Tag: online shopping

By Londiwe Buthelezi for News24

The number of “ghost town” malls,  ubiquitous throughout South Africa in the past two years, is declining as the demand for retail space strengthens.

According to the FNB Property Broker Survey for the first quarter of 2022, brokers are seeing an increase in demand for retail space to rent.

According to IOL, by the end of 2020 South Africa had seen a 50-70 percent growth in e-commerce, with an increased uptake in online retailing, click-and-collect and video streaming. Furthermore, online spending on goods and products (other than travel and accommodation) doubled in 2020, reflecting a 102 percent increase. By 2021, the industry had witnessed an additional 39 percent growth, with e-commerce accounting for 14 percent of the total card payment sales.

Retail and office space were the hardest hit by Covid-19 lockdowns in SA. As some of their small retail tenants went under, landlords were forced to offer rental discounts to those who could still pay rent. In many instances, they kept annual rental increases lower – if they effected increases at all.

In the FNB survey, the Retail Property Sector moved sharply in the right direction, showing improvement. In the second and third quarters of 2020, 90% of brokers surveyed indicated an increase in vacancy rates. In the first quarter of 2022, 72.8% said they’d seen a decrease in the vacancy rates.

FNB said this is thanks to the normalisation in economic activity that the sector is experiencing this turnaround for the better.

With most lockdown restrictions gone, more companies are thinking about expansion strategies again, and new businesses have also been formed.

“During 2021, we saw a significant recovery in the economy out of the recession of the 2020 lockdown year, and this appears to be continuing into 2022. The result seems to be a proliferation of new smaller businesses emerging, demanding considerable additional space,” wrote FNB in the report.

The bank said that even when asking brokers about their near-term expectations, brokers expect growth in the small business segment, which should continue to boost retail property demand.

However, FNB is cautious about expecting too much from the consumer spending front for now. The bank said even though the FNB-BER Consumer Confidence Index has improved significantly from the extreme low of -33 recorded in the second quarter of 2020, confidence levels are still in the negative territory, which affects expenditure by households.

The index stood at -13 in the first quarter of 2022 and was actually weaker than in the last quarter of 2021 when it stood at -9.

“If one views what a sample of consumers say, it remains a fairly ‘downbeat’ environment it would appear,” wrote FNB.

 

A 2020 Deloitte report talks about convenience as the “new battleground”, with convenience defined by contactless shopping, on-demand fulfilment and availability of inventory. And while convenience is increasingly important, industry experts believe it has to go hand in hand with value.

It’s a view echoed by Greg Gatherer, Account Manager at Liferay Africa, who believes that as long as the purchasing experience offers value and convenience, most customers will pay a premium. He adds that this is especially true of B2B, which is focused on efficiency. “Focusing on customer experience also puts you in a much better position to weather unexpected changes. Many B2B sellers who were already focused on customer experience had some of the best responses to the coronavirus crisis.”

But convenience is a loaded term and a concept most brands will claim they offer in some shape or form. Digital technology has, of course, played a significant role in allowing more aspects of a brand experience to be convenient, and to a large extent the modern urban lifestyle has necessitated the drive towards increased convenience.

For Teljoy, South Africa’s foremost rent to own provider, convenience has always been central to their offering. Explains CEO Jonathan Hurvitz: “Rent to own as a business model is about making products – in the case of Teljoy, appliances, consumer electronics and furniture – conveniently accessible through a flexible model.”

He adds that the rental economy more broadly posits that it is more efficient to rent the items that we need in our daily lives, as opposed to owning them outright. With rental, the burden of fixing or replacing the item is on the provider and not on the consumer. The consumer continues to enjoy access to the product, without the risk and responsibility that comes with ownership. “It’s the ultimate minimalist (read: convenient) way of life – eliminating ‘distractions’ to allow yourself the time and energy to focus on what matters most to you. Convenience through access,” Hurvitz says.

Today’s customers are accustomed to getting whatever they want or need – be it in relation to banking or shopping – in a matter of seconds. Everything is just a few clicks away. “Convenience, quick satisfaction, a seamless experience, speed, and ease of use are all things that today’s consumers demand (and are prepared to pay for),” says Dori-Jo Bonner, Strategist at Striata Africa, who adds that is is imperative that brands don’t make clients work for the services they provide.

“To guarantee that your messaging is being used to effectively build a layer of convenience for your customer, a well-structured digital communications strategy should prioritise education and awareness. Your customers must be directed to the most convenient channel for the information, service, or product they require through personalised, relevant, and secure digital communications,” Bonner shares.

Unlike many other marketing channels, digital also has the ability to link the digital world to the physical world, ensuring that customers’ expectations are met throughout their purchasing journey. Says Bonner: “Consumers demand consistency and convenience from shopping online to taking delivery of their goods. Brands who can successfully achieve this will be rewarded with loyal customers.”

