The local online shopping platform, which went live on 16 April 2024, carries a wide range of international products.

Imbert says the fact that South African shoppers can access a wide range of international products through a local store is a standout feature of Zando Global and sets it apart from competitors like Temu and Shein.

“Zando Global has surpassed our growth expectations. The South African market has taken well to our launch, confirming that South Africans have been waiting for something like Zando Global for quite some time,” she says.

“The standout feature of Zando Global is that people now have the convenience of dealing with a local company when shopping for international products.”

Zando says the platform offers South African shoppers a trustworthy alternative to Shein and Temu.

“With the rise of Shein and Temu, South African consumers have often found themselves hesitant to order internationally due to concerns about product quality, delivery reliability, and returns processes,” it says.

Zando Global ensures that South African shoppers can conveniently receive, collect, and return products, of which the platform offers over 200,000.

It will also offer quality assurance guarantees, where each product is inspected before dispatching it to a customer.

“With the launch of Zando Global, we’re thrilled to provide South Africans with a solution that addresses their concerns about ordering internationally,” said Imbert.

“Now, they can enjoy the same sought-after products with the peace of mind that comes from shopping with a local company they know and trust.”

Zando Global uses the same logistics partner used by Shein and Temu in South Africa for importing and delivery — Buffalo International Logistics.

Earlier this year, Buffalo experienced delays in delivering customer orders from Temu and Shein, saying it struggled to cope with an influx of orders from South Africa.

Given this popularity, Zando has its work cut out competing against its overseas competitors.

Temu launched in South Africa in January 2024. It regularly offers products at prices that South African retailers cannot match, as well as coupon discounts and free shipping services.

Temu and Shein have been in the spotlight recently for allegedly exploiting tax loopholes to offer products at lower prices in South Africa.

Local e-commerce players have also complained that Temu is selling products below cost, making it difficult for local online stores to survive.

Both companies have denied the allegations.

“Temu demands strict compliance with all regulatory standards and reserves the right to sever ties with any business that breaches our Code of Conduct or the law,” Temu said.

Its popularity in South Africa is likely the result of its aggressively-priced products and a massive online marketing campaign.

The Temu: Shop Like a Billionaire app is the most downloaded app among iOS and Android users in South Africa, beating WhatsApp, TikTok, Shein, Capitec Bank, and other popular apps.

Temu’s success in South Africa isn’t surprising. It used a similar approach in the US, where it offered aggressively priced products and spent millions on marketing.