Ready, steady, Bob Go!

A deep dive into uAfrica’s new name with Jaco Roux.

The Bob Group vision includes offering a seamless ecommerce experience, and encouraging the rebrand of bidorbuy and uAfrica to better reflect the ultimate goal of developing a holistic ecommerce ecosystem. One of the key factors in creating this experience is ensuring a strong commonality across the names of the services we offer. This led to the decision to use ‘Bob’ as a prefix for all brands provided by Bob Group; the rest of the name would then represent the purpose of the service offered.  After a great deal of discussion and brainstorming, Bob Go was born.

Jaco Roux is a co-founder and director of Bob Go, and was deeply involved in the rebranding of uAfrica to Bob Go. We caught up with him to find out the significance of the ‘Go’ name, and what it symbolises for the company going forward. 

Before we dive into Bob Go, let’s take a step back in time. When you started uAfrica, what inspired the original company name? 

Jaco Roux: When Andy Higgins and I first teamed up, we were offering a variety of services for ecommerce, namely uBuy, uSite, uWeb and uPrice (the new name for what was originally known as Jump Shopping). uAfrica was simply the umbrella company and an all-encompassing name to house the “u” services. The purpose of the “u” naming convention was to stress that we were all about serving merchants, and putting the power in the hands of the people. 

After developing our multichannel solution, it was only natural that we would turn to addressing the connected challenges of shipping and fulfillment. The idea of using uAfrica as the holding company name came from our initial idea of expanding continent-wide and wanting to serve more people with tech-focussed ecommerce solutions. 

Now we’re rebranding. Why Bob Go? Why not Bob Ship or Bob Orders or a name relating to our existing tagline?

JR: It’s a nod to our original tagline at uAfrica (which is also now the tagline for the entire Bob Group) – everything ecommerce. It is broad enough to encompass all that we do here at Bob Go, but also speaks to empowerment and movement – key pillars of the Bob Group business model. 

 “Go” is synonymous with getting started or launching a new business. We want to empower new merchants to get online and simply get started. Because we offer more than just shipping at Bob Go, a name like ‘Ship’ or ‘Orders’ would be too limiting. Our goal is bigger than that. We want to encompass fulfillment in its entirety, with a focus on automation, innovation and streamlining processes for ecommerce merchants. There was no better word than “Go” for this – it just made sense.  

What does “Go” mean to you and how do you think it will inspire the people of Bob Group?

JR: “Go” is a dynamic and energetic word. Go means movement and innovation. It means progression and automation. As a company, we move fast, and we’re agile and flexible. This kind of mindset encourages creativity and great ideas from within. 

How do you want people to feel about the new branding? 

JR: We want people to immediately feel at ease; to understand that ecommerce is simple and that it’s actually quite easy to get started. The branding should be inviting and friendly, rather than corporate. We think of ourselves as being more like a family than a company.   

We also want people to feel inspired. “Go” gets you moving. We saw with COVID how many people moved into ecommerce and made things happen for themselves after being retrenched. “Go” should inspire that mindset. 

What does the future look like for Bob Go?

JR: At the moment, we definitely don’t have enough hands to do everything we want to do! We’re excited about all our plans, but for now our focus is on making the fulfillment process faster and better. The more we can automate and streamline the process to allow merchants to move and fulfill faster, the better. 

A big shortcoming for us, and the whole industry in fact, is returns and the returns process. We really want to focus on that, as well as on providing better pickup point support. The future of ecommerce in South Africa and beyond is looking good!