Brands that draw on reputable data to inform their digital marketing efforts are even better positioned to offer customers the ultimate convenience. So says Reagen Kok, CEO of Hoorah Digital, an agency that applies creativity alongside tech and data to drive measurable business results for brands. “A brand’s data capability is central to its ability to evolve with the market, to stay relevant and to keep adding value to customers in an increasingly competitive (global) marketplace – all factors that play a key role in ensuring a brand can deliver on the convenience promise,” he shares.

To single out convenience as the ultimate, and only, gold standard for brands looking to meet customers needs is ultimately limiting, as brand experiences are far more nuanced and complex, but it would also be short-sighted to ignore the growing preference for the goods and services of brands that truly embody convenience for the customer.

Big e-commerce trends to look out for in 2022

Given the dynamic nature of technology, it follows that new trends are forever emerging in the e-commerce space.

Today, people seek out platforms that not only offer ease-of-use and convenient payment options, but those that embrace the latest technologies to make the overall shopping experience more exciting.

In South Africa, there have been high levels of innovation and change in e-commerce in recent years, according to The Online Retail Industry in South Africa 2021 report.

Bigger companies are investing heavily in tech or acquiring startup online retailers as sales soar.

More than R30-billion in online sales was recorded in 2020, a study by World Wide Worx found last year. This was driven in the main by Covid-19 lockdowns that moved people away from traditional in-store purchasing.

However even with an easing of restrictions online buying remains high, and will continue to do so. Data by Statista market and consumer data projects 31.6-million South Africans could be converted to online shopping by 2024, according to Business Report.

This means the onus is now on e-tailers and online marketplaces to ensure their platforms are front and centre when it comes to meeting consumer demand in the digital space, as competition is intensifying at a rate of knots.

Anne-Marie Green, marketing manager of South African internet auction and online marketplace bidorbuy, has paid close attention to emerging trends abroad, as these will invariably reach South Africa in 2022.

“The scale of some more mature e-commerce markets means they are open to experimentation by integrating other tools like social selling and chatbots to further enhance the online shopping experience,” Green says.

“Despite recent growth, South Africa remains a relatively underdeveloped e-commerce market, but studying developments overseas can help us predict and shape the future here.”

One of the bigger developments is the emergence of more payment options.

This stems from the fact that consumers like to be presented with a choice.

“This extends beyond the products on sale to shipping and payment options that customers can select during checkout,” Green says.

“Payment options such as instalments; buy now, pay later; and interest-free credit make e-commerce more accessible, and remove barriers to purchasing bigger-ticket items. Diversified payment options also mean that the e-commerce experience is better aligned to the diverse budgets and spending habits of consumers, and help to create trust in the positioning of ecommerce brands as being there for buyers.”

Something else that is taking the sector by storm is augmented reality (AR).

It builds on the traditional retail idea of customers being able to examine, touch or try on an item before making a purchase.

“Technological innovations such as AR will help customers to visualise how a product will look on them or in their home, and be an important differentiator for the e-commerce companies that bring this technology to market first.

Green has also noted that environmental concerns are starting to play an increasing role in shopping habits, as consumers “dig deeper into companies’ green credentials”. That means that e-commerce platforms have to ensure every aspect of their value chain is authentically sustainable, especially when it comes to delivery and packaging.

Another change to look out for in 2022 is the introduction of voice search to e-commerce platforms.

“Consumers are increasingly comfortable with asking their devices for information, advice and recommendations, and this is likely to influence the products they see and buy online in 2022,” Green says.

Lastly, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) will play an even greater role than they have already.

“If you’ve noticed that the best e-commerce sites seem to know what you want to buy almost before you do, then you’ve already experienced an important trend,” Green says.

“The integration of AI and ML is allowing sites to predict the products that are most likely to appeal to a particular consumer. AI can assess datasets and is adept at detecting and mapping out patterns, trends and anomalies. Of course, AI is only as good as the data available to it, but the increasing volumes of online transactions mean that datasets are expanding all the time.”

In March, it will be exactly two years since South Africa recorded its first Covid-19 case, and with new variants predicted for some time to come, it goes without saying that e-commerce will be affected.

It is something Green has come to accept.

“The pandemic has already transformed the shopping habits of South Africans, and its future trajectory will directly impact on e-commerce sale volumes and values. Spikes and troughs in infection rates will likely be mirrored in real time or at a slight lag by similar patterns in e-commerce activity,” she says.

“But the move towards online shopping is likely to be a lasting trend, with reluctance to visit public places and mingle with crowds an ongoing factor in many people’s decision-making.”

Game owner Massmart acquires OneCart

By Penelope Mashego for News24

Makro and Game owner, Massmart, has acquired a controlling stake in online shopping and delivery platform, OneCart.

