Online Shopping South Africa (5)

How online eCommerce technology is driving the retail market

Over the last decade, the retail industry has seen a shift in how it operates. The exponential increase in online shopping has had a significant impact on how we buy our products.

How technology is driving the millennial retail market

The evolution of e-commerce culture has particularly affected one demographic: the millennial. This collective term we hear about in today’s media and society is set to make up 75% of the working population by 2025. This represents a massive share of the retail market.

At the heart of the millennial’s modus operandi is consumption of technology. This new generation of e-shoppers has incredible spending power that retailers need to recognise if they want to succeed. In fact, according to Forbes, millennials spend $600 billion annually. This accounts for 28% of all daily consumer spending, and this will rise to 35% by 2030.

Service demand among millennials

In order to target millennials successfully, retailers have to go down the omnichannel route. This is important as it will support marketing strategies across all channels – including online and offline. Omnichannel is vital in capturing the millennial sale, as it can deliver personalised content to customers at the right place and at the right time. This can also be used to analyse key metrics such as store visit frequency, repeat visitors, customer retention and cross-store visits.

Linked to omnichannel is the growing popularity of click-and-collect. The typical millennial mindset is one of instant gratification – an ‘I must have it now’ mindset. Step forward click-and-collect. This service enables stores to deliver better customer service by allowing consumers to place their order online and then collect in-store, a local shop or lockers. In the case of in-store pick-up, a notification can be sent to the enterprise’s picking systems when a click-and-collect consumer comes within a certain radius. This notification prompts staff to get the order ready. This is seamless retail in 2018.

Embracing a more connected South African retail environment

Increasing numbers of e-commerce sales are accompanied with the offer of free returns to avoid unsure customers leaving with incomplete sales. Returns processing inevitably comes at a cost for retailers, impacting margins, so this element of omnichannel also rolls into that of click-and-collect in which one best practice methodology is to encourage customers to try out their goods on the spot, minimizing the risk of damage or loss and bringing forward any returns, thus minimizing the time stock is out of the inventory cycle.

Some progressive retailers’ stores are increasingly being treated as extra warehouses, creating a single view of stock across the business wherever it sits, and often enabling shipping and receiving returns directly to the local outlet. Retailers need to ensure mobile payments are at the forefront of their offering to engage with this specific audience.

Driving sales with technology

Identifying the services that millennials desire is an easy enough task, but what technology is needed to deliver these? Managing the operation behind the shop front is a vital factor in retail strategy.

Central to the conversation here is the Internet of Things (IoT). And while much of the conversation surrounding IoT may seem like hyperbole, connected devices are not only the future, they are the now. Indeed, research by Zebra Technologies found nearly 96% of retail decision makers are ready to make changes required to adopt IoT.

The Zebra study revealed retailers are investing in IoT technologies – from beacons that send shoppers customized coupons to radio frequency identification (RIFD) tags that track inventory – to simplify, enliven and customise the shopping experience, generate revenue, and reduce costs. They’re embracing IoT platforms to transform real-time, visibility-driven data throughout the supply chain into actionable insights.

IoT has the power to transform how we shop. In today’s omnichannel world, product availability is critical, and many retailers have in-store inventory visibility challenges. Technological advancements in areas such as machine vision, RFID and data analytics – underpinned by IoT – are enabling more advanced business visibility by allowing retail inventory to be “seen” and connected by both staff and customers alike.

Bulk of retailers brace to transform customer experience through IoT

By 2021, smart technologies will provide shoppers with new levels of personalisation, speed and convenience...

Source: By: Mark Thomson read more

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Acer Computers launch online store

Acer, the leading brand in consumer technology hardware, software and services in IoT globally, today announced that the company will expand its customer support by introducing its first online store in South Africa called Shop Acer.

In 2016 a staggering 58% of online adults in South Africa were shopping via e-commerce platforms and this trend will continue to increase year-on-year.

By creating Shop Acer, the company will be providing a unique online shopping destination for consumers that includes Acer’s bestselling products.

Exclusive deals and special offers will also be available from the store during peak seasons and holiday periods.

Marketing Manager at Acer Africa, Belinda Marais says, “We are delighted to finally announce that the Shop Acer store is now live.

The store will stock all Acer products available in South Africa and aims to provide our customers with an exclusive Acer experience and offer them a direct link to the brand and its services.”

Acer’s product offering includes laptops, desktops, monitors, projectors, accessories and gaming, all of which can be delivered free of charge to your door from www.shopacer.co.za.

