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From boardroom to bedroom: The 11-year journey of OneDayOnly

The roots of OneDayOnly can be traced back to 2008 where the founders noticed a gap in the e-commerce market. At the time, group buying and daily deals were gaining traction internationally.


The business was registered in January 2009 but took a year until it was officially ready to (soft) launch with our first deal in April 2010. Today, the company staff compliment is over 300 and we’re processing thousands of deals a day.

This is the journey of how we got to where we are today.

The 'whatever it takes' phase

Year 1 - Year 2: The first mission was to find a product for the site that could be sold in one day. Once this was a success the business had to do everything manually – from packaging the order, printing the invoice, cutting out the address and sticking it directly onto the product box. In the very beginning, a 'large number' of customer queries was considered anything over 25.

The 'taking shape' phase

Year 3: OneDayOnly’s systems and process rollout took some time to set up. The employee count grew and the business purchased much needed additional warehouse space.

The 'quirk meets corporate' phase

Year 4 - Year 6: At this point, the level of growth required some strategic structure. Formal ‘office hours’ were introduced and departments within the business were defined. The volume of daily deals was increasing so, by default, so were the volume of deliveries.

The 'we're quite big now' phase

Year 7 - Year 10: People started recognising the name ‘OneDayOnly’. The number of daily deals sold and dispatched tipped over 1,000, which was the same amount the business was processing per month in its early phase. We focussed on establishing good relationships and partnerships with great local and international brands.

The ‘here and now’ phase

Year 11: OneDayOnly managed to stay agile as we navigated our way through Covid-19 waters maintaining a consistent level of growth, increasing the team and expanding our Johannesburg and Cape Town warehouses. The business continues to push the envelope by selling trendy apartments within hours of the deals going live on our site.

Understanding what people want to buy, and when they want them is one of the strengths of our business. The thrill of what we do is waking up every day and facing new opportunities and new challenges that push us to be better.

This year’s focus will be on people, customers, suppliers and staff. We will place an internal focus on training and development which will prioritise the business to be able to adapt to the digital and service needs of the customers.

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