Johannesburg, 21 September 2020: South African online sellers polled by the Insaka eCommerce Academy favour PayFast when it comes to selecting a payment gateway. They rate The Courier Guy for local deliveries and DHL Express for international customers. They overwhelmingly make use of uAfrica when it comes to order fulfilment software and Mailchimp for email marketing. And, when they are looking for a business banking offering, they most frequently turn to FNB.  

These and other behind-the-scenes insights into how South African eCommerce companies set up and run their businesses are contained in the newly released Insaka eCommerce Playbook. Created with input from the Insaka eCommerce Academy’s 14 000-strong community, the Playbook is the first and only directory of eCommerce services and software in South Africa based on unbiased input from companies at the coal-face of the industry. The Playbook is free to all via the Insaka site.  

Creating the Playbook directory was, for Insaka founder Warrick Kernes, the culmination of an ambition to produce an objective and useful tool for those new to the eCommerce world. It is also an essential guide and reference point for established sellers keen to keep up with industry trends and the supplier choices being made by others in the growing eCommerce sector.  

Voted for through a series of polls, the Playbook crowdsourced and then collated the best eCommerce recommendations from the community into a handy directory. “This is exactly the objective tool I wanted to produce, one based on objective voting and offering all the answers online sellers are looking for, from which distribution and accounting systems to use, to the best marketplaces, banking options and drop shipping apps,” says Kernes, who admits to finding some of the responses and weightings surprising.  

“I was pleased to see both PayFast and uAfrica coming through strongly in the results, as I have personally made use of both their services over the years,” says Kernes. “Similarly it was interesting, but not entirely surprising, that the majority of respondents recommended building your own eCommerce website rather than opting for the services of a developer.” 

Kernes adds: “The use of social media schedulers was also noteworthy, with Hootsuite dominating ahead of Later and Buffer. While Wave, as a preferred – and free – accounting system, was also a strong favourite; and one that is ideal for a start-up’s needs.” 

The strength of the Playbook offering – which Insaka intends to update once a year – is that it is based on true and unbiased recommendations from those in the eCommerce community. “It is a collective view, not a subjective view; which makes it more democratic,” says Kernes. “This is a true reflection of the choices the eCommerce community in South Africa is making.” 

As a result, for the companies and service providers singled out for recommendation in the Playbook, the endorsement certainly carries extra weight.  


  • 64% of respondents to the Insaka Playbook poll use the Dropstore shipping app.  
  • 69% prefer to source their Chinese goods from Alibaba
  • 57% opt for PayFast when it comes to choosing a payment gateway. 
  • 52% source their boxes, tape and other packaging materials from Merrypak.  
  • 58% recommend the services of Aramex for their freight forwarding needs.  
  • 77% use WhatsApp’s on-site chat software.  
  • 39% recommend the services of ROI Solutions for digital marketing.   
  • 55% single out Takealot as the best local marketplace on which to sell.  

Access the complete Insaka eCommerce Playbook at: