 competitors to deal with. 

    • PaulSmith

      Its a little challenging to distinguish between public relations speak and real news here on Bandwidthblog since it is owned by MIH/Naspers/Media 24 as is Price Check (and possibly also) Qikcommerce. Perhaps a disclaimer could enhance your credibility a little?

      • Charl Norman

        BandwidthBlog is not owned by Naspers/Media24/MIH – they merely sell our ad space and part of this media sales agreement is that we add the line in our footer that says we are a part of the 24.com network.

        We report our news independently from any entity. I do agree that we should’ve disclosed the ad sales relation when reporting on Naspers owned properties.Thanks for feedback.