Allsale Club co-founders Justin Drennan and Michelle Lehrer. Photo: Supplied

DURBAN – Allsale Club is a members-only online shopping business which aims to save consumers money on everything from everyday branded items to luxury items. 

Led by co-founder and e-commerce veteran Justin Drennan and co-founder and chief executive Michelle Lehrer, Allsale Club has the experience of two of South Africa’s leading e-commerce market players, online shopping website Wantitall and full-service fulfilment and distribution facility ParcelNinja.

Drennan said Allsale Club leveraged existing Wantitall and Parcel Ninja processes, infrastructure and IT development, translating into a fully functioning supply chain from launch.

"Allsale Club works with suppliers around the world to bring more than half a million products to South Africans, many of which are not currently available on local shelves. With a members-only approach, the business model is driven by membership fees and not margins," said Lehrer.

The site handles all import related charges including duties and offers free returns. "We’ve made our business transparent for customers – the price you see online is the price you pay, including VAT, with no hidden customs duties," said Lehrer. 

The website went live on September 2. According to the company, the reception to a members-only model has been fantastic. 

Other top South African online shopping sites include Loot.co.za, Action Gear, bidorbuy.co.za, Boost Gymwear, Cape Coffee Beans, signs that the South African e-commerce space is growing.

Online shopping hit the R14 billion mark in South Africa with 1.4 percent of overall sales in the country despite persistent apprehensions about its safety.

A study by mobile and tech research group World Wide Worx and Visa and Platinum Seed found that online shopping would to surpass the landmark as e-commerce begins to go mainstream.

The study, called Online Retail in South Africa 2019, surveyed a total of 75 big companies.

It found that safety remained a significant concern as one in five consumers said they were victims of payment card fraud. The study found that there were 21 million internet users in South Africa meaning every second adult South African was connected.

It said e-commerce was still not a major element of South African retail in general, and the report hopes there will be growth in online shopping.

The research said that the growth had beaten market forecasts.

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE