Research done by McKinsey and Company reveals that small and medium enterprises make up 98% of businesses in South Africa and employ between 50% and 60% of the South Africa’s workforce.
Now, almost two years into a pandemic that swept the country into an economic crisis, we’re witnessing a growth in e-commerce.
But e-commerce is not new to South Africans.
Major e-commerce players like Takealot and Superbalist, who were doing well pre-pandemic, experienced a growth spike as more consumers took the online shopping route.
In 2020, South Africa saw a 66% growth in e-commerce. And as it stands, a study done by Deloitte found that more than 70% of South Africans are shopping online.
As much as the marked increase of e-commerce was induced by limitations that stemmed from lockdown restrictions, that isn’t the only reason why it’s projected to grow strongly in the coming years.
The iKhokha Payment Gateway was designed to make it safe, easy and affordable for anyone to start, run and grow their business online
An introduction to advanced digital technology, contactless payment methods and high-speed Internet has South African consumers driving the shift to e-commerce even further.
It’s clear that now, more than ever, for SMEs to thrive they need to meet consumers where they are – online.
Here’s why 2022 is the right time to take your business online:
1. Mobile penetration among South African consumers is higher than ever
Mobile technology is influencing the acceleration of e-commerce in South Africa.
Research results from a Geopoll survey conducted in 2020 indicated that 45% of our population browsed the Internet on their smartphones for more than four hours a day. And as of January 2022, there are 41.9 million active Internet users in South Africa.
The integration of wallets, bank apps and shopping apps has made browsing through virtual shopping aisles easier than ever.
From a survey of a thousand South African consumers, Mastercard concluded that the online shopping trend will continue to grow as 71% of respondents say they will still shop online post-pandemic.
2. South African consumers put convenience at the forefront
A March 2020 McKinsey Consumer Pulse Survey discovered that more than 70% of South Africans are looking to cut back on transport and travel costs.
This reduced need to visit a physical store was also identified in research done by Deloitte, which found that 26% of consumers said they do online shopping is because it is more convenient.
3. South African consumers want a personalised shopping experience
As South Africans become more comfortable with the concept of online shopping, their appetite for e-commerce solutions is growing.
Consumers desire a shopping experience that directly connects with who they are, offers safety, saves time and is seamless.
E-commerce stores give the consumers what they want in the palm of their hand and can reach a wider audience, 24/7.
4. Credibility is what South African consumers want
Smart Insights unveiled that 81% of consumers search for a product or service to buy online. In a world where online availability is quickly becoming a cost of entry, an online store presence immediately makes a business more credible and builds brand loyalty.
In the past two years, it’s become clear that business owners need to take their businesses online to offer consumers the convenience they expect.
On a mission to place South African small business owners where their customers are, iKhokha recently launched an online payment solution – the iKhokha Payment Gateway.
Learn more about the iKhokha Payment Gateway and iK Pay Online
The iKhokha Payment Gateway was designed to make it safe, easy and affordable for anyone to start, run and grow their business online.
To ease SMEs into e-commerce, resources like the E-commerce Trends for 2022 e-book are available as a free download. It gives insight and deepens why e-commerce is the next best strategic move for small business owners.
“We use tech to create meaningful experiences that uplift our communities, add value and make running a business less of a dream and more of a reality – because when small businesses grow, Mzansi thrives,” says iKhokha CEO Matt Putman.
For more information on iKhokha’s Payment Gateway and iK Pay Online, please visit www.ikhokha.com/pay-online.
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