E-commerce adoption has accelerated in recent years as consumers and businesses put more trust in online business.
Ignited by the Covid-19 pandemic, e-commerce popularity continues to rise with the South African online shopping market projected to reach approximately R225-billion in value by 2027.
But what does this mean for small businesses? With a handful of colossal online retailers taking the most significant slice of the pie, is there an opportunity for smaller players to make their mark online?
Fintech company iKhokha believes everyone should have the right to participate in the digital economy, regardless of their business size.
Having recently launched iK Tap on Phone, iKhokha is now on a mission to democratise e-commerce with iK Pay Link, a payment solution that gives business a chance to explore e-commerce with no upfront investment.
Available on the free iKhokha app, iK Pay Link enables businesses to send unlimited free digital payment links to their customers via e-mail or direct messaging platforms like WhatsApp and social media messengers.
“Many businesses in South Africa would like to be able to offer their products to a broader audience or take payments from customers who are not physically at their location. But they face numerous barriers to entry that prevent them from doing so,” says iKhokha CEO Matt Putman.
New frontier for SMEs
“With products like iK Pay Link, we can help businesses that we already service today grow by generating new revenue streams and helping them make the move online,” he says.
While e-commerce is becoming more accessible, it still isn’t easy for SMEs. Consider the costs from Web development fees to e-commerce platform commissions, and it quickly becomes clear that a full-fledged e-commerce store is an unrealistically costly venture for small, cash-strapped businesses.
Knowledge and skills gaps also provide a challenge for these businesses. The world of digital commerce is a new frontier for SMEs. With limited understanding or experience in online business, a venture into this brave new world is both daunting and risky.
iKhokha’s iK Pay Link offers small businesses a risk-free opportunity to dip their toes into the e-commerce pool.
With no upfront investment required and the ability to sign up and send a payment link in five minutes, it’s an ideal solution for those new to e-commerce or those looking to save on current costs.
The beauty of payment links is their versatility, as businesses can adapt the technology to their needs.
So, what does it cost? iKhokha charges a standard online transaction rate (2.85% excluding VAT). This amount is only charged once a customer has paid using the payment link, eliminating all risks for the business owner.
But the beauty of payment links is their versatility, as businesses can adapt the technology to their needs.
Travel and tourism, food and beverage, hospitality, and healthcare are among the industries with the highest payment link adoption rate. Within these sectors, payment links are becoming a popular solution for collecting deposits, helping businesses to avoid cancellations and improve efficiency.
Payment links are also becoming the go-to payment solution for social commerce entrepreneurs. These tech-savvy businesses are choosing payment requests sent via social messengers over EFT payments as they promote accuracy and eliminate human error.
No better time
“Our goal is to help these businesses increase their turnover and reach with products and bold, innovative features that help them start, manage and grow their businesses,” says Putman.
The landscape is undeniably challenging for SMEs. iKhokha believes small businesses must harness all avenues available to give them a fighting chance and grow South Africa’s small business base.
With the growth of e-commerce penetration among small businesses, and the impact it will have on their ability to compete, there’s no better time for SMEs to find a foothold in the digital marketplace.
For more on iKhokha, please visit www.ikhokha.com.
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