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Shein Online Store Review 2023

Published by
Lethabo Ntsoane

Shein is a word that has become popular in the fashion world among South Africans. Shein has been making headlines in South Africa for the last 3 years as one of the top retailers targeting the country.

Shein sells products at steep discounts, with discounts of up to 80% off the original price. The company is a force to be reckoned with, challenging large corporations all over the world. Shein’s revenue in 2023 is expected to be $16 billion, making it the world’s largest online-only fashion company.

Shein has been successful in marketing its brand in South Africa, where it can be found in the majority of cheap fashion categories. According to Similarweb, Shein has 1 million monthly website visitors, making it one of South Africa’s most visited websites.

The company has repeatedly demonstrated that Shein has mastered the art of supply chain management. Shein now operates in 220 countries and has a large following among Generation Z and Millennials.

We will look at Shein’s history below to better understand it. 

A brief history of Shein

Shein was founded in China in 2008 under the name ZZKKO. Shein was initially considered a drop shipping company because it only sourced clothing from manufacturers. When it secured its own supply chain system in 2014, it became a fully integrated retailer.

Shein is now able to produce products at a very low-cost thanks to partnerships with manufacturers and suppliers. Shein is able to identify and design trending fashion items in just 3 days after identifying the trend.

The online fashion store is now a fashion industry behemoth with a presence in South Africa dating back to the 2010s. The company operates solely online and does not have any physical stores in South Africa.

Shein’s significant presence grew in South Africa, particularly since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Due to the company’s popularity on platforms such as TikTok and Instagram the brand is now mostly associated with Generation Z in South Africa.

Shein is now present in 220 countries worldwide, with South Africa being one of them. With over 100,000 employees and a market value of $100 billion, the company has grown to be an industry juggernaut. Shein is projected to be the world’s largest fashion retailer by 2023.

Shein’s presence in South Africa

In South Africa, Shein operates under the domain name za.shein.com. In 2022, the domain name was one of the best performing, with over 1 million monthly users. South Africans can also use the Shein app, which is very convenient.

Shein provides a variety of departments for South Africans to shop from. The following departments are available for shopping:

  • Women’s wear (dresses, beachwear, bodysuits, bottoms, maternity, shoes, and more);
  • Men’s wear (sweatshirts, underwear, bags, polo shirts, jeans, and more);
  • Kids wear (clothing for girls and boys aged 0 to 14 years);
  • Home wear (bedding, bathroom, storage, decor, home improvement, and more); and
  • Beauty wear (wigs, hair tools, nail art, and more).

Shein Shipping to South Africa

When purchasing from Shein, you will be charged for shipping. When you spend more than R1050.00, shipping is free. However, the items purchased do not include customs, which should be paid to the shipping company. Customs policies vary and are based on a variety of factors, including the weight of the package.

Shein currently uses Buffalo Freight Systems and Aramex. Delivery will be determined by how quickly the customer pays customs. If customs are paid on time, a delivery time of three weeks is usually met.

Shein competitive advantages in South Africa

  1. The online store offers up to 85% off the original price of products.
  2. When compared to similar products sold and/or manufactured locally, the original pricing is extremely low.
  3. Shein has a strong online presence in South Africa, with TikTok and Instagram influencers flaunting their purchases.
  4. When shopping online, customers can choose from a variety of departments.
  5. Since the company consistently offers high levels of discounts, there are a high number of returning customers.
  6. Bonus points can be obtained by reviewing the items purchased from the online store.
  7. Shein accepts returns from South Africa and has a 30-day return policy.
  8. The store is simple to use because its AI bot can recommend items that you are looking for.
  9. The store offers first-time and repeat customers additional discounts.
  10. The store offers high-quality product labels at a lower price than other international fashion houses.
  11. When you spend R1050.00 or more, you get free shipping.

Shein competitive disadvantages in South Africa

  1. The online store doesn’t have a credit facility for South African shoppers.
  2. Shein deliveries take longer to complete than local store deliveries. Superbalist.com, for example, has a next-day delivery option for items sold on the online store, whereas Shein does not have such an option for South African buyers, making it impossible for those who want their ordered products to arrive immediately.
  3. Shein does not include customs fees in their advertised prices, so the total cost of a purchase rises at delivery.
  4. Companies such as Nike include customs costs in their prices, whereas Shein does not, which can cause delays for customers who are unaware of the costs of customs.
  5. Shein has been accused of stealing designs from major fashion labels and selling them at rock-bottom prices.

Conclusion

Shein is one of the best online stores in the world, and South Africans are slowly but steadily beginning to enjoy shopping there. Shein primarily targets South Africans aged 19 to 36 and has successfully penetrated this market segment by encouraging individuals to share their purchases online. Shein now has a significant presence in South Africa and is without a doubt one of the best online stores in the country. 

Lethabo Ntsoane

Lethabo Ntsoane holds a Bachelors Degree in Accounting from the University of South Africa. He is a Financial Product commentator at Rateweb. He is an expect financial product analyst with years of experience in reviewing products and offering commentary. Lethabo majors in financial news, reviews and financial tips. He can be contacted at lethabo@rateweb.co.za

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Published by
Lethabo Ntsoane

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