By: Tebogo Mokwena
Takealot’s CEO Frederik Zietsman has encouraged small businesses to list their products on e-commerce platforms like Takealot. Zietsman believes that e-commerce is perfectly positioned to enable the explosive growth of SMEs in South Africa. According to Zietsman, some of the reasons that prevented small businesses from listing their products included the belief that it was a complicated and expensive process. Also, sometimes SMMEs are not aware of the criteria needed to list their products.
Zietsman told Vutivi News that Takealot Marketplace had a rigorous vetting process and minimum selection criteria in place for businesses to list. These included ensuring that businesses were registered according to the relevant laws and regulations, could fulfill orders, maintained competitive pricing, kept sufficient inventory, and met their quality standards. It is also required that businesses had a computer or a cellphone with internet access in order to use their seller portal.
Zietsman said that Takealot offered various onboarding tools and educational content to help make the process of listing products seamlessly. “Ultimately, we aim to make it affordable and more accessible for small businesses to operate on our platform, and we are always here to guide them along the way with educational material and seller support,” he said. Zietsman said that there were many benefits to listing on e-commerce platforms. Small businesses could access new markets and new customers without having to incur the expensive costs of setting up a similar infrastructure.
Since launching Takealot Marketplace in 2014, seller numbers have grown from 120 to over 8000. And last year alone, Takealot onboarded over 3000 businesses. “At Takealot, we passionately believe that enabling SMEs is crucial for the growth and prosperity of South Africa, particularly in the e-commerce industry, and this is only possible if the right conditions are created for these businesses to grow and thrive,” he said. “With origins as a small, local business ourselves, we know that starting and growing a business can be challenging.
“Enabling SMEs enables our economy, which directly impacts our country’s potential and job creation,” Zietsman said that in South Africa, only 20% of start-ups survived past the first five years, with only a small proportion of those being owned by black people. Star Cleaner co-owner Dikeledi Bokaba told Vutivi News that the company had received a lot of exposure since listing its cleaning detergents. “E-commerce is moving into a new era of doing business with clients, as they prefer not going to the shops, so we are able to tap into that market as well,” she said.