African countries should embrace e-commerce
Markets are continuing to grow and become more complex the simple process of retailing has started to deploy more advanced retail information systems to cope with all the transactions involved globally.
Today, retailers/wholesalers need to transform their IT capabilities for multiple reasons, including to increase the company’s ability to respond to the evolving marketplace through enhanced speed and flexibility, to collect and analyse customer data while enhancing differentiation.
To work effectively retailers, need a system to work across stores (or even across borders) to make sure the most effective use of stock and improve business processes.
According to the PWC’s (2017) Total Retail Survey, about 39% of retailers said that “social networks provide their customers with the inspiration towards their ultimate decision to purchases and also opportunity to interact with companies directly share their interests and reviews of products online and customers take full advantage of it.”
Shopping online saves time, offers a greater product selection and allows for cost savings in terms of taxes, the price of the product and money saved on fuel and parking.
In a report also by PayPal (2016) South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria and Kenya in Africa are also seeing significant e-commerce adoption where a number of Zimbabwean retails are lagging behind on adopting of e-commerce while Zimbabwe is said to have low levels of eCommerce because the culture of online purchasing has not taken hold in the country, but we believe that Retailers should start making moves to e-commerce hence the current situation on where everyone is using plastic/mobile money to make their purchases they should become more innovative to suit the trending trends on the global market.
In Sub-Sahara, South Africa is leading the game with a lot of retailers blending in the system to satisfy modern customers Shoprite, The Spar Group, Pick n Pay Stores and Woolworths Holdings just to mention a few are the major retails using the online platforms for their business. We hoping that this year the e-commerce in Zimbabwe is going to rise since the Mobile Internet penetration rose a 102.4% increase as Potraz reported.
What Retails like OK Zimbabwe, Spar, TM, Pick n Pay Zimbabwe need are Business-to-People (B2P), Business-to-Business (B2B) websites (a website that is designed for the explicit purpose of selling products and services).
Speaking to one customer in Zimbabwe, he wonders why retailers are not giving them that option of buying online to their customers since a lot of people are transacting using mobile money which is very flexible and fast way to do online transactions.
Here are some of the bullets we thought why a retailer would want to invest in E-Commerce:
- Establish an Online Presence.
- Save on Operational Costs.
- Attract New Customers.
- Better Understand Your Customers.
- Boost Brand Awareness.
- Equip Customers with Information.
In order to take advantage of this, enterprises will need to be constantly expanding their product and service offering, and developing strategies that meet the demands of the digital customer.
If you’re a retailer without a mobile app, it might be time to think about building one. And if you already have one, it may be time to review what the user experience like, because mobile commerce growth is stronger than ever.
Local Retailers should join forces with local Web-designers/Developers, Programmers, Software Engineers to come up with sound websites, systems that can satisfy with a local market, they (retailers) shouldn’t be scared to invest much into IT infrastructure because it makes life easy for Management to run the business smoothly.
Global giants Wal-Mart (hypermarkets, discount department stores, and grocery stores) and CVS (online drugstore) are still the two largest retailers on the planet who are really making it in the E-commerce Market share league.