Bidorbuy, uAfrica merge to create new e-commerce platform

Andy Higgins

Andy Higgins, the founder of auction website Bidorbuy and a pioneer in e-commerce in South Africa, is leading a new venture he hopes will make it easier for small and medium businesses to sell their products online.

The venture, called Bob Group, is an amalgamation of Bidorbuy and uAfrica, a logistics software firm he co-founded. It will offer a full suite of e-commerce services to South African businesses, including an online marketplace, inventory management, order fulfilment, a shipping tool, online payments and courier software as a service.

Higgins, who founded Bidorbuy in 1999, said the amalgamated Bidorbuy and uAfrica “offers everything e-commerce to all South African consumers and companies operating online, whether they are looking to sell, buy – or both”. It expects to attract small and medium enterprises that don’t necessarily have the capabilities in-house to build e-commerce solutions themselves.

“The merger means that merchants will now be offered a complete set of e-commerce services, including payments, logistics and a marketplace,” he said in a statement.

This Friday, TechCentral’s new technology show TC|Daily, will feature a wide-ranging interview with Higgins about Bob Group. In the interview, he also shares his views on where e-commerce is going in South Africa, especially in light of the impending – though still not officially confirmed – launch of a local marketplace. Watch a sneak peek of the TC|Daily interview with Higgins below.

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Higgins said Bob Group will be different from other marketplaces in South Africa, including market leader Takealot, by adopting a decentralised rather than a centralised approach to e-commerce. This, he said, will allow Bob Group to price its services “much more competitively”.

“We are more seller-friendly than our competitors,” he said. “Sellers can expect a more cost-effective offering based on intuitive, easy-to-use selling and fulfilment tools. Where previously we’ve focused exclusively on the marketplace, this amalgamation will allow us to provide merchant-empowering tools across all the sales channels they are active on, including their own websites and third-party channels.”

Services that Bob Group offers include:

  • A tool that allows merchants to sync products from their online stores to Bidorbuy, and a real-time solution for updates to products and inventory;
  • Shipping and tracking solutions;
  • A payment facilitator that provides merchants with the opportunity to have buyers pay with their preferred payment option; and
  • A software-as-a-service solution providing technology for courier companies to run their businesses, including a driver app, customer and administration portals, and billing. – © 2022 NewsCentral Media