I shop online often and it is my occupation but I feel certain stigmas hurt the industry, especially in South Africa. Some of them have grounds and others are urban legends in my opinion.
When I see the words eBay in my mind the first thought that comes to mind is the marketplace concept in which users can list their second hand goods in either a “buy-now” or auction environment. It was the element that placed eBay on the map and subsequently provided a launch pad for them to raise capital to buy shopping.com (comparison shopping engine), paypal.com (payment gateway) and stubhub.com (live event ticketing platform).
Many people are not aware that eBay is also in the classifieds space through their Kijiji group who have the popular South African classified provider Gumtree in their stable. The point that I am trying to make is that they have a multi-channel platform to capitalise on the entire eCommerce value chain.
The last few weeks I have found some really nice sources for information on technology in South Africa and startups. Startups are an interest of mine and on the Bloomberg channel (channel 411) on DStv there is a show dedicated to it. The show is hosted by Cris Valerio and she travels all over the world to report on start-ups and challenges they face. I have noticed that on her show, her guests are more willing to communicate on certain issues than on blogs. Venture is shown on Saturdays and Sundays in South Africa.
Bloomberg describes “Venture gives viewers an inside look at what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. The weekly half-hour program, hosted by Cris Valerio, will feature interviews with entrepreneurs and small business owners, focusing on issues and policy that impacts the way Main Street does business.”