Bad news for Prime Day in South Africa

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Amazon has announced dates and countries that will participate in its annual Prime Day and South Africa was not on the list.

The sales event will kick off on 16 July in 23 countries, including the US, UK, and Australia. Indian customers will also be able to participate in Prime Day later this year.

Other countries Amazon says will participate are Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates.

MyBroadband asked Amazon South Africa to confirm that South Africa won’t participate in Prime Day this year, but it didn’t immediately respond to our request for comment.

Amazon’s annual Prime Day is only available to those who have subscribed to the Prime Membership, which isn’t yet available in South Africa.

If the launch of Amazon’s South African marketplace follows a similar approach to its launch in Australia, we may not see its Prime subscription service or Prime Day until next year.

In the US, the Prime Membership subscription costs $14.99 (R273) per month and provides a range of benefits, including:

  • Free 2-day delivery on a wide range of products;
  • Free release-day delivery on books, music, movies, and video games, provided they are ordered before 19:00;
  • Free on-demand take-away and grocery deliveries;
  • Amazon Prime Video subscription;
  • Amazon Music subscription;
  • Prime Gaming on Twitch; and,
  • Free access to Amazon Photos cloud storage.

Amazon will need to launch the subscription locally before South Africans can benefit from the Prime Day sale.

However, the company has been quiet on its plans to launch the subscription since it launched locally in early May 2024.

Prior to the launch, several South African e-commerce experts said Amazon would definitely launch the Prime Membership locally.

One such expert was TFG Labs co-head and Superbalist co-founder Claude Hanan, who said Amazon’s launch strategy generally leads with Prime and its associated benefits.

“This is consistent across developed and emerging markets. I see no reason why they would not do the same in South Africa,” said Hanan.

Amazon’s South African packaging doesn’t feature the Prime branding like it does in other marketplaces

If Amazon eventually launches its Prime Membership in South Africa, it will face competition from Takealot, which appears to have been very prepared for the launch.

Just days after Amazon.co.za went live, Takealot launched its TakealotMore subscription, offering similar free and same-day delivery features as Prime.

However, it doesn’t feature benefits like bundled video and music streaming subscriptions.

Takealot CEO Frederik Zietsman described the subscription as “ever-evolving” and said the company will introduce further benefits in the near future.

Takealot is owned by Naspers, which used to be the parent company of DStv and Showmax owner MultiChoice. It wouldn’t be entirely unexpected if the two partnered to offer a bundled package with Showmax.

It can also approach services like Netflix, Disney+, Showmax, Spotify, and YouTube Music to offer bundled deals.

The TakealotMore subscription has two tiers: Standard and Premium, priced at R39 and R99 per month, respectively.

The Premium subscription is most comparable to Amazon’s Prime Membership. It offers unlimited free same-day deliveries for orders over R500 and unlimited next-day deliveries with no order minimum.

It also offers ten free monthly deliveries for heavy and bulky items, with no minimum order.

Premium subscribers also get five free Mr-D restaurant deliveries per month and unlimited grocery deliveries through Mr D.

The table below compares the TakealotMore subscription’s two tiers.

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