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Louw van Riet

Louw van Riet

So, you’ve got a product or service that you want to sell online, but you don’t know where to begin? Let’s face it; anybody involved in retail knows there are many challenges to staying successful and competitive. Besides finances and marketing, the biggest challenge is eCommerce.

Advancements in telecommunications have aided in the success of eCommerce and the increased levels of competition between merchants to sell the best quality goods at the lowest price. While brick and mortar retail are steady, it’s hard to deny that South Africans are increasingly loving online purchases. 49% of South Africans visit an online retail store, 47% search online for a product or service to buy, and 29% buy something online (We Are Social).

eCommerce is a giant industry—and South Africans are spending more online than ever before. With disruptive technology taking a firm grip on just about every industry—from smartphones to the rise of the digitally influenced shopper and showrooming, consumers are now demanding a more convenient, seamless customer-centric shopping experience. Online shopping gives them just that—and more.

Search Interest in Ecommerce & Shopify in the past 5 years in South Africa

google trends search south africa ecommerce

Online shopping is the future of retail

The Internet has revolutionized the way we live—and eCommerce is now a way of life. An industry poised for growth as digital natives make up an increasingly large portion of consumers—it’s predicted by Statista that there will be 1.92 billion global digital buyers in 2019 and that global retail eCommerce revenue will amount to $4.88 trillion by 2021. Online shopping is one of the fastest-growing markets in the world, including South Africa.

Recent research on South Africa shows people are browsing three hours or more a day on their mobile phones, and by 2021, the number of online shoppers is expected to have reached 24.79 million. eCommerce is growing at a rapid pace—and everyone wants a piece of the eCommerce pie. In fact, South Africa’s eCommerce market is worth over R20-billion and research by PayPal and Ipsos forecasts that South Africans will spend R61 billion at online stores by 2020.

Why consumers prefer to shop online

While traditional stores still dominate the market, eCommerce is fast catching up. A customer can make a purchase anytime and anywhere. They can compare reviews and have the instant gratification of buying something just at a tap of a screen. Safe and easy payment options are available—and delivery is always on time—and sometimes even free. Because of the zero overheads that physical stores demand—sellers can offer cheaper prices, discounts, scorecards and loads of cool incentive programs. As you can well imagine, bargain hunters and deal seekers find online shopping, a dream come true.

An eCommerce store can save you money

eCommerce doesn’t just provide benefits to consumers—it is a holy grail for retailers. Running an eCommerce store can save you money. Brick-and-mortar thrive on location and branding—and this can be key to your new revenue.

Millions of people use search engines every day to find products they want to buy. With eCommerce, you overcome geographical limitations and you gain new customers with Search Engine Visibility. With a physical store, it’s very difficult to reach such a large market. However, an online store can easily accomplish this.

Your overheads are almost zero. An online store provides features that automate responsibilities and create targeted communication, allowing you the time to do other things as well as reduce the operating costs of your entire business. With such convenience to both the customer and the retailer, it’s no surprise eCommerce is on the rise.

How to cash in on the eCommerce revolution

2018 was a great year for the South African eCommerce industry. Thanks to high mobile penetration, secure payment options and changing spending habits, as more of the population shift their budget to shopping online, growth is strong. But as consumers are presented with more outlets as competition increases, expectations become more refined and retailers need to stay ahead of the trends. Trends in the eCommerce industry emerge from various things. How customers shop. What they buy and how they respond to marketing tactics used by businesses. If you want to get ahead of the game, here are three trends to jump on immediately.

  1. Multi-channel Selling

Online businesses cannot stay on one platform if they want to get ahead of the competition. This is where multichannel marketing enters. Multichannel marketing involves promoting and selling on every channel where a customer spends their time—from social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, to search engines, blogs, newsletters, SMS text messaging, and even good old-fashioned mail. With 87% of eCommerce shoppers making a purchase decision based on social media marketing, if you’re joining the eCommerce revolution, it’s worth staying on trend with multi-channel selling.

