Woolworths rapidly growing South African online shopping market

Customers will be able scan the barcode of products in their fridge or cupboard and add them to their online shopping cart.

Department store chain Woolworths is looking to grab a larger share of the rapidly growing online shopping market by allowing customers to order directly from its mobile app.

Traditional retailers in South Africa are increasing their investments in technology and logistics to meet the growing demand for online shopping.

Woolworths, citing a PayPal and Ipsos cross-border e-commerce report, said online shopping in South Africa is expected to grow by 19% this year, with an estimated R18 billion worth of sales projected to take place on local websites.

“Mobile is a crucial part of our digital strategy,” Woolworths Head of online, Liz Hillock said in a statement.

She added that more than 60% of traffic to Woolworths’ South African website comes from customers browsing on their mobile phones, while there has been a 64% increase in mobile transactions over the last year.

The online shopping sector in South Africa is dominated by clothing, homeware and ticket retailers. Earlier in May, furniture chain Lewis Group entered the home shopping market with the launch of an online shopping website called Inspire.

Customers will be able to use Woolworth’s upgraded app to shop, view reward points, manage financial services products, and see live stock levels, making it the only “fully integrated retail app” in the country, the company said.

Customers can also scan the barcode of products in their fridge or cupboard and add them to their online shopping cart.

Woolworths, which also has operations in Australia and New Zealand, saw a 34% increase in overall online sales in the year to the end of June, with fashion, beauty and home online sales rising 77%.

Source: Nqobile Dludla, Reuters

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Online shopping in South Africa is cheaper than the store

Ecommerce retailers have seen impressive growth in South Africa, growing their share of the local tech consumer goods market by 52% in 2017.

According to a study by GfK South Africa, online stores have almost doubled their share of the market since 2015, and accounted for 6.9% of total consumer spending by rand value for 2017.

Consumers who responded to GfK via a survey said they prefer shopping online to physical retailers, due to better prices and wide product selections.

Respondents also believe that the prices of tech products in online stores are generally cheaper than their retail counterparts, and – according to the data collected by GfK – they are correct.

“Across the top 100 products, online prices are an average of 4.7% cheaper,” said GfK.

“Ecommerce in South Africa is still in its infancy compared to European markets, where a quarter of technical goods spending goes through digital channels,” said GfK South Africa senior retail manager Cherelle Laubsher.

“However, growth in South Africa is strong and shows no signs of declining as bargain-seekers flock online to buy technical consumer goods like smartphones, IT, consumer electronics, and major home appliances,” she said.

Source: mybroadband.co.za

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The World's Best Investment Deal eCommerce Web Properties

Naspers is one of the world's 100 largest stocks – with a market value of $110 billion.

It owns dozens of high-tech businesses in media and e-commerce. One of those businesses is a Chinese tech giant called Tencent (TCEHY).
Naspers currently owns $154 billion worth of Tencent shares.

Retail behemoth Walmart (WMT) recently reached out to Naspers. It was interested in Naspers' stake in a tech company called Flipkart, which is like the Amazon of India.

Just two weeks ago, Walmart announced a big deal... Naspers ended up selling its stake in Flipkart to Walmart – for a $1.6 billion profit. (Yes, a $1.6 billion profit, not a $1.6 billion sales price.)

This is just one example of the value of Naspers' other businesses. Naspers is also a world leader in online classifieds (businesses like Craigslist). And it's quickly becoming a leader in food delivery with iFood, a mobile delivery platform in Latin America.

This is barely scratching the surface of what Naspers does.

Naspers' other businesses are mostly private companies, so it's not easy to value them. But if you value them around $20 billion total (which is roughly what analysts say they're worth), and add that to Naspers' $154 billion stake in Tencent, then you have a business that's worth $174 billion today – but that's selling for $110 billion in the stock market.

So Naspers is selling for a $64 billion discount today.

Naspers is actually a South African company, so its shares primarily trade in South Africa.

Source: By Steve Sjuggerud

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New e-Commerce Business Opportunities

e-Commerce has changed the way the world conducts business, and the rise in technology has made it easier to interact with customers quickly and across borders. With economies becoming more interconnected, companies large and small are now able to access markets that were previously unattainable.

With a growing shift in retail industry trends, driven by technology and access to the Internet, consumers are now accessing most stores and brands through online platforms. This shift provides entrepreneurs and small businesses looking to expand with new opportunities to sell their products or services to a much bigger international market.

According to the PayPal and Ipsos third annual cross-border commerce report, South Africa’s online spend is forecasted to grow to over R53bn by 2018. In 2016, 43% of adults in South Africa shopped cross-border. The US is the most popular cross-border online shopping destination for South African online shoppers, followed by China and the UK.

“It is essential that e-commerce business owners address the entire value chain of the online shopping process to make sure that they cater to their customers’ needs and deliver on their expectations,” says Mike Higley, Vice President Operations, FedEx Express Southern Africa”.

“Businesses that manage to combine innovative products and services with a seamless online experience and quality customer care, will be the ones who attract and retain their online customers,” Higley adds.

Customer service, customer experience and price are the three main ways for e-commerce retailers to distinguish themselves from the competition. In “Seizing the Cross-Border Opportunity ,” a study commissioned on behalf of FedEx, Forrester Consulting surveyed online merchants and thousands of online consumers across 17 countries and markets to understand their concerns, their priorities, and what smart SMEs are doing to bridge that gap and remain competitive.

Below are some of the key research findings highlighting best practices for cross-border businesses in the digital age.

1. Understand your customer

2. Highlight what makes your products special

3. Put global consumers at ease

4. Build your brand on excellent service

Source: Fundisiwe Maseko It News Africa

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Google Africa mentorship programmes for tech entrepreneurs

The Google Developers Launchpad Africa Space was opened on 13 November in Lagos, Nigeria. It will interact directly with tech entrepreneurs in that country, as well as offer support and software tools to help build sustainable tech business ideas from the rest of Africa.

The Lagos operation is the first of its kind to be established outside the United States. The programme is accepting applications for its first onsite and online courses, beginning in early 2018.

Applications are open to tech start-ups with their own seed funding from Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda. Those chosen to participate in the three-month programme will receive more than $3-million (R42m at today’s exchange rate) in equity-free support, working space, travel and public relations support, as well as access to Silicon Valley tech business experts over three years.

Google’s sub-Saharan Africa regional manager, Andy Volk, said Google had been looking for ways to get more involved in African tech businesses for a number of years.

“Anyone who spends time in the African technology space knows that the continent is home to some exciting innovations,” Volk told IOL News. “[Google’s small-scale engagement with African start-ups so far] has been able to tackle everything from healthcare, education and streamlining e-commerce to improving the food supply chain.”

It was now time, he said, to step that up and open opportunities to more African ideas: “We are looking forward to welcoming the first cohort of innovators for Launchpad Africa and continuing to work together to drive innovation in the African market.”

One example of the Google effect on African tech innovation is the South African start-up Jumo, a financial services platform aimed at emerging markets. The company was the first and so far most successful start-up to go through the Launchpad accelerator.

Company founders and some staff attended an intensive two-week boot camp at Google headquarters in California in July 2017. The two weeks were aimed at building the business and developing tools that would increase its footprint in offering easy-to-use financial services on mobile platforms.

The company received a $50,000 funding boost, and benefits from ongoing support and mentorship.

For more information about the Google Developers Launchpad Africa Space, click here https://youtu.be/xoZsNN9UGlQ

Opening Google Play to South African designers

Google’s online app store, Play, this month opened to South African app developers and designers, no matter how small or inexperienced.

In addition to gaining a virtual marketplace for their apps, designers are able to access Play’s development and commerce tools that will help them to monetise their products and access a market of millions of global users.

Apps for Play are limited to Android operating systems, but unlike competitors Apple, Google Play accepts all types of apps, with the aim of helping to develop and streamline app design for the benefit of the consumer and designer. This means that even the most novice and rudimentary app idea has access to and can get help from the global Google brain trust.

Developers in South Africa can get started right away by signing in to Google’s Developer Console and setting up a Google merchant account. If existing apps are already published as free, designers can choose to monetise them by adding in-app products or subscriptions.

Armed with fully developed apps and in-app products, developers can price them in any available currencies, publish, access financial and marketing data, and get pay-outs in South African rand.

“There have been plenty of amazing apps built in South Africa,” Luke McKend, director of Google South Africa, told IOL News at the announcement of the programme, “[but] the process of monetising them was never as smooth as we knew it could be.

“By allowing local developers to monetise their products on the Play Store, we’re underscoring how serious we are about digitally empowering South Africans.”

