New e-commerce body for SA

Media24 head of new business development Nic Robertson and online information strategist Eve Dmochowska have founded a body to represent and promote e-commerce in South Africa.

According to its founders, the E-Commerce Association (TECA) aims to promote online shopping in South Africa by building awareness, instilling confidence and increasing the skill set of stakeholders in the e-commerce industry.

Dmochowska currently acts as the head of the TECA steering committee and is a director of the board, while Robertson is the current executive chairman of the board. No other roles have been filled as yet.

TECA is currently being formulated and registered as a Section 21 (non-profit) South African company.

The group will represent large and small e-shop owners; brick and mortar stores that are including e-commerce as part of their omnichannel strategy; and service providers (platforms, payments, logistics, delivery, consultants).

The group has also noted that it plans to be directly involved with promoting online shopping in South Africa by creating specific growth projects.

“For example, the Awareness Committee will discuss and investigate the viability of a South African version of ‘Cyber Monday’, which will promote online deals on one specific day of the year, across hundreds of local online retailers,” it said.

It will also help alleviate widely-held security and privacy concerns by developing a “best practice” credo to be adopted by members.

“Think of it as the ‘Verified Shop’ functionality on BidorBuy or the ‘Trusted’ shop feature on PriceCheck.co.za,” it said.

The group also says it will serve “professional legal opinion” and also wants to represent the e-commerce industry in dialogue with government and other policy-setting bodies.

Notably, e-commerce in South Africa currently falls under Icasa’s jurisdiction.

Teca will also run surveys, workshops, conferences, roundtables and other networking opportunities related to the industry.

Membership is open to all aforementioned stakeholders, though fees and application procedures are yet to be finalised.

“This is expected to occur by the end of August 2014,” the group said.

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New e-commerce body for SA