Rocket Internet enters SA market with Zando, numerous ecommerce plays

Zando, a new online fashion ecommerce play funded by Germany-based Rocket Internet, launched three months ago and is literally aiming to rocket through the online retail market to be in the same league like services such as and

Tiger in the ecommerce henhouse

by Herman Manson. Kim Reid, diplomatically perhaps, doesn’t care what the competition of his online retail venture,, is up to. The ecommerce market in South Africa is so nascent that it makes more sense to focus on successfully implementing your own strategy and building your own business, rather than fretting about what other players are doing, he says.

[Netprophet 2011] African ecommerce market has a long way to go

A billion Africans and 50 million bank accounts. In South Africa, credit cards are used by only 16.5% of the population (2008). No African country comes close to 1% of total retail spend spent online – the magic figure which constitutes the tipping point for digital retail growth (in SA, ecommerce has a 0.4% share of the retail market, while in countries such as Egypt and Nigeria, the figure stands at 0.01%). No wonder, then, that the ecommerce market in Africa hasn’t bloomed.

Looking at these numbers, many international ecommerce plays have shifted investment in the African market 5-10 years down the line. But where others fear to tread Oliver Rippel, CEO ecommerce Africa & Middle East at MIH, sees opportunity and first-mover advantage.

Refocused good news for newspaper brands?, the largest and one of the most important South African digital media players, earlier this week announced a significant strategic move that will see it restructured and refocused. It will, in effect, move from being standalone to a division integrated with Media24 Newspapers.

The rise of eBooks and the myth of affordability

Major drum roll from the guys at for their announcement that “ customers now purchase more Kindle books (eBooks) than hardcover books.” The group went on to claim that for every 100 hardcover books sold, it has sold 143 Kindle books.

The statistics given out by the giant online retailer don’t look quite so amazing when put in proper context. In fact, quite a different story emerges that indicates the traditional publishing business is unprepared to embrace the new dynamics eBooks bring to the market.

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