While the programme is currently limited to South African app development, success in this first stage of the project may lead to expansion into the rest of the continent over the next few years.

For more information about accessing Google Play and the Google Developer Console, click here https://youtu.be/GdZxbmEHW7M

Source: Brand South Africa, Google Africa

 

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South Africans are going global for Black Friday deals

South Africans shop for global Black Friday deals in the US, UK, China, Australia and Europe by subscribing to international shipping services.

This is according to Mark Mahoney manager of eCommerce services for delivery company Aramex Global Shopper, who said that South African consumers have become increasingly more comfortable shopping online from retailers all over the globe.

“Black Friday traditionally kicks off the global retail festive season – we saw a 31% increase in shipments over the festive season in 2016 and anticipate a similar spike this year.

“Additionally year on year growth in global shopping shipments grew by 96%”, he said.

Where South Africans are buying?

Unsurprisingly Amazon remains the “go to” site for many South Africans, said Mahoney.

However he said that site-choice was heavily dependent on whether shoppers were looking to make general Black Friday purchases or had a specific “niche” product in mind.

According to Mahoney, some of the favourites besides Amazon include:

    Sephora
    Alibaba.com
    Asos
    Zara Online
    ThinkGeek.com
    Google Home
    AmazonEcho
    Fisher-Price.com
    Lego Online;
    Powerhousefitness.co.uk

What they are buying

Fashion and beauty remains a big focus for South African female shoppers, said Mahoney, while sports equipment, gadgets ,and technology remain strong favourites alongside toys as Christmas gifts.

“While local retailers offer great savings over Black Friday weekend, retailers across the globe frequently cut prices to a mere fraction of their original price,” he said.

“South Africans can look offshore for unprecedented savings and can then use a well-priced shipping company like ourselves to affordably bring their finds home.

“Global shopping also allows South Africans to purchase ‘first to market’ tech and next season’s fashions for sales prices, making up for costly customs duties and ensuring that they stay abreast with trends before they arrive in South African stores months later.”

Source: Businesstech.co.za

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The Art of Digital selling

We frequently say that we live in the digital age, where data streams at speedier rates, is more intricate and is more open. As much as this data can be broke down by organizations to settle on better educated choices, the genuine inquiry is, is there space to adjust the business scene?

South Africa has about 52% users that utilise the web, with 70% mobile penetration. With more than half the population being enabled to use either the internet or a cell phone, businesses need to ask themselves whether digital retail strategies are the next evolution of selling. A simple, yet startling fact by GSMA is that in 2015, mobile technologies and services were already generating 6.7% of Africa’s GDP, amounting to $150bn of economic value and supporting 3.8m jobs.

As more consumer groups become digitally savvy, businesses need to shift both their approach and “shops” from being traditional to being digital. In the latest e-commerce report, South Africans frequently return to their online store, purchasing media, books or travel products – they are primarily based in metropolitan areas, visit social media sites (or check emails) while shopping and are quite at ease with technology.

These type of insights and analytics in the digital space are growing significantly to assist businesses target consumers via social media – an example of the extent to which targeting has reached are banner ads on Google or Facebook – these are usually very targeted based on individual user patterns. Around 37% of businesses are currently using social media or viral marketing as their primary marketing driver, however this number needs to grow over the next few years.

Source: Dr Yudhvir Seetharam, Head of Analytics at FNB by www.sagoodnews.co.za

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Yuppiechef is opening its first physical store

Online kitchen and homeware store Yuppiechef is opening its first physical store in one month from now, in Cape Town.

"It has been a long time since we sent the first Yuppiechef online order from my lounge. E-commerce based business empowered us to begin a retail business with no stock, staff or costly rentals. We have developed into a group of 85, with a stockroom and a large number of items, and have delighted in being a piece of a spearheading industry in South Africa," said Yuppiechef fellow benefactor Andrew Smith.

He said that for quite a while the organisation trusted that online business was the fate of retail, and that inevitably this channel would 'win' and the others would 'pass on'. "We weren't right," he said.

"We trust that the eventual fate of retail is 'omni-channel', which implies a mix of physical stores and online business."

Yuppiechef is opening its initially store on 1 October at Willowbridge Center, in Cape Town's Northern Suburbs.

"We trust that our first store is a major achievement and it is the begin of additional to come all through South Africa. At this stage we don't have firm gets ready for where or when future stores will open," Smith said.

Source: businesstech.co.za

 

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