As South African consumers and retailers prepare for the shopping spree associated with the international trend of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the real achievement for the country will be the expected improvement in the adoption of e-commerce.
Dr Christoph Nieuwoudt, CEO of FNB Consumer, says South Africa’s e-commerce is likely to get a boost around Black Friday and Cyber Monday as some consumers will be looking to avoid the long queues associated with such shopping sprees.
“Any savvy shopper can cash-in on the specials without spending time in queues and traffic, trying to move from one destination to another,” Dr Nieuwoudt says. “While e-Commerce is still in its infancy in South Africa compared to global standards, both the consumer and retail sectors are warming up to the use of technology to deliver and acquire goods and service. From placing a food delivery order, buying clothing, booking a taxi ride or renewing your license disc, it’s all being integrated into the virtual world and available at your fingertips.”
For savvy consumers, making use of the digital ecosystem provided by banks should be one of the priorities for a convenient shopping experience. For instance, FNB customers can shop online to benefit from discounts on the eBucks Shop as well as the device and data deals offered by FNB Connect. All these are accessible via the bank’s app.
Dr Nieuwoudt says, broadly, the use of online shopping is a trend that has been gradually gaining momentum locally, pointing to the growing number of customers who are using the bank’s digital platforms to purchase goods and services.
“We already have a substantial number of customers who regularly use our digital channels to buy pre-paid products such as electricity and airtime,” he says. “This is a firm indicator that there’s appetite for more uptake of e-Commerce among consumers. We expect the use of technology, especially for day to day services, to increase significantly over the next few years, partly because consumers are starting to realise that it’s both inevitable and a much better way to do a lot of things.”