Local online shopping/auction marketplace meets rising expectations as global retail e-commerce traffic reaches 22 billion monthly visits.
By: Staff Writer
bidorbuy, one of South Africa’s largest online shopping and auction marketplaces, has strengthened its shipping offering with an easy-to-use facility that will source quotes from leading courier companies and offer the most competitive rate at the time of shipping.
The platform, called bidorbuy Shipping, is made possible through a partnership with uAfrica.com, a technology company that assists online merchants with omni-channel solutions, streamlining their order-fulfilment and shipping processes. bidorbuy Shipping will generate electronic shipping labels at the click of a button, while payments for the service are made through a bidorbuy account, meaning simpler, safer shipping all around.
This comes as Statista, a global business-data platform, announced last Monday that global retail e-commerce traffic stood at a record 22 billion monthly visits, significantly influenced by the covid-19 pandemic, with demand exceptionally high for everyday items like groceries, clothing and consumer tech. Online marketplaces account for the largest share of online purchases worldwide in 2020, according to Statista, with a prominent Seattle-based e-commerce giant leading the ranking with over 5.2 billion unique visitors for June this year alone. Next year, over 2.14 billion people are expected to purchase goods and services online, with growth accelerated massively by the impact of covid-19.
For smaller, independent and localised merchants who trade on platforms such as bidorbuy, the order-fulfilment process has up to now differed from one merchant to the next, because a standard shipping facility wasn’t built into the offering. “But that is changing,” says Craig Lubbe, CEO of bidorbuy. “Consumers in South Africa are now comfortable with selling or buying online, and with that comes an evolving set of needs and expectations, one of them being a commitment on how shipments are delivered and at what cost.”
In a quick and easy four-step process, the bidorbuy seller may log in, navigate to the selling section, click on ‘Sign up with bidorbuy Shipping’, and follow the on-screen prompts. uAfrica.com’s aggregating facility ensures that the buyer gets bang for their buck, but also allows the seller to maximise their profit on each transaction. And because sellers no longer have to continually follow up on each shipment and pass on the information to buyers, they now have more time to focus on their core offering – selling their product.
For buyers, shopping remains the same, but now, once they’ve placed an order with a seller who is registered to the service, they’ll receive an email listing their purchase delivery tracking details. Both the buyer and seller will receive automated shipping/tracking updates throughout the delivery process.
The facility sets itself apart from conventional shipping companies associated with online merchants by offering a tried-and-tested technology. “We specialise in technology that’s proven and popular with online merchants,” says Anita Erasmus, business manager for uAfrica.com. “The integration between bidorbuy and ourselves is seamless and requires no manual intervention with regards to syncing placed orders. Our aggregator also ensures that we offer competitive courier rates at the time of shipping, along with our levels of service in fulfilment.”
Commenting on the significance of this service, Lubbe says: “Our sellers and buyers have always been quite vocal about what works for them and what doesn’t, and this, coupled with an increase in business since covid-19 first hit our shores, has quickened the need to match increasing expectations.”
Lubbe notes that while the company is, of course, painfully aware of the impact and hardships the pandemic has had and is having on so many lives in South Africa, at the same time it’s creating new opportunities that “as a nation we otherwise may have battled to realise. Online shopping is a safer, more reliable and efficient way of meeting needs and wants, so we can expect to continually see new developments offered by online retail sites in the months and years ahead.”