The best ecommerce solutions, as voted by local ecommerce firms

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South Africa’s ecommerce sector had a fire lit underneath it when South Africa entered lockdown in March.

What followed was what we’d describe as a mad rush to implement and expand ecommerce offerings.

For some though that journey is still happening and the Insaka eCommerce Academy has offered a bit of insight in that regard.

Following input from the Academy’s 14 000 member community, it has published the Insaka eCommerce Playbook which outlines which platforms and solutions local firms prefer.

This not just an opinion though as Insaka founder, Warrick Kernes, hopes that it serves as a tool for local business owners looking for ecommerce advice.

“This is exactly the objective tool I wanted to produce, one based on objective voting and offering all the answers online sellers are looking for, from which distribution and accounting systems to use, to the best marketplaces, banking options and drop shipping apps,” explains Kernes.

So what services and platforms are the cream of the crop?

  • 64 percent of respondents to the Insaka Playbook poll use the Dropstore shipping app.
  • 69 percent prefer to source their Chinese goods from Alibaba.
  • 57 percent opt for PayFast when it comes to choosing a payment gateway.
  • 52 percent source their boxes, tape and other packaging materials from Merrypak.
  • 58 percent recommend the services of Aramex for their freight forwarding needs.
  • 77 percent use WhatsApp’s on-site chat software.
  • 39 percent recommend the services of ROI Solutions for digital marketing.
  • 55 percent single out Takealot as the best local marketplace on which to sell.

In terms of which ecommerce platforms local business owners prefer, WooCommerce wins out by a large margin with Shopify coming in second.

What is strange, however, is that when building out a WordPress website, respondents recommended building the site yourself.

While this is entirely possible, if you have never built a website or an ecommerce section of a website, we highly recommend consulting an expert.

To that end respondents recommended Pretty Social and Heartly digital if you do opt to garner outside help.

“I was pleased to see both PayFast and uAfrica coming through strongly in the results, as I have personally made use of both their services over the years. Similarly it was interesting, but not entirely surprising, that the majority of respondents recommended building your own ecommerce website rather than opting for the services of a developer,” said Kernes.

The Insaka eCommerce Playbook can be found here and it’s free to access.

We also highly recommend joining the Insaka eCommerce Community on Facebook. We don’t often recommend joining Facebook groups but if you have a small business in South Africa this is the group to join. Community members are helpful and offer some great advice for those building out ecommerce solutions.

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.