South Africans Opt for Online Shopping

South African consumers are increasingly turning to e-commerce platforms when looking for, comparing and purchasing a variety of items. This is according to Kevin Tucker, founder of PriceCheck, Africa’s largest product discovery and comparison service, who notes that PriceCheck’s recent user survey identified ‘ease and efficiency’ as South African’s most liked aspect of online shopping (53%). This was followed by access to deals and the opportunity to purchase international products and brands.

Tucker says, “58% of respondents shopped online when they spotted a good deal on offer. Not only does this suggest that online shopping fulfils consumer wants ahead of their needs but it also reveals the nature of local consumers to compare prices across retailers, and e-tailers, before making a purchase.”

“Having shared their reasons for choosing to shop online, the vast majority – 95% – of respondents further stated that they would continue to shop online moving forward. Only 15 respondents, which does not even amount to 1%, said they would no longer shop online with 5% uncertain of whether they would do so again.”

“Such positive feedback suggests that many first-time shoppers will be shopping online again in future and may, in fact, become regular e-commerce customers. In addition, as consumers are presented with more e-commerce offerings and brick and mortar stores join in – having found easier access to trading online through umbrella platforms such as PriceCheck Marketplace – online shopping numbers are likely to continue on an upward trend,” he explains.

In terms of safety, 78% of those surveyed noted that they feel safe using their credit card online. “This plays a major role in consumer participation and is a good reflection of the efforts made by the industry in utilising secure payment options.”

“Most online users – 55% – opt for debit card payments. However, portals such as PayPal and SnapScan have gained the trust of many with 21% and 13% of respondents selecting these options respectively,” says Tucker.

The delivery time of orders, according to Tucker, is a major influencer when it comes to which e-tailers consumers favour. “South Africans are likely to choose local suppliers with the quickest delivery record.”

Tucker explains that most respondents preferred to shop locally, or both locally and internationally. “When South African online shoppers do choose to shop internationally, they tend to prefer the USA (49%) and the UK (27%).”

“Overall, shopping locally online came out on top. 47% and 41% of respondents rated their local online shopping experience four out of five and five out of five stars respectively. This is compared to 44% and 31% for international online shopping experiences within the same rating categories.”

“While South Africa may have been slow on the initial uptake of online shopping, current consumer behaviour – as presented through our findings – suggests that the efficiency and convenience provided by e-commerce platforms will soon result in this option being just as common within our communities as traditional shopping trips are today,” Tucker concludes.

Source: www.itnewsafrica.com

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E-commerce For All Businesses

E-commerce is no longer just for flashy start-ups or big companies with even bigger budgets – it is also becoming a valuable channel to market for Small & Medium Businesses. From plumbers to playschools and from artisan food stores to gardening services, all sorts of small businesses can benefit from allowing their customers to shop and pay online.

This can work especially well for seasonal promotions when many people will be looking for gift ideas online or might not have time to get to the shops. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, a massage parlour could be selling vouchers for couples’ massages or a sports store could promote golf equipment for husbands’ gifts.

Here are a few reasons why e-commerce is a big opportunity for South African business builders of all sizes.

The demand is there and it is growing by the day

According to research from World Wide Worx, South Africans spend around R9 billion a year on online shopping. Sure, that’s just 1% of the total retail market, but the value of e-commerce is expanding by more than 20% a year. Investing in e-commerce now positions you take advantage of South Africans’ growing appetite for digital convenience.

It’s easier and more affordable than ever before

With the right solution – for, example, Sage Online Tools – it is fast, affordable and simple to set up a slick, attractive and secure e-commerce website. The best solutions include features for search and social media marketing to help boost your web traffic, sales leads and store orders by targeting potential customers online.

They can also integrate with your accounting packaging, updating pricing, stock levels and product data in real time.

You can give customers different options to pay

Payments gateways like Sage’s Pay Now solution accept a range of payment types through your online store, including VISA and Mastercard card payments, bank EFT, instant EFT, and mobile wallets like Masterpass. Even if you visit customers on-site to render a service or they come into your store, they can go online at their convenience to pay you with the method that suits them best.

