How to stay ahead by improving your customers’ online experience

By our News Team | 2023

Build stronger brands and customer resilience with experience-driven loyalty programmes, and collect first-party data instead of cookies.

As e-commerce continues to grow in South Africa, there are three opportunities for businesses to improve their customer experience and stay ahead of the competition.

In a recent article for the ecommerce.co.za website for online retailers and entrepreneurs, Mark Molenaar, Customer Experience Director for the Insights Division at Kantar SA, lists the three that emerged from the Kantar SA ecommerce survey 2022:


Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

  1. Collect first-party data rather than cookies

A total of 78% of South African internet users think brands should understand their life stage and offer appropriate products and services, while 68% want brands to use their personal information to better tailor products and services to suit their needs.

Businesses can use data from customer interactions, such as browsing and purchase history, to create more targeted marketing campaigns with personalised discounts and offers that improve the overall customer experience.

With this, we are likely to see increasing use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) in e-commerce to enhance the shopping experience and improve overall brand engagement with optimised inventory management and improving supply chain efficiency.  Key choice motivators include items being in stock and quick, free delivery.

  1. Ramp up your mobile and social commerce offering

In SA, two-thirds of internet users have made purchases online using their mobile phone, and 56% of Gen Z and Millennial internet users prefer buying products online rather than in physical stores, with younger shoppers gravitating towards online. 

As more consumers turn to mobile devices to shop online, businesses need to ensure that their websites and apps are mobile-friendly and easy to use.

Aligned to this is the growing use of social media for customer engagement and sales. Facebook and Instagram are becoming increasingly popular for e-commerce businesses to promote their products and engage with customers. 

For example, 62% of SA Gen Zeders online want to find and buy products directly on social media apps, and 31% of Gen Z and Millennials have already done so. People also want to control the channels they use to interact with brands, with 30% of Millennials having used social media to complain about a brand. 

Although the mobile e-commerce growth opportunity is undeniable, limited mobile data remains an obstacle to online shopping adoption. Overcome this by providing data as a loyalty reward.

  1. Build stronger brands and customer resilience with experience-driven loyalty programmes

As inflation and economic headwinds challenge merchants and consumers alike, local businesses must provide excellent, seamless customer service in 2023 to retain customers and generate repeat business. Two thirds of SA internet users want special offers and discounts based on their social media and online activities, as well as fast, efficient delivery and convenient returns and exchanges.

Stay ahead of the competition by embracing new technologies and trends like AI and machine learning, social media, mobile commerce, data-driven marketing and memorable customer service to succeed in the South African e-commerce market in 2023 and beyond.

Dr Kin Kariisa

Group CEO - Next Media

Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

  • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
  • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
  • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
  • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
  • Chairman of Board of Directors of Nile Hotel International, that owns the leading hotel in Uganda, Kampala Serena Hotel.
  • Chairman of Board of Directors of Soliton Telmec Uganda, the leading telecom company in Optic fibre business managing over 80% of optic fibre in Uganda.