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Mobile commerce helps drive retail growth in Africa

E-commerce has become one of the main drivers of retail today, providing consumers with a way to purchase goods that are convenient and available on the go.

Consumers around the world aren’t just online, they’re buying what they want, when they want, wherever they are, on their phones. Mobile commerce adapts to this ever-changing customer demand, with the purchasing tool already in the customer’s hand or pocket.

Success of mobile commerce amplified by innovative logistics

In South Africa, e-commerce accounts for a relatively small 3% of retail sales, but in international markets, e-commerce has already captured a larger share of total retail transactions. In the United States, for example, e-commerce accounts for around 13% of all retail sales, a share that has doubled over the past five years.

Mobile commerce is playing a huge role in the growth of online shopping across the continent, with a February 2022 report showing that South Africa recorded the highest share of mobile as part of total e-commerce of the 5 major African markets, accounting for 63% of the total e-commerce share.

It has never been more important for retailers to help their customers shop through the channel they prefer, including mobile, and to partner with a reliable global logistics provider with smart tools to help them. to access new markets, to provide solutions tailored to their business and delivery options. that meet customer expectations.

For small and medium-sized businesses looking to expand to an international audience, investing in e-commerce by considering how it looks and whether it is easily accessible via mobile devices, is a smart step to reaching more customers and new markets. Connecting this expanded audience to the services and solutions provided means businesses benefit from global reach and a seamless shipping experience.

Social platforms facilitating discovery (and shopping)

As consumer expectations change, internet users are also driving this evolution of “social commerce”. Today’s Internet user is also a consumer. The audience is the market, and retailers need to understand this when planning their mobile and e-commerce approach.

Dynamic social content that allows social media users to shop for products on platforms like Instagram is a big part of this mobile commerce growth, for example, an outfit for someone you follow on Instagram? It is likely that they will have a link to the brand or the article. Similarly, you can buy a specific kitchen tool used by a cook in a Facebook reel or TikTok story. The benefit to the consumer is that they make a purchase decision by “seeing” the product in use, often with user feedback.

To get the most out of changing consumer purchases, retailers need to offer content about the item, not just an item description and an “add to cart” button. This can take the form of sponsorships, partnerships, or creating their own branded content. AI can also guide businesses to the most engaged audiences and highlight where they are and what content they are most likely to engage with, including their purchasing decisions.

Build trust and make the app market work for consumers

Another new frontier is app-based commerce. Many operating systems, such as Apple’s iOS, require users to opt in to receiving communications from online retailers and app-based platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.

Regardless of the platform, customers can agree to hear from companies they are interested in or have a deeper relationship with. Building this kind of familiarity means building trust and connecting with consumers on the platforms where they are most active.

A successful purchase only ends when the goods arrive – and ensuring they arrive on time and in good condition will continue to build consumer trust with your business.

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