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If your business is not selling online yet, then it’s time to absolutely get online and start selling. E-commerce is a space every retailer and small business owner should gain knowledge in and invest capital into this space to grow. According to the We are Social 2020 digital report there were 30 – 50 million people purchasing online in 2019 and purchases in the fashion and beauty industry growing by 22%.

It has been argued that South Africa wouldn’t adopt e-commerce due to many reasons such as education and the logistics challenges present in the continent but this has come to be false as more and more customers are opting to buying online due to convenience and variety of options available online.

With the growth of more consumers opting for online purchases it is very important to keep in mind as you grow your online business of the trends that are set to occur in 2020.

1.Optimizing Customer Experience

Convenience is the number one reason consumers are opting to buy online, this means that your online store should be simple and easy to navigate for a consumer to make a purchase especially a seamless checkout process to avoid cart abandonment. Provide various payment options and delivery options as customers would like to choose options, they are most comfortable with.

2. Integrating Omnichannel retailing

Yes, we hear that retail is dying but with the large amount of retail spaces present in South Africa it is still viable to look at integrating your online store with offline traditional retail such as giving a consumer the option to buy or view online but purchase or pick up offline.

 3. Securing online security

Consumers are more concerned about security online, thus it is important as an online retailer to ensure you abide by the POPI act and make consumers aware that you are abiding by the act. It is also important to create a secure infrastructure with ensuring your site has an SSL certificate.

4. Increasing online omnipresence

The internet is massive and thus it is important to have a presence on multiple online platforms such as engaging in social media. Your business needs to have a pervasive online presence to allow shoppers to engage as well as make in app purchases for their convenience.

 5. Engage in advancements in technology

Technology advancements in the online retailing space are occurring rapidly and many tools, especially automation tools are becoming available for all retailers online. There is a relationship between shoppers and technology thus as an online retailer you may make use of AI and machine learning to automate processes and create a customised shopping experience for each consumer.

With South Africa’s population at 58.93 million people and 62% of the population using the internet and 56% making purchases online it is essential that as an online retailer you provide what the people want.

A successful entrepreneur changing the world one day at a time.

Written By Hlupekile Malama

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