While South African’s economy has experienced some setbacks recently, retail sales there remain relatively strong, and online sales are expected to grow significantly through 2020. Shopper’s in Africa’s most industrialised country are embracing omnichannel shopping and mobile technology, and prefer retailers that provide convenience both in the store and online, according to iVend Retail’s 2019 Global Shopper Survey.
iVend surveyed more than 2,700 shoppers in 11 countries for this year’s survey, measuring attitudes and behaviours related to retail purchase decisions. Below we’ve summarised the results from South African consumers.
Winning Repeat Business at the Checkout
Retailers can win or lose customers at the checkout in South Africa. This final step in the purchasing cycle is often the most frustrating for shoppers because of long lines or complicated payment solutions. Customers want a quick and easy experience, and want the option to do it themselves without a cashier.
What is the number-one feature of a shopping experience that South African’s value the most? According to the survey, 79.6% said an easy, quick checkout process was important. Just under half of respondents (45.2%) said that a self-checkout station is a good reason to continue shopping with a retailer, which is in line with global preferences for self-checkout solutions.
Loyalty Programs Increase Value
One of the big trends identified in this year’s survey was the importance of loyalty programs to consumers, and South Africa was no exception. Shoppers are participating in loyalty programs and letting those programs dictate where they decide to shop. It’s important to have an integrated loyalty program so that retailers can remain on consumers’ radar.
According to the survey, 94.8% of customers have shopped with a retailer because of a loyalty program, and 88.8% participate in those programs in order to earn discounts and free items. In addition, 74.4% of respondents cited a loyalty program as the most valuable aspect of a shopping experience.
Online Marketing’s Expanding Influence
South African shoppers are highly responsive to online and social media advertisements. Geo-targeted promotions are effective as well. Retailers can use data from an integrated omnichannel retail system to hyper target audiences for promotions. According to the survey:
Omnichannel Shopping – New Pickup Options, Mobile Commerce
Omnichannel shopping requires integration between the online shopping experience and in-store experience, and this is evident worldwide in the embrace of click-and-collect or buy online, pickup in store (BOPIS) solutions. There has been a 30% increase in retailer use of this strategy compared to last year, including among retailers in South Africa. The drivers for the influx in S.A. is predominately about saving time.
The survey found that 76% of shoppers in South African use click and collect at least some of the time. The top two reasons they use it:
Smartphones play a big role in the omnichannel shopping journey. Webrooming and showrooming are becoming the standard process for shopping. This year’s survey found that:
South Africans are most receptive to an efficient shopping experience. They favour strategies and technologies that save them time both online and in the store. At a brick-and-mortar location, they want to get in and out quickly.
Retailers in South Africa need a connected, integrated system to handle these demands for convenience, whether through click and collect or self-checkouts, and keep those customers coming back through a well-managed online marketing and loyalty program.
How to use data to improve customer experience in retail
Ask any retailer and they’ll tell you that an enhanced customer experience is at the top of their ‘must [...]
mPOS – bringing back the human touch to in-store shopping
As shoppers return to brick and mortar stores in their drovers, they crave the in-store experience. Retailers who want [...]
AI in retail – transforming the future of shopping
Artificial Intelligence has become embedded into our everyday lives – every time we ask Alexa for the weather, or [...]