You can reach new cities and even new countries with minimal investment

In the past, if you wanted to sell dresses from your Cape Town boutique in Johannesburg or San Francisco, you would need to incur costs such as rent, staffing and utilities. Now, you can sell to people from around the country and the world through a website.

Though South Africa’s logistics network has a way to go before it is as cheap and reliable as those in the US and Europe, there are many great courier companies who can help you ship packages across town or to the other side of the world at an affordable cost. Even in your own neighbourhood, people who shop online might represent a new market for you over the business you get from referrals or walk-ins.

Customers do their research online – use e-commerce to convert browsing to sales

A growing portion of customers do their research about pricing and options online before they buy – these days the Internet is the Yellow Pages for anyone who needs an electrician or a new bicycle.

For that reason, many small businesses already appreciate the importance of marketing themselves using Facebook pages and ads, listing themselves with online directories and maintaining a professional-looking website. If you haven’t, you should start with those basics before you go the e-commerce route.

Adding e-commerce to your existing online presence can help you capture more sales. For example, if a serious buyer is browsing through your online catalogue of televisions, making it easy for him or her to buy and pay might close the deal. Researchers say that it can take as little as 2.5 seconds for a consumer to make a purchasing decision – you don’t want to miss out on that window.

Quick tips for doing e-commerce the right way

Be responsive – online shoppers are impatient and expect a quick answer to queries via email or social media.
Make sure you partner with a good courier company – missed or late deliveries will hurt your reputation and profitability.
Remember to make some effort in marketing your e-commerce site – that includes online marketing (SEO, social, Google ads) and offline marketing (ads in the local papers, on your business cards etc.)
Use a reputable payments company. A robust gateway means peace of mind for your customers and for you as the merchant.
Be ready to learn about new customer segments – international or online customers may have different expectations to your usual clientele.

Source: By Viresh Harduth, Vice President: New Customer Acquisition at Sage Africa & Middle East

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Cashless eCommerce Bridge Inequality – Lessons For SA

South Africa can learn from the Indian government’s moves to bank its unbanked population by limiting the amount of cash that can be drawn at one time, identifying populations with high potential to ‘go cashless’, and by subsidising smart phones. Financial inclusion of the poor is key to poverty alleviation and critical to its success is financial literacy.

I recently returned from India, one of the world’s fastest growing emerging economies, nearly 2.7 times the area of South Africa but facing the same issue of vast gaps between rich and poor.

India identified where its immediate potential cashless market lies. The population of India is some 1.2 billion. Around 400 million people have a bank account and are either saving, investing or borrowing – they are included in the financial sector. However, 70% of the population remains unbanked. As the Indian government’s cashless drive gathers momentum these individuals will soon need bank accounts in order to send and receive money. With a smart phone and internet access or mobile phone signal, all they need to do is to choose a financial institution and the product and/or service they need. India’s maturity towards a cashless society is happening.

South Africa’s population sits at around 56-million. A trend in South Africa shows that people are moving straight to smartphones, skipping straight past laptops and PCs, because it’s easier and far more feasible for them. And, with going cashless comes bank-level security which has already proved a huge driver in the adoption of legitimate mobile money technologies by individuals and SMEs in South Africa. It would be worth pinpointing the under-tapped areas where a move to mobile has high potential.

The prospective volume of cashless transactions makes India extremely attractive to fintech companies, as the rapid explosion of fintech startups in India has shown.

The growth of fintech startups in South Africa that are offering alternative ways to accept payments is taking place. We see this by the number of service providers whose offerings to consumers and SMEs we compare on Fincheck such as Yoco, SnapScan and Ikhokha. Yet the scale and rate of successful startups has immense potential to grow here too.


Source: paymentsafrika.com

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E-commerce Trends South Africa in 2017

E-commerce, as a global trend in its own right, is set to increase in popularity and consumer uptake in South Africa this year. This is as a result of a number of supporting trends, from greater variety offered by e-tailers, to the evolution of tech offerings – such as shopping apps – and the profile and behaviour of shoppers themselves.

