Running for the seventh year, the eCommerce Awards recognise the top online merchants through public voting and nomination. A panel of judges later ratifies the top 20 sites.
Several renowned South African websites have been nominated for the top 40 list, including 24HoursOnly, Bidorbuy, 36Boutiques, Groupon South Africa, HomeChoice, Kalahari and OLX South Africa.
24HoursOnly offers daily deals on various products including electronics, clothing, software and entertainment gadgets. There has been a steady rise of daily deal sites in South Africa.
Another notable nominee in the top 40 is 36boutiques, a women’s fashion store. According to statshow, a leading online estimation tool, the site receives over 400,000 page views a month, showing its power in the market.
Kalaahari, an Amazon-like portal, has also been nominated for the awards. The site shut up shop in Kenya and Nigeria in October last year due to lack of profitability.
UAfrica, which previously traded as Jump Shopping and centralises its business around eCommerce products such as UPrice.co.za, a price comparison site for products and services, runs the awards.
On November 15, UAfrica will unveil the top 20 leading sites and divide them into several categories including The Public's Favourite eCommerce Website, Best eCommerce Store, Best eCommerce Services Website, Best Group Buying Website, Best Design, Standards and Ease of use and Best Shopping Process.
The eCommerce Awards 2012 are coming at a time when there are conflicting reports on the size of South Africa’s online commerce market. Online sales make up to 0.5 percent of the total sales in South Africa, dimming the illusion of an e-market transformation. Experts see the aggressive nature of online portals in the country as an indicator of “big things to come in the future.”
The awards aim to highlight the growing number of online merchant websites in a bid to highlight their role in the market.
Last year, BidorBuy emerged as The Public's Favourite E-Commerce Websites and Best E-Commerce Services Website.