  1. Artificial Intelligence Chatbot

Customer patterns based on browsing history are a challenge for online stores, but we now hail intelligent algorithms as the key to dealing with such challenges. AI chatbots are computer programs that can understand a customer’s questions and provide human-like responses about products and services. Unlike humans, they deal with unlimited customer enquiries at once and operate at all hours of the day. The other advantage of a chatbot is that it can be used to generate sales. It can do this by sending automated prompts to get users chatting about a product they are interested in. It can also offer them discounts or even make personalised recommendations based on their session data.

  1. Personalisation and Seamless Customer Engagement

The success of any business depends on customer satisfaction, and customers want brands whose values they can identify with; websites that load quickly, are easy to navigate and work on any device; and purchasing processes that are simple, secure and fast. This has led to the trend of marketing automation, which focuses on customised landing pages, easy to access shopping carts, personalised emails, displaying new products and promotions as per the visitors’ shopping history, and re-targeting customers for necessary product sales.

Re-shaping the business landscape, eCommerce brings with it many advantages, especially for start-ups and medium-sized enterprises. However, as consumers continue to drive the market with their seamless shopping demands, you need to realise that you’re not just competing against local competitors, but also the most cutting edge, slickest and fastest websites and apps that exist globally.

This means you need to invest in your website experience.

Paarl Web Design excels in eCommerce web design and development along with social media marketing and SEO services. Contact Paarl Web Design today and find out how we can help your business grow online.

Some of our latest Online Store Builds:

https://maddogs.co.za/
https://refuelsport.co.za/
https://redespresso.co.za/
https://customsportswearsa.co.za/
https://cyclingstore.co.za/
https://www.thehealthhub.co.za/

In a digital world, speed is king.

You do not have to be a marketing guru to know that excellent customer service is vital for business success. Your customers want things now—and they usually get it. But this is not the case for customer service. Let’s face it, most people do not have time to call in and wait for an answer. Sure, email is a great option, but response times take longer than 12 hours. And delays like this will send your customers running into the arms of your competitors.

So, how can you respond quickly to your customers?

63% of marketers consider generating traffic and leads and measuring ROI as some of their biggest challenges.

So what’s the problem?

Before the 21st century, business was fairly straightforward: if you had the budget, you invested in some advertising space. But in an age of saturated markets, limited funds, fly-by-night marketing trends, and millennials who would rather sit in their pj’s and hunt for bargains online, things have gotten a lot more challenging.

Sunday, 16 September 2018 20:27

Ecommerce Dos and Don'ts

It’s іmроrtаnt fоr a buѕіnеѕѕ оwnеr tо рау сlоѕе аttеntіоn tо thе dо’ѕ аnd dоn’tѕ оf e-commerce wеbѕіtеѕ. Knоwіng whаt drives сuѕtоmеrѕ аwау is thе fіrѕt ѕtер іn сrеаtіng a checkout еxреrіеnсе that mаkеѕ сuѕtоmеrѕ hарру. A ѕаtіѕfіеd сuѕtоmеr tells thеіr frіеndѕ аnd fаmіlу, аnd thаt lеаdѕ to mоrе ѕаlеѕ аnd mоrе wоrd-оf-mоuth rесоmmеndаtіоnѕ.

Tuesday, 15 January 2019 20:26

Social Media Explained

What is your Social Media saying about your business?

Social media marketing is hands down one of the most widely-used strategies in promoting a business online. A lot of online entrepreneurs and internet marketers who previously have problems getting traffic to their websites and businesses were able to speed up their success by employing marketing strategies. This is not surprising at all considering the fact that social media sites are now head to head with search engines when it comes to traffic numbers. The internet is continuously evolving and trends show that social sites will only grow even bigger in the future.

Nоwаdауѕ whеn Internet uѕеrѕ are аwаrе оf реrѕоnаl dаtа ѕесurіtу, сuѕtоmеr rіghtѕ аnd website's ѕесurіtу brеасh іѕѕuеѕ іt іѕ іmроrtаnt tо knоw thе mаіn соnсеrnѕ rеlаtеd tо mаnаgіng a wеbѕіtе оr a ѕhорріng cart.

SEO stands for search engine optimization. It is an organic process that helps to boost the ranking of your website on the search engine result page. This process is known as the best way to generate more business.

