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Kalahari.com speeds up market expansion

Kalahari.com speeds up market expansion
Monday October 7 2013

South Africa’s largest online retailer will use hybris to extend its e-commerce and multichannel services into South Africa and beyond

Kalahari.com, South Africa’s largest online retailer, has selected the hybris Commerce Suite to fast-track market growth selling both digital and physical goods via its online stores and marketplaces.

A 2013 survey of online shopping habits by MasterCard Worldwide reveals online retail in South Africa is growing by more than 30% annually. As Africa’s leading online retailer of electronics, toys, appliances, games and books, kalahari.com will use the e-commerce software from SAP subsidiary hybris to respond to growth opportunities and further extend its market share in the fast growing Southern African e-commerce market.

Providing a true omnichannel experience, the scalability of the hybris Commerce platform will enable kalahari.com to support its rapidly expanding online operations, which include consumer-to-consumer (C2C) and business-to-consumer (B2C) retail and deliver a feature-rich experience to a growing number of mobile shoppers. This will include selling digital goods such as e-books, via kalahari.com’s own e-reader device the Gobii, and a large expansion of its online catalogue of digital and physical goods. According to a recent survey published by the retailer, mobile shopping in South Africa is being fuelled by the uptake of tablet devices, with 70% of tablet owners now using their devices to shop online.

Owned by MIH Internet Holdings, a Naspers company that specialises in e-commerce platforms, kalahari.com realised its existing e-commerce system would not be able to scale to support its fast growing business strategy.

Supporting customer-centric businesses

“All our retail businesses and especially kalahari.com are highly customer centric, hence a large part of our IT focus is on delivering core platforms that enable the business to deliver the best customer experiences. At large scale and across a continent, this becomes particularly challenging. But, with hybris in place, we have a foundation to build upon that will free up our IT teams to focus on the more innovative edge of our customer offering going forward,” explained Michael Needham, chief technology officer at MIH E-Commerce Africa and Middle East.

Alongside delivering the capability to cope with rapidly increasing data and transaction volumes, the new e-commerce platform investment is designed to enable kalahari.com to respond quickly to changing market or consumer demands while simultaneously reducing site management and development costs.

“With cloud and mobile technology a strong focus we needed a flexible core e-commerce framework at the heart of our many systems that make up our platform,” added Needham. “The online technology universe is evolving at such a rapid rate, we needed a platform with a solid architecture and a strong set of tools that allow the business teams autonomy in controlling the site’s offering without heavy involvement from IT.”

Tagged as: Kalahari.com | online | e-commerce | C2C | B2C | mobile | e-books | m-commerce | growth | hybris