An increase in fake reviews and false information, as well as flouting of consumer protection laws, are all possible results of the AI boom.
SA follows global trend of increasing move to online shopping
By our News Team | 2023
‘Significant digital adoption’ aligns seamlessly with the growth of e-commerce in the region, says Future Shopper Report 2023.
The future of retail is steadfastly being shaped by digital, as shoppers envision a future where nearly two-thirds (64%) of their shopping will be online in the next 10 years. This is according to the Future Shopper Report 2023, a global study recently released by marketing communications agency Wunderman Thompson.
As the landscape shifts, successful businesses consciously adapt to the new era of digital technologies and economies, says the agency, which found that online shopping accounts for 58% of all spending today. Over 31,000 consumers worldwide were interviewed.
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In South Africa, the survey found that nearly 90% of respondents indicated their increased comfort with various digital technologies, including utilising apps to their full advantage, attending video-conferencing meetings, and seeking information on websites.
“This significant digital adoption aligns seamlessly with the growth of e-commerce in the region,” Wunderman says.
“Prior to the Covid pandemic, South Africans were gradually embracing online shopping for essential commodities, groceries, fashion items and, ever-increasingly, for financial transactions.”
Profound implications for branders and marketers
However, the lockdown measures expedited this process exponentially, with profound implications for businesses, branders and marketers. Working from home (WFH) may also be impacting purchase behaviours, with 71% of South African respondents saying they have shopped more online due to WFH, and 76% of respondents stating they have discovered new brands and retailers due to WFH.
“As distribution and supply chain strategies are reimagined to accommodate the new marketplace, investments in appropriate technologies become crucial. Marketing models must evolve to compete effectively, making e-commerce and digital communication strategies pivotal to success,” the agency adds.
Nevertheless, the e-commerce strategy in South Africa is influenced by traditional shopping habits. The convenience of browsing in shopping hubs and shopping malls, comparing goods and prices in physical stores, has shaped consumer behaviour. Recognising this, successful brands and marketers must embrace omnichannel strategies to align with South Africans’ blended online and brick-and-mortar shopping preferences, the report says.
Perhaps predictably, 40% of consumers still prefer to browse physical stores for inspiration and comparison, but online adoption and behaviours are undeniably on the rise. Approximately one-third of shoppers now seek inspiration from retail store apps, while marketplace online sites such as Takealot, Amazon, and Makro capture the attention of nearly 50% of consumers.
You can download the report here.
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