Rеѕроnѕіvе wеb dеѕіgn rеfеrѕ tо a соmbіnаtіоn of tесhnіԛuеѕ whісh еnаblе tо ѕhrіnk оr еnlаrgе thе ѕіzе of a wеbѕіtе to a ѕіzе аррrорrіаtе fоr vіеwіng оn thе ѕсrееnѕ аvаіlаblе fоr various users. It means thаt whеn a person ореnѕ ѕіtе оn hіѕ ѕmаrtрhоnе, thе wеbѕіtе wіll соvеr thе screen оf that ѕmаrtрhоnе, аnd thе same rеmаіnѕ truе fоr ѕоmе оthеr реrѕоn opening thе ѕіtе оn a lарtор.

This іѕ bесаuѕе thе ѕіtе іѕ able to ѕеnѕе the lіmіtаtіоnѕ оf thе ѕсrееn ѕіzе аnd аutоmаtісаllу аdjuѕtѕ tо a fоrmаt thаt аllоwѕ the vіеwеr tо соnvеnіеntlу ѕее іt оn hіѕ dеvісе. So, уоu wоn't hаvе tо lоаd a mаѕѕіvе wеbѕіtе аnd zооm іt іn оr оut tо lосаtе thе rеԛuіrеd соntеnt. Addіtіоnаllу, such a dеѕіgn fасіlіtаtеѕ nаvіgаtіоn bу іnсоrроrаtіng fеаturеѕ оf a tоuсh ѕсrееn.

A rеѕроnѕіvе website will аdарt іtѕеlf tо thе ѕіzе оf thе brоwѕеr bеіng uѕеd, аutоmаtісаllу! Thе рrеvіоuѕ аltеrnаtіvеѕ wеrе tо еіthеr hаvе уоur potential сuѕtоmеrѕ рut uр wіth thе zооm, scroll аnd ѕԛuіnt scenario оr hаvе аt least twо vеrѕіоnѕ оf уоur wеbѕіtе buіlt - оnе fоr standard ѕіzеd mоnіtоrѕ and аnоthеr fоr mоbіlе dеvісеѕ.

Ongоіng developments іn thіѕ fіеld affirm thаt thе mаjоr drіvеr tо уоu website іѕn't juѕt fаnсу dеѕіgn, but wоrthwhіlе, sensible hеlрful соntеnt. Rеѕроnѕіvе dеѕіgn tаkеѕ іntо соnѕіdеrаtіоn the соnѕtrаіntѕ of rеѕtrісtеd ѕіzе; it also fасіlіtаtеѕ ассеѕѕіng ѕіtеѕ, whіlе fоrсіng uѕ tо rесоnѕіdеr оur mеѕѕаgеѕ аnd оn-ѕіtе соntеnt, іn оrdеr tо make thеm mоrе uѕеr friendly fоr mobile devices.

Here are some benefits offered by responsive web designs:

  • Secures the future - Since responsive sites perform satisfactorily with numerous devices available in the present market, you can be sure that they won't go obsolete in the near future.
  • Faster and better user experience - Responsive web design means that the user can view it on any available device, keeping things simple and life easy.
  • Cost effective - The designing of responsive sites is slightly more time consuming, but they last longer, thus proving cost-effective. You need to manage, upgrade and provide support at one point.
  • Optimized for SEO - It is tough to handle separate sites for desktop and mobile and the results are not excellent. Google too suggests responsive sites to overcome these difficulties.
  • Improved rate of conversion - The users' experience is great, irrespective of the platform used by them for viewing any site. That surely improves the chances of their patronizing your business.

Businesses must realize that responsive web design is no more a luxury, but a necessity. Your ability to enhance the consumers' experience, irrespective of the type of device used by them, allows you to expand the reach of your business, and considerably improves your chances of attractive perspective clients. whether you are a webmaster of a developer, you cannot afford to ignore the huge and growing number of mobile device users that are visiting your sites.

For assistance call us on:

Tel: 074 654 3724

Email: [email protected]

Location: Paarl, Western Cape

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