Insights from Ecommerce Live 2023: Top trends for marketplace sellers


The Ecommerce Live 2023 event held at the Sandton Convention Centre on Tuesday, 12 September 2023 was a game-changer for the local ecommerce industry. With industry experts, thought leaders, and successful sellers in attendance, the event provided valuable insights into the rapidly evolving landscape of ecommerce – especially that of marketplaces. For South African merchants, these trends are particularly crucial in navigating this competitive and dynamic space. Here are the top trends identified at Ecommerce Live 2023 that can help South African marketplace sellers thrive in this ever-changing environment.

Know and utilise your options

The ecommerce landscape is brimming with opportunities and resources. South African sellers should actively explore and leverage a variety of available platforms, payment gateways, and marketing channels for the greatest exposure to customers. Whether it’s established marketplaces like Bob Shop or niche-specific platforms, understanding your options empowers you to reach a broader audience and diversify your revenue streams.

Mobile optimization is non-negotiable

Mobile commerce is on the rise, with a significant portion of online shoppers using their smartphones to make purchases. Ensuring that your preferred marketplace is mobile-friendly and optimised for various devices is no longer optional. Mobile responsiveness should be a priority in your website design and development effort. 

Did you know that Bob Shop has a free mobile app that brings South Africa’s safe and simple online marketplace to your smartphone or tablet? Download it to your device today!

Embracing social commerce and localised marketing

With the increasing influence of social media, leveraging platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok for ecommerce is becoming a necessity. Sellers should create engaging content and run effective ad campaigns to tap into the vast potential of social commerce.

Understanding the unique cultural and linguistic diversity of South Africa is also paramount for successful ecommerce ventures. Invest in localised marketing strategies, including content translation, culturally relevant imagery, and region-specific advertising. This will help you resonate with the South African audience.

Craig Lubbe on the stage at Ecommerce Live 2023

Image courtesy of Palesa Radebe. Published on: September 14th, 2023. Source: Bob Group

Efficient logistics and delivery solutions

Timely and reliable delivery remains a critical factor for customer satisfaction. South African sellers should partner with marketplaces that have reliable logistics providers. These should offer various options like same-day delivery, click-and-collect, and flexible return policies to enhance the overall shopping experience.

Book shipments directly from Bob Shop. You do not need to open an account with every courier partner in order to use their services. Choose from these great courier companies: The Courier Guy, Internet Express, RAM and SkyNet.

Compliance with local regulations

South Africa has specific regulations and compliance requirements for ecommerce businesses. Staying informed and adhering to legal frameworks, including tax obligations and consumer protection laws, is crucial to operating a successful and sustainable online business in the country.

Ecommerce Live 2023 provided invaluable insights for South African marketplace sellers looking to stay ahead in the dynamic ecommerce landscape. These trends serve as a roadmap for navigating the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. Embracing them will not only drive growth but also contribute to the continued expansion of the vibrant ecommerce ecosystem in South Africa.

Sign up for a Bob Shop account today and get selling on SA’s favourite online marketplace!