As part of the Shop Acer launch, Acer will be offering customers exclusive deals of up to 50% off

Source: mybroadband.co.za

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EFTsecure New Payment Gateway Available For Online Shoppers in SA

Does your Web site allow your customers to make convenient and secure payments? The ability to make instant EFT payments in a few seconds?

To become the fastest payment gateway available when shopping online in South Africa – this is the challenge EFTsecure co-founder and CEO, JP van der Spuy, set for his team: "To build a platform that will not only be the most convenient method to pay online, but also the fastest method of online payment transfers. This is exactly what EFTsecure offers and it does the task brilliantly. So, how does it work?"

When making a payment online, the customer logs into his/her online banking via the EFTsecure Gateway and simply approves the transaction directly with his/her own bank. EFTsecure payments are as easy as that.

The team at EFTsecure believes that bank transfers will become the norm for online payments, surpassing cards in the near future. This can be seen in the US and Europe as EFTs were developed to pay online. Credit cards require four-digit pins and chip readers, while EFT payments were designed to be more digital and less prone to fraud.

What are the benefits of EFTsecure Payment Gateway for my Web site?

With the EFTsecure Payment Gateway Widget, your Web site can now accept payments from millions of South Africans. Your customers can conveniently pay, on your Web site, without being redirected away, using their cheque, savings or credit card accounts. While it is much more secure and convenient for your customers, all funds are guaranteed without any risk of fraud or chargebacks. Card payments can cost as much as 5% due to the high risks, but EFTsecure is available at a fraction of the costs for your online store. All funds are paid directly into your bank account, improving your cashflow. EFTsecure also supports EFT refunds for the merchant, an industry first for EFT payments in South Africa.

It takes less than five minutes to activate your EFTsecure account. With a variety of e-commerce plugins and APIs available, your Web site will be accepting instant EFT payments in no time – don't delay. Ensure you have integrated the best payment gateway for your Web site and that EFTsecure is offered to all your customers.

Source: www.itweb.co.za

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South Africa's eCommerce Players Challenge The Traditional Brick-and-Mortar Retail:

As global e-commerce evolves into a $500 billion industry in 2018, online transactions in SA still sit at around 1% of total retail value.

However, industry players believe the local market can transition to 5% in what has traditionally been a bastion of brick-and-mortar retail.

Local research firm World Wide Worx, in a recent report, noted that for the first time since the dawn of e-commerce in SA, online retail in this country reached 1% of overall retail during 2016.
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"While 1% represents a very small proportion of overall retail, it is also a psychological barrier for investment in e-commerce initiatives by physical retailers," says Arthur Goldstuck, MD of World Wide Worx.

A recent survey by PayPal notes although e-commerce has experienced slow take-off in SA, it is now gathering pace. The PayPal report says 58% of online adults in SA shopped online over the past 12 months, amounting to an estimated total spend of R37.1 billion.

E-commerce experts in SA believe it is possible to reach the 5% mark if a few key elements are etched into place in a short space of time, or merchants may miss the opportunity.

According to Google SA head, Luke McKend, technical proficiency is where South African e-commerce will be won or lost. Better Web sites, platforms and customer journeys will unlock the missing mobile piece, he points out.

Mike Cotterell, Pick n Pay's head of online, maintains that getting the fundamentals right first will drive the necessary demand. "It's about quality products in a quality online environment that works every time."

This sentiment is echoed by Woolworths' head of digital, Liz Hillock, who believes demand will increase as locals do things better, whether on mobile or desktop.

"It is essential that we adapt global standards of best practice to suit the South African market and socio-economic conditions," says Robyn Cooke, head of e-commerce at The Foschini Group.

Karen Nadasen, CEO of online payment gateway PayU, says SA is witnessing a consolidation of offerings and partnerships of online and offline merchants.

"Merchants that are online are starting to partner with offline businesses by offering package deals. For example, you can purchase a movie ticket online together with your dinner bill, the later of which would previously be paid separately and offline," she notes.

Nadasen adds that another key area is ensuring payments are seamless and secure. Payments occurring on mobile may be behind the curve for now, she points out, adding this presents another significant opportunity for merchants.

"In truth, it is already safe to purchase online. More people just need to experience it for themselves. This tide already seems to be turning as chargebacks – a transaction reversal meant to serve as a form of consumer protection from fraudulent activity – are decreasing.

"Overall, there has been a 74% decrease in the average chargeback rate and a 72% decrease in the number of chargebacks across our merchants. The main reason for this is the implementation of 3D Secure coupled with stronger anti-fraud management."

By Admire Moyo, ITWeb's senior news journalist

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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.

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