Ecommerce Trends Shaping the Future of Retail in Africa

In the ever-evolving world of ecommerce, staying ahead of the curve is essential for businesses looking to thrive. As we approach 2024, here are five trends retailers should have on their radar: 1. Mobile Commerce Dominance According to Statista about 20 to 22 million people in South Africa use a smartphone, which accounts for about one third of the country’s population. South African consumers prefer using smartphones over computers when shopping online. A mobile-first approach with high website performance will achieve sales growth in 2024 and beyond. 2. Personalisation and AI AI can collect and analyse consumer buying behaviour, how users navigate your site, and even determine optimal times users make purchases. By segmenting this information, AI can help retailers create personalised shopping experiences for their consumers. 3. Payment Innovations To unlock the full potential of ecommerce in Africa, convenient and secure payment methods are crucial. Most of the traditional banks have revamped their digital solutions to offer a better service and provide choice to consumers. Buy now, pay later companies such as PayFlex and PayJustNow (aka BNPL) have exploded over the past couple of years in the payments industry. 4. Sustainable Shopping 86% of consumers believe that companies have a duty to take care of the planet. Businesses can help consumers overcome barriers to adopting more sustainable habits in their daily lives. By incorporating sustainable logistics practices through partnering with Pargo this will lower carbon emissions as Pargo offers free recyclable and biodegradable mailing bags and consolidated deliveries to Pargo Points nationwide. 5. Social Media. According to Statista, South Africa was home to 25.80 million social media users in January 2023, equating to 42.9 percent of the total population. Social media can be a powerful tool to help promote your brand and engage with consumers. Platforms such as TikTok and Instagram should not be underestimated as they have become eCommerce marketplaces and consumers use them to search for products. These platforms allow consumers to conduct their entire purchasing experience, from product research and discovery to payment directly on the apps. As we venture into 2024, businesses must embrace these ecommerce trends to remain competitive and capitalise on the immense opportunities that lie ahead. The digital retail landscape is evolving, and those who adapt will thrive in this new era of ecommerce.
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