Limited room’ for Amazon to enter South African e-retail: Naspers CEO

Limited room’ for Amazon to enter South African e-retail: Naspers CEO

Naspers and Prosus CEO Bob van Dijk does not expect to enter South Africa’s e-commerce sector “any time soon”.

A principal reason for this view, Van Dijk said in an online call with journalists on Thursday, is that Naspers-controlled e-retailer “is doing a really, really good job” serving South African online consumers.

Van Dijk would not be drawn on whether Naspers would entertain an offer for Takealot from Amazon – “we don’t speculate about future M&A; we never do that and won’t do that here, either” – but he said Amazon could be deterred from entering the local market because of Takealot’s relative strength.

In some respects, Takealot is channelling Amazon’s relentless focus on customer satisfaction. According to Van Dijk, the financial performance of Takealot is important, but so, too, is ensuring customers are satisfied with the platform.

“We look closely at the Net Promoter Score, which is really whether people like the service enough to recommend it to others. There, Takealot has done just a fantastic job,” he said. “If they manage to continue to make customers happy at scale, like they have been doing, then I think there is limited room for Amazon to come in and offer something better.”

Even if Amazon decides to enter South Africa’s e-commerce market directly, “this is not a winner-takes-all business”, Van Dijk said. “As long as you do your best for your customers and have scale, you have a good business.”  

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