As a website designer I obviously follow market trends with regards to ecommerce and online marketing and stumbled upon a recent report by GlobeNewswire where a report was published in September 2020 stating that the South Africa online Retail Industry grew by approximately 40% during the Covid-19 Lockdown, you can view the full report HERE
The future of ecommerce in South Africa has arrived earlier than expected thanks to Covid-19. While this is good for brands that have an online presence, there is still a vast disconnect between brands and consumers throughout the marketing funnel.
Brands that had a small online presence have found themselves having to scale up very quickly in terms of resources to accommodate large volumes of orders as new consumers enter the ecommerce arena. These emerging changes can be seen across all spheres of life – from how we work through to the ways we shop. These shifts are having significant implications for brands and retailers alike.
Covid-19 has certainly accelerated digital in what was predicted to take years to achieve and research is saying that consumers globally, have shifted their spending from in-store into the ecommerce space, some are calling it ‘compressing 10 years of anticipated digital growth into a matter of weeks’.
Many brick and mortar stores have the perception that an ecommerce solution is just simply too expensive for them and given the fact that they have seen reduced turnover year on year, they feel that they cannot invest in an ecommerce solution.
This on its own is ironic because if you look at the trends that are presenting themselves, consumers do not want to venture out of their safety zones, they have discovered the convenience of ordering online through necessity or curiosity and they now search for this as a shopping option when looking for a specific product.
Our own household is a case in point, pre-lockdown, we would essentially only really order from Takealot, due to price or the fact that we could not find the product locally, however in the past 4 months we have started using the Checkers60 App, we have ordered clothes from various retailers through their ecommerce portals, we have ordered Alcohol from a local supplier and I even purchase my cigarettes online now. The more we shop, the more we discover the convenience.
Arguably there will still be those who refuse to shop online, those who enjoy walking through crowded shops and browsing products, and for this reason, brick and mortar stores will always have a place in our society, but those who do not accommodate the “e-shopper” are going to be losing a large chunk of their market share to their competitors.
Ecommerce is growing rapidly, and it is predicted that it is going to see huge expansions in the next few months.
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