Tag: expansion

Amazon set to enter SA

By Zintle for IT News Africa 

Amazon, a global e-commerce technology company, is reportedly set to expand to African countries including South Africa and Nigeria in 2023, according to news that was first published by Business Insider.

Belgium, Chile, and Colombia are also among the five markets that the giant e-commerce company is set to penetrate next year, according to leaked documents that were seen by Business Insider.

According to The Cable, the timing of the rollouts in a detailed timeline would be between 2022 and 2023.

This development would mean serious competition for e-commerce platforms like Jumia and Takealot. Amazon currently has a presence in 20 countries and it aims to scale up in the main market in the US.

“South Africa, codenamed Project Fela, is also expected in February 2023. The marketplace in Nigeria is due to launch in April 2023. That project shares the codename Project Fela with South Africa,” the leaked report revealed.

The earliest project which is codenamed “Project Red Devil” will be launched in Belgium in September 2022. Colombia’s marketplace “Project Salsa” which shares the name with Chile will be scheduled for February 2023. On the other hand, the project in Chile will take off in April 2023.

The documents have also revealed that all the countries are planning to launch their own marketplace and access Amazon’s fulfillment service called Fulfillment by Amazon. According to The Cable, Amazon’s prime membership program will be available at launch in Belgium while other countries will have to wait until introduction.

“For example, Belgian shoppers, who are already able to sign up for prime through some of Amazon’s other European sites, will get their own dedicated prime service for a more consistent pricing and shopping experience,” the report said.

After Covid-19 hit the company lost sales. This development seeks to ensure that everything that was lost during the pandemic is restored and ensure more growth. The company has also been scaling back hiring, subleasing warehouse space, and limiting delivery network expansion this year in anticipation of unforeseen slowdowns.

Amazon has also been in the process of constructing its African headquarters in South Africa. There were, however, hiccups in the process after an indigenous group in the country claimed that the tech giant had not undergone the proper process to acquire the land on which it was to be built.

 

OneDayOnly expands as e-commerce booms

Local e-commerce platform OneDayOnly has expanded its warehouses and increased the number of employees, OneDayOnly spokesperson Matthew Leighton told ITWeb.

The e-commerce site has witnessed 67% year-on-year growth, with staff members up by 30% in 2020 due to the Covid-19-induced lockdowns.

  • People have changed their shopping behaviour due to COVID-19
  • Consumers have been forced to look at online shopping platforms as alternatives to brick-and-mortar stores
  • The big increase in sales is also partly related to panic buying and lack of item availability
  • Convenience is another factor influencing the uptake of online shopping
  • SA’s e-commerce industry was growing before the pandemic
  • According to a Mastercard report, only 24% of local online spend was on foreign shopping sites, down from 27% in 2019 and 33% in 2012
  • Mobile app downloads increased from 30% in Q1 to 35% by Q4, which is a growth of 2.8 million people. e-Commerce stores with mobile apps have seen significant uptake

The influx of traffic has prompted a 30% increase in staff and an increase in warehouse footprint in both Cape Town and Johannesburg. To support small local businesses, OneDayOnly has prioritised local suppliers on its site.

A robust IT team is able to monitor and maintain the website.

 

Twitter announced on Tuesday it would double the limit for tweets to 280 characters, a bid to draw in more users and boost engagement at the social network.

Giving users twice the space to voice their thoughts ushers in a new era for the online platform, whose hallmark 140-character cap had encouraged users to craft succinct missives.

“We’re expanding the character limit! We want it to be easier and faster for everyone to express themselves,” tweeted the site, which started testing an increase to its limit in most languages in early September.

The changes will be rolling out in all languages except Japanese, Korean, and Chinese, in which space limitations have not been an issue, Twitter said.

It is the first time the tweet character cap has been raised since Twitter was founded 11 years ago.

Twitter, which has been lagging behind rival social networks in user growth and struggling to reach profitability, faced a dilemma over the change in that it could alienate longtime users and transform the nature of the service.

Product manager Aliza Rosen said in a blog post that the test showed most people still used 140 characters or fewer, suggesting the fast-moving nature of Twitter will not change.

“Our goal was to make this possible while ensuring we keep the speed and brevity that makes Twitter, Twitter,” Rosen said. “We’re excited to share we’ve achieved this goal and are rolling the change out to all languages where cramming was an issue.”

Brevity endures

Rosen noted that in the first few days of the test many people used the full 280-limit because it was new and novel, “but soon after behaviour normalised.”

As a result, “the brevity of Twitter remained,” she said.

While Twitter itself changed the way people communicate in the internet age, doubling the tweet character limit promised to shift it once again, according to Jennifer Grygiel, an assistant professor of communications at Syracuse University.

“It will slow down the speed at which users consume information and will allow for more clarity,” Grygiel said.

“This might not be a bad thing during a time when world leaders are making military threats via the platform.”

US President Donald Trump favours the platform for making major policy announcements, as well as criticising allies, taunting opponents and threatening North Korea with destruction.

He sent his inaugural 280-tweet while on South Korea as part of his Asia tour: “Getting ready to make a major speech to the National Assembly here in South Korea, then will be headed to China where I very much look forward to meeting with President Xi who is just off his great political victory.”

Glances and likes

Some users have worried that longer tweets could profoundly change the nature of the one-to-many messaging platform, which is popular with journalists and politicians but has failed to win the mass appeal of rivals like Facebook.

There was also worry that raising the character cap would give blowhards and abusers more room to spout.

“I will gladly give up my extra 140 characters if Twitter will delete Trump’s account,” author and civil rights commentator DaShanne Stokes said in a tweet fired off from @dashannestokes.

Stokes said Twitter’s move gives Trump “a bigger weapon with which to hurt more people.”

Twitter, which became a public company in 2013, has never reported a profit, even though it has built a loyal base of celebrities, journalists and political figures, including prolific tweeter Trump.

Twitter co-founder Biz Stone said that longer test tweets got tended to prompt more engagement by others using the service.

“In addition to more Tweeting, people who had 280 characters received more Likes, Retweets, @mentions, Followers, and were more satisfied with Twitter. So, you’ll be getting 280 too – enjoy!” Stone tweeted.

Some analysts maintain longer tweets are not the fix Twitter needs, and may even change the appealing ability to take in messages with glances.

It also risks Twitter looking a bit more like Facebook, one analyst contended, and might prompt the leading online social network to respond to what it might see as a competitive threat.

Meanwhile, many users welcomed the news and said raising the character cap was long overdue. Some people already resort to long strings of rapid-fire tweets, known as “tweet storms,” to string together lengthy comment.

Last month, Twitter reported its loss for the past quarter narrowed as the company suggested it could reach profitability for the first time in the fourth quarter.

The update showed Twitter’s monthly active user base rose slightly to 330 million, roughly in line with forecasts.

Source: Fin24

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