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Virtual Summit on SA e-commerce draws thousands

More than 30 leading e-commerce experts and business leaders will share their insights and expertise at next week’s event



More than 7,500 people have registered for next week’s PayFast eCommerce Virtual Summit, making it the biggest e-commerce conference in South African history.

The COVID-19 crisis has catapulted e-commerce to new levels in South Africa. While it was already growing at an exponential rate, e-commerce has now cemented its place in the new world of retail. 

“The monumental shifts we are seeing around the world as a result of the coronavirus have proved a game changer for the e-commerce sector,” says Warrick Kernes, founder of the Insaka eCommerce Academy and Director of the eCommerce Forum Africa. “With businesses struggling, e-commerce could be the solution for them.” 

Now, hot on the heels of government’s announcement that online retailers are free to sell anything — bar alcohol and cigarettes — under Level 4, Insaka has partnered with PayFast and other leaders in the e-commerce space to boost the potential offered by the e-commerce boom through the PayFast eCommerce Virtual Summit. It is 100% free and entirely online, running from 25 to 28 May 2020. The event will bring together over 30 leading e-commerce experts and business leaders. 

Aside from Kernes himself, who will speak on how to find a winning product to sell online, Andy Higgins, Founder of Bidorbuy and uAfrica will share his five pillars of e-commerce success.

“I’m looking forward to talking about selling across multiple sales channels during the time of COVID-19, which might just be the catalyst needed for e-commerce to reach its full potential in South Africa,” says Higgins.

Jonathan Smit, MD of PayFast, will discuss the arrival of the digital revolution. 

“Despite the havoc that South African businesses have experienced over the past few weeks, one advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic is that digital transformation has arguably been accelerated by three to five years,” he says. “The PayFast eCommerce Virtual Summit could not be better timed for local business owners who through this event will gain access to a wealth of insights and advice from top speakers on how to succeed in a digital economy.”

Co-founder and CEO of Yuppiechef Andrew Smith will share the inspirational Yuppiechef story. 

“We too had many challenges which, at the time, seemed insurmountable,” he says. “Yet, just getting started and tackling one challenge at a time helped us to achieve more than we ever imagined.”

Other speakers include:

  • Erich Essmann, Head of Marketplace Sellers at, on how to make the most of selling on Takealot,
  • Elisa Petrella, International Expansion at Shopify, on how entrepreneurs can use Shopifyto start their business,
  • Jason Sive, CEO of Mobicred, on what SA eCommerce will look like beyond Covid-19, 
  • Ryan Bacher, MD of Netflorist, on the Netflorist story,
  • Arthur Goldstuck, MD of World Wide Worx, decoding online retail in South Africa,
  • Donald Valoyi, CEO of Zulzi, on how to get last mile delivery right when no one else can.

To register, visit: