Bidorbuy was launched by Andy Higgins in August 1999, and has since grown into one of South Africa most successful online ventures.
Jonker took over as Bidorbuy CEO from founder Andy Higgins in September 2010, shortly after the company launched their Kenyan operations (June 2010).
Things are looking good for the company. Jonker revealed that Bidorbuy showed around 30% growth in 2011, and that they expect the same level of growth in 2012.
“Bidorbuy.co.za currently has almost 940,000 items listed on sale. That is an increase of about 90,000 items in less than two months. Every week, around 25,000 sales are concluded on the site,” he said.
“In the period leading up to Christmas, the toys category simply exploded. Antiques, jewellery, watches, collectible coins and stamps are constant favourites,” Jonker added.
“The categories that recorded the fastest growth in 2011 are computers and electronics, with everything starting with an “I” – iPhones, iPads, iPods – leading the popularity.”
Like most online businesses Bidorbuy is keen to see better and cheaper Internet connectivity to boost business.
“We are still waiting for the undersea cables to translate into more internet connections, better speed and lower prices for South Africans. Those fundamentals are crucial for an online business such as Bidorbuy is,” said Jonker.
The group plans to strengthen its presence in Kenya. “The initial response to bidorbuy.co.ke is very positive, although online shopping is still to become mainstream on the continent as a whole,” said Jonker.
On the local front mobile commerce is a key focus area. “We expect that South Africans will start shopping via their mobile devices in bigger numbers, so one of our focuses will be on mobile,” said Jonker.
“We have already rolled out a basic mobi site for older internet-enabled cell phones; a rich mobi site for state-of-art smartphones; and an iPhone application. This year, we’ll concentrate on improving the user experience on mobile devices, whether they access our mobi sites or our main site.”
“We will also be focusing on projects that will reduce the risk of fraudulent transactions, and customer satisfaction will be our main focal point,” Jonker concluded.