On Wednesday, Massmart announced that it reached an agreement to acquire 87.5% of OneCart after informing the market that both parties had been negotiating the transaction in August.

The online shopping and delivery service’s partners include Woolworths, Pick n Pay Dis-Chem and Clicks.

The acquisition forms part of Massmart’s e-commerce growth strategy.

“We are excited by the opportunities that this acquisition presents. eCommerce continues to grow rapidly, both in South Africa and for Massmart, contributing up to 3-4% participation in overall retail sales. We don’t expect this growth trend to change and have embarked on implementing the fundamental building blocks required for a strong ecommerce offering,” said Massmart’s vice-president for group eCommerce, Sylvester John.

He added that Massmart would continue to support OneCart’s independent retailer marketplace model, while growing the platform and enhancing customer experience.

The retail chain owner will provide equity funding to OneCart through an unsecured convertible loan and acquire shares from current OneCart shareholders. Onecart’s founder Lynton Peters and a minority shareholder will own the balance of the shares.

The transaction will be finalised once it has approval from authorities and has met the required conditions.

 

Woolworths launches online shopping in Mauritius

Source: Supermarket & Retailer

South African retailer Woolworths has announced the expansion of its online shopping offering to Mauritius. Woolworths shoppers in Mauritius will now have the option to shop fashion, beauty and homeware products directly off the retailer’s shelves and have it delivered to their homes. The retailer currently has six fashion, beauty and homeware only stores in the country.

The new online offering will be supported from the Bagatelle store, which offers the widest assortment of its fashion, beauty and homeware range.

Woolworths’ divisional executive for Rest of Africa, Yobe Mvula, said: “The launch of this online offering in Mauritius comes as we celebrate our 10-year anniversary of trading in Mauritius and is a first for us outside of our firmly established digital presence in South Africa.

“We have used our learning and experience from our existing market leading online operations to create an innovative e-commerce platform that is industry-leading and scalable, and will ensure that shoppers can still enjoy the same quality in-store shopping experience online.”

The pilot of the service covers all areas in Mauritius (excluding Reunion and Rodrigues islands for now), with delivery within 48 hours and the option for consumers to collect in-store.

When shopping online, customers are able to create a wish list of items they love, do product comparisons, check the availability of the item and see related products.

WRewards members can also enjoy the benefits offered under the loyalty programme on the platform.

Woolworths has included a free gift wrap service for those who prefer to have the gift delivered to a specified address on their behalf.

Delivery is free for the month of September during the initial launch. Thereafter, free delivery will apply to all purchases of R2 500 or more.

Source: News24

In a changing world disrupted by Covid-19, small to medium enterprises (SMEs) in South Africa have the opportunity to embrace many solutions presented by digital technology, or risk missing out on the future of business.

Contactless pay points, access to data and other accessible tech innovations have made business easier to manage for many during pandemic-era trading. Small to medium enterprises specifically stand to gain from the advancements made by easier cashless payment methods at the point of sale.

The way in which consumers are interacting with money has changed since the onset of the pandemic. According to a Visa South Africa survey earlier this year, 48% of consumers indicated that they did not want to shop at a store that has payment methods that require contact, while 59% of people prefer to engage in contactless money transactions in general.

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the need for small businesses to get onboard the digital train to stay relevant in a changing marketplace. But the options to do so are also becoming easier and more accessible for all types of SMEs. We explore some of those here.

Going online and cashless systems

When it comes to going digital, not all SMEs are the same or will have the same needs. Many still require on-site service, while others can go completely remote. For the most part, all SMEs within the category have to consider their digital presence, with two main things to consider.

“The first is putting your business online. That is an absolute must in today’s world,” says Karin Mathebula, Head of Product, Sales and Service Enablement at Relationship Banking at Absa.

“Even if you are still operating from your shop, to be online means that you reach a much bigger audience. The second is the utilisation of non-cash-based payments. As soon as you put your business online, there is the opportunity to enable customers to shop online. Even in your physical store context, it’s really important to offer your customers the cheapest, safest way to pay for the goods or service that they are procuring, and certainly digital payments are the way to go.”

Contactless payments

An SME that has not considered cashless payment options, will miss out on an opportunity. Allowing customers to shop and pay online has proved to be a preference for many consumers during lockdown.

“Going digital means that people can buy your product and pay for it online or use cashless options such as tapping a bank card, or Apple Pay on their phone on site. But more importantly, everybody can see your business and it expands your customer base,” says Mathebula.

Accepting non-cash-based payments also means that you don’t have the cost and risk of handling large amounts of cash on your premises.

Data

Digitisation is ultimately about businesses using digital tools to analyse, learn and predict how things will be done in the future. It is a means of gaining as much information about your customer as possible and converting that into useable data.