This is according to Kevin Tucker, founder of PriceCheck – Africa’s largest product discovery and comparison service. Tucker notes that while there is already a lot of variety available online, more brick and mortar stores are joining-in. “This has been greatly enabled by umbrella platforms such as PriceCheck Marketplace which is a perfect solution for retailers to move into the e-tailer space.”

Tucker highlights the top five global e-commerce trends set to take off locally in 2017:

International online retail sale days:

International online sale days such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday are massively popular and profitable e-commerce opportunities and present South African e-tailers with the chance to reach more consumers (who are actively looking to make purchases) than they normally would. This trend really has great potential locally, particularly if retailers form partnerships or cross-channel agreements with each other. For example, an electronics retailer could join forces with a gaming retailer to form better deals, reach more potential customers and move more stock.

Faster delivery turn around:

What has been a hurdle in the local context, due to the unreliable nature of the South African postal service, delivery in South Africa through various providers and couriers has improved over the last few years. This improvement is likely to continue with delivery methods taking priority for businesses looking to stand out in the local e-commerce sector.

Variety:

A major influencer of local e-commerce growth in 2017, the increase in variety of product offerings online, e-tailers and the presence of online marketplace platforms is likely to continue.

While South African consumers have been able to make online purchases for everything from tickets for live shows to their Friday night take-aways, the variety of product and supplier options will continue to rise alongside the establishment of platforms such as PriceCheck Marketplace which provides brick and mortar stores with a reliable avenue to enter the e-commerce space.

Customer behaviour evolution:

As e-commerce offerings increase with the inclusion of brick and mortar stores and their products, which may not have traditionally been sold online, South African consumers will continue to become more aware of the safety and convenience of online shopping and will become more inclined to turn to e-commerce platforms for everyday convenience purchases – moving beyond current trends which fall more towards fashion and electronics.

Mobile at centre stage:

The use of mobile devices – and smartphones in particular – within the e-commerce space is a major consideration for organisations in terms of ensuring mobile-friendly online display settings, opportunities in developing mobile applications and introducing new payment options.

While the majority of mobile online shopping transactions tend to take place on desktops, shopping apps which are easy and convenient to use on mobile devices are likely to increase in popularity in South Africa this year.

Likewise, with increasing interest of local banks to improve their online payment systems, new payment options may further simplify e-commerce websites and the way online shopping is done.

Tucker says, “As mobile penetration continues to increase rapidly, as it has in the past decade, Africa’s current contribution to global e-commerce sales is set to rise exponentially.”

“It is important to note that South Africa, as one of the most significant e-commerce contributors on the continent, is likely to take the lead in next level e-commerce adoption with sales expected to increase by around 40% over the next 10 years as consumers continue to shift their purchasing behaviour to increasingly favour the convenience of online platforms.”

“Staying up-to-date with the latest e-commerce trends and innovations in 2017 will benefit both customers and retailers by providing an optimal user experience as well as giving brands a better understanding of their client base,” he concludes.

Source: By Kevin Tucker, founder of PriceCheck

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South African eCommerce Courier startup WumDrop launches no-address delivery solution

South African on-demand delivery startup WumDrop has launched Deliver 2 Me, a delivery solution that delivers to the real-time location of a user’s mobile phone.

WumDrop, which is available in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Durban, allows users to request the pickup and dropoff of packages via their phones.

With the new Deliver 2 Me service, users can choose the hour they would like their order delivered, at their exact location, regardless of whether or not that location has a street address.

The service is available to retailers via integration with WumDrop’s API, with the startup saying it represents a significant leap forward in business-to-customer delivery, particularly across Africa, where address data can be highly unreliable.

“What makes this technology remarkable is its scalability. Deliver 2 Me isn’t locked into a native mobile app like most geolocation services – it leverages the increasingly powerful suite of features found in mobile browsers to deliver an accurate delivery location to the driver, and a clean, easy to use interface to the end user,” said Wilson Canda, WumDrop chief technology officer (CTO).

To use the service when placing an order, users choose the Deliver 2 Me option. When the parcel is ready for delivery, they will receive an SMS with a link to the Deliver 2 Me mobile web app.

They can then choose either “deliver now” or  “deliver later”, with the “deliver now” option allowing them to drop a pin or type in a specific location. “Deliver later” will allow them to choose another time or day when they would prefer to receive the SMS.

For the launch of the product, Deliver 2 Me is available exclusively through the TFG eMall.

“We’re honoured to be partnering with TFG for the launch of Deliver 2 Me. It’s incredibly encouraging to see one of South Africa’s most established businesses willing to put their trust in the technology of a young local startup,” said WumDrop founder Simon Hartley.

Source By: Tom Jackson

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Nigeria Leads South Africa, in Online Shopping

A recent survey has shown that Nigerians shop more online than other sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries.

According to GeoPoll, which conducted the survey on five African countries including Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, Kenya and Ghana, said though there have been significant growth in online shopping on the continent, but SSA still don't trust e-commerce sites.

GeoPoll is the world's largest mobile survey platform, with a network of 200 million users in Africa and Asia.

According to the survey, 66 per cent of Nigerians buy items online every few months compared with 60 per cent in South Africa and 45 per cent in Kenya.

However, at least 55 per cent of Ghanaians and 51 per cent of Ugandans have never bought anything online.

The report discovered that many of those who had tried online shopping had only tried it once.

Among the top reasons cited for not frequently using online shopping sites were lack of trust, shipping costs, unsupported payment methods, or because a friend had a bad experience.

The GeoPoll revealed that many complained of unreliability of some sites, poor delivery and the purchase process. Others felt that there is no need for online purchases as the items were readily available at their local store.

The majority of shoppers in Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda paid on delivery for items bought online. However, in South Africa, 50 per cent of shoppers preferred to pay using their debit card and a further 26 per cent use their debit card for online purchases. Cash on delivery in South Africa is also the preferred mode of payment at 20 per cent compared to mobile money.

Already, eCommerce sub-Sector in Nigeria is estimated to worth $10 billion with some 300,000 online orders expected each day. The worth is projected to hit $13 billion by 2018.

Indeed, despite the economic gloom in Nigeria, eCommerce players claimed about 20 per cent growth in traffic at the just concluded 'Black Friday' sales.

The Black Friday, which ran between November 23 to 29, across different eCommerce platforms including Jumia, Konga, Yudala, Spar, Dealdey, Kaymu among others in Nigeria, is usually the Friday after the American Thanksgiving, and it is one of the major shopping days of the year in the United States.


Source: Full Article By Adeyemi Adepetun

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Online shopper – More Flexible and Secure

Leading payment gateways recognise that not all consumers are created equal – consumers want to enjoy a host of payment methods.

In a turbulent 2016 for the consumer, it’s the online shopper that may have escaped with the least scars, as the online environment has become more flexible and secure. While the estimated R8.9 billion spent annually online in South Africa may not be on a par with the UK or USA, things are changing as demographics and perceptions shift.

Karen Nadasen, PayU South Africa CEO, says: “eCommerce growth is being driven by an increasingly sophisticated consumer market which values the convenience of online shopping and recognises the layers of security that surround online payment solutions. Our business, for example, has witnessed a 15% increase in volumes over and above our projected year-on-year increase for November – largely thanks to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. We have also seen a 76% decrease in the number of chargebacks processed in 2016 versus 2015, through effective fraud monitoring tools.”

According to a survey undertaken by Urban Studies for the South African Council of Shopping Centres, security, especially around credit cards, was a major concern in 2013, but this has reduced significantly over the past three years. The survey found that credit card security had dropped from the second biggest issue in 2013 to one of the lowest in 2016. Now, the primary consumer concerns are being unable to touch or see a product and uncertainty around quality and size.

Source: Read the rest of the article

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Shop online – No queues

Durban – As the holiday shopping frenzy gets under way, many tech-savvy consumers have opted to go online, giving long queues, Christmas jingles and crowded shopping malls a miss.

Technical expert and managing director of World Wide Worx, Arthur Goldstuck, said it was expected that online retail would yield R20 billion turnover this year – and 20 percent of this was generated during the festive season alone.

Goldstuck said there had been a steady increase in the number of South Africans buying online while cellphone transactions were also taking off. “Consumers are expected to spend about R9 billion this festive period alone – between mid-November and the end of December,” he said.

Online purchases were being made across various product categories but consumers tended to go for “hot products” which included electronics and toys, Goldstuck said.

Gary Hadfield, chief executive for one of the most popular online retailers, Loot.co.za, said it had experienced a significant increase in sales since the bargain hunting on Black Friday.

Source: www.iol.co.za Bulelwa Payi

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Buy Legal Services Online in South Africa

You Can Now Buy Legal Services Online At An Affordable Rate at Legal Legends.

Purchasing quality legal services has never been easier in South Africa with the arrival of Legal Legends, Africa’s first e-Commerce website for legal services.

Legal Legends has been developed by the founders of LexNove as a HandGrenade R&D project still in its beta stage of testing.

LexNove is a South African-first online legal platform for clients to find a lawyer online. The platform promises to save clients up to 75% of their legal costs.

Source: TechFinancials by Lourie Gugulakhe

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New online deal marketplace launches in South African

Hyperli enables local businesses to connect with consumers and grow their sales through daily deals.

Fast on the heels of Groupon’s exit from the South African market, newly formed Hyperli is set to take the online daily deal marketplace by storm. Hyperli has honed its offering and has launched a newly curated online marketplace focused on delivering relevant deals to South African consumers.

Collective online buying has been part of the South African psyche since 2009. South African consumers are increasingly motivated to shop online with reasons cited as saving time, access to product reviews, special offers and price comparisons being the top four according to research from Effective Measure, sponsored by VISA and iaB South Africa (source: E-Commerce Industry Report June 2016). Further, the findings show that of those South Africans already shopping online 42% are looking for special offers.

Online deal-of-the-day services are credited for introducing new customers to brands, often helping to drive brand awareness and sales for many businesses. Research from international industry heavyweight Groupon indicates that 80% of their merchants who have used deal sites will use them again.

“Times are tough for South African consumers and business alike, so being able to deliver well-priced, immediate deals makes great business sense,” says Hyperli CEO and founder, Wayne Gosling. “Hyperli connects businesses to consumers, it provides an effective marketing tool for brands and services providers looking to expand their customer base and to profitably grow their businesses.”

Funded by Team Africa Ventures and backed by the senior team that brought Groupon to South Africa, the Hyperli platform has been developed by some of the best tech specialists in the country. Incorporating various standout features, the merchant offering includes enriched data analytics and seamless redemption through the Hyperli merchant app. Consumers will enjoy an easy-to-use deal redemption feature, and a variety of secure payment options. A dedicated mobile app will be launched in the near future.

Hyperli has formed strategic partnerships with some South African brands (Ster Kinekor, Unilever, and Jimmy’s Killer Prawns) to deliver exciting deals in the run up to the festive season.

“While South Africa is still in the early stages of e-commerce adoption, we expect the next twelve months will be a breakthrough period for Hyperli. This will be accelerated by the growth of smartphone users who tend to be more engaged than web-only customers, purchasing more frequently and spending more,” says Simon Bowes, Retail Director at Hyperli.

Recognising that cashflow is king to small business a transparent pricing structure has been incorporated so that business owners can select the right deal redemption criteria to meet their business needs. Hyperli values its relationships with local merchants and has prioritised cost effective business solutions that drive growth as a core objective in the coming months. Hyperli aims to be the business platform that assists SMEs with systems that can manage marketing, reservations and payment so that they can concentrate on what they do best, offering their customers amazing experiences.

Hyperli has its sights set firmly on becoming South Africa’s foremost online commerce player. Over the coming months it will expand its reach to cover all major cities across categories such as food and drink, beauty and spas, things to do, goods and getaways.

“Our mission has been to create a data rich platform that enables merchants to provide relevant deals whilst ensuring that the friction is taken out of deal redemption,” says Gosling. “Our experience taught us that ease-of-use is as important as deal variety so we strived to prioritise both.”

To search for great deals visit www.Hyperli.com or subscribe to Hyperli’s email notifications.

Source: www.itnewsafrica.com

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