Rush business customers with an existing store or online store now qualify for a free, custom developed, e-commerce store.

“We have decided to take this unprecedented step to support our SME customers and help them grow their business online,” says Serema Tshesane, MD of Rush. “As an aggregator of courier services in South Africa, it’s our business to ensure that our customers reach their audiences. By providing a free e-commerce website to our customers, we hope to assist the thousands of small businesses out there looking for a way to scale on a very tight budget.”

It is estimated that in 2017 alone, e-commerce in South Africa was an R10bn business according to the global financial firm, Visa. Globally, there is an estimated spend of $1,9-trillion which equates to roughly 8% of the total Global retail spend and the stats don’t show any signs of slowing down.

Even though South Africa is still a relatively small market on a global scale, there are an estimated 17,1-million e-commerce users in South Africa. According to Statista, e-commerce revenue in South Africa is expected to show an annual growth rate (CAGR 2018-2022) of 13,2%, resulting in a market volume of $5,431-billion by 2022. User penetration is around 56,9% in 2018 and is expected to hit 64,1% by 2022. The average revenue per user (ARPU) currently amounts to about $101.67.

In South Africa’s tough economic climate, Rush is throwing a digital lifeline to all SMEs who sell goods from traditional brick and mortar stores or those businesses who already sell their goods online.

“As an aggregator of courier services, it is in our interest to see a flourishing e-commerce market in South Africa, but this is so much bigger than just the services we provide,” says Tshesane. “There is no doubt that online shopping will play a major role in the future of commerce in South Africa, it’s now up to each business to make the transition online or take their current online offering to the next level.”

While every Rush customer qualifies for the e-commerce website offer, those who send fewer than 150 parcels a month will be charged a small platform fee.

For business who send up to 50 parcels a month, there’s a monthly fee of R399, while customers who send between 50 and 150 parcels pay only R299 per month. Businesses who send more than 150 parcels a month does not pay a monthly fee. Best of all, these are month-to-month costs and there are no contracts.

Business owners will also have the option to manage the website themselves or they can talk to the Rush e-commerce team about ongoing management. A How-to guide will be supplied with each website handover.

To qualify for the Upgrade My SME campaign, businesses need to be registered in South Africa, with the register of companies at the CIPC (Companies and Intellectual Property Commission). This Rush Campaign will be an ongoing offering and is open to all businesses in South Africa who trades or supplies physical goods.