For example, online shopping enables online payments – that information is turned into data that helps us to track the payment and the goods from that moment. Another example is paying with a card or a phone at a pay point. While the goods are physically exchanged, the payment linked to the goods becomes data immediately. Large corporations such as Amazon or Spotify have become experts in connecting buyers or listeners with sellers or producers.

“What’s important for SMEs, is to see the opportunity of being part of this big world of data – data about customer activity and the payments that they make, generate the ability to learn what else a customer likes or is interested in, how they pay for things, and offers the opportunity for other businesses to connect into each other’s value chains.”

Overcoming hurdles – costs and digital literacy

There are naturally some hurdles to overcome in transitioning to digital, but solutions are becoming more widespread. For many small businesses, these hurdles include the cost of data, being able to maintain cashflow properly, as well as finding alternative distribution channels.

“Both of these have an impact on the ability to raise finance, which is the most commonly identified barrier to growth and success by SMEs. Fortunately, we are able to support SMEs with tools to improve their ability to easily manage cashflow and collect payments. These in turn enable us to proactively offer cashflow support,” says Mathebula.

Banks such as Absa provide credit or cashflow financing. SMEs can use the data from their own bank account to create a cashflow statement using tools linked to their account, such as Absa’s Cashflow Manager. This helps to generate the sort of financial data on the basis of which credit decisions are made. It provides basic accounting information, can generate quotes and issue receipts.

SmartPay is a point-of-sale application that allows digital onboarding so that the customer does not have to physically go anywhere. A small business can have digital solutions, such as Absa’s Mobile Pay, this software turns your mobile phone into a Point of Sale (POS) device which allows merchants the ability to accept contactless payments on their smartphone.

These tools are ultimately a smarter way of doing business, which lowers costs and enables small businesses to produce more and focus on sales. This will help SMEs grow their share of the pie rather than just increase the number of slices.

 

Massmart in talks to acquire OneCart

Source: IOL

Massmart has announced that it is in negotiations to acquire a controlling stake in OneCart. The company said the negotiations were at an advanced stage. It said the acquisition was in line with its strategic intent to accelerate growth in e-commerce.

The group hopes to conclude discussions in the coming weeks.

OneCart is a South African grocery delivery service that was founded in 2016.

Massmart Group chief executive officer, Mitch Slape said: “The proposed acquisition is consistent with Massmart’s strategy to invest in and accelerate eCommerce growth, particularly in the fast-growing on-demand delivery segment. A key objective going forward would be to invest in aggressively growing and fully supporting OneCart’s existing independent retailer marketplace model that enables consumers to order from multiple retailers via a single platform.”

In March, Massmart outlined the group’s immediate eCommerce priorities including to:

• Establish a unified group-wide eCommerce capability under the leadership of Sylvester John who has been seconded by Walmart to fulfil the role of Massmart Group eCommerce vice-president.

• Revamp the makro.co.za, game.co.za and builders.co.za online user interfaces, including key functionalities like search, to provide a more seamless and intuitive customer experience.

• Develop new transactional and value-adding mobile-first digital solutions that cater to different customer occasions, journeys, and segments, including participation as anchor retail tenant on the Vodapay Super App.

• Strengthen and expand order fulfilment capabilities such as on-demand and same-day order fulfilment, “ship to home” capability from Distribution Centres to supplement store fulfilment capacity, and improving the click-and-collect customer experience in stores.

Group vice-president for eCommerce Sylvester John said: “It’s clear that we have the brand recognition, geographical presence, merchandise assortment, procurement scale, and primary logistics capability to be an even more successful eCommerce player.

“In addition to better leveraging these assets, our immediate opportunity is to improve and expand our digital sales platforms and last-mile delivery capability. The successful acquisition of OneCart will go a long way toward achieving this.”

The company said that in 2020, online sales across Massmart increased by 58.6%, the number of unique eCommerce customers grew by 73% and click-and-collect orders increased by 69.5%. eCommerce contributed 1.8% of total sales, representing a significant increase over the previous year.

OneCart has achieved year-on-year growth of 400% since its inception.

Slape said: “Successful closure of the proposed OneCart transaction will contribute immeasurably to our centralised eCommerce capability that has specifically been established to concentrate scarce expertise, including Walmartpracticence, in a way that will accelerate the adoption of eCommerce best practise at Massmart.”

 

By Jonathan Smit for IOL

With the increased threat of Covid-19, South Africans are being encouraged to stay home and shop online. Over the past year, local retailers have improved the safety and convenience of their e-commerce platforms, allowing customers to avoid exposure via queues and physical contact. Online stores and shopping apps are experiencing record order volumes as a result of the third wave of Covid-19.

To avoid digital payment fraud and scams, here is the list of safety precautions to follow when making purchases through your smartphone or desktop.

Before making any online purchