Deliver your Product | Lars Veul

I started many years ago at Groupon, then a very fast growing ecommerce company from the US. I'm originally from the Netherlands and joined them in Amsterdam and was asked in 2012, to come to South Africa and help set it up here, which I gladly did. And I've been here now for the last eight years. And I think it's the attraction of ecommerce growth and opportunities that South Africa and the African continent have to offer that attracted me. But it's also taught me a lot.

Ecommerce in South Africa is not the same as ecommerce in the rest of the world. It's not the same as in the US or Europe. I think that by now, most ecommerce companies and people in the community know that and they have adjusted to that. But when I arrived here, eight years ago, I could see it was still very much, me included, people thinking that they can just copy what's happening overseas and hoping that it would work here. But that's not definitely gonna happen.

So what we're going to talk about today a little bit is, you know, the challenges of e-commerce, especially accessibility. Great, Graham actually really touched on it a little bit saying, you know, South Africa is a very big country. And how do you ensure that you can still deliver to your consumers, although they are scattered around the country and some tricks around that. I think the current crisis is going to speed up digital transformation and is going to speed up ecommerce tremendously. We're already seeing a lot of movement around that in space. As an example of a few I mean, I read that Pick n Pay and Shoprite this week have launched mobile payments with snapscan and Zapper. Something that I've been wondering why they didn't do that 10 years ago, or five years ago, would be to just open up some drive thru pickup points.

Uber Eats is now going to probably move into the logistics space or the delivery of parcels. So you can see that obviously, a crisis like this is going to make a lot of changes. And I assume that a lot of you guys are also on the call because of that, because, you know, it's a moment of obviously a lot of uncertainty. And unfortunately, for some people also, you know, risk to their health, but it's also an opportunity. I think that's why we're all together today. Um, so yeah, why did I come here originally, right? Ecommerce is growing. I think South Africa and Africa as a continent, South Africa, specifically, opportunity is big. More and more people are going online, more and more people will have access to the internet. The middle class is growing, the middle class being people that have, you know, disposable income. South Africa specifically is a good country, because it has a very high banking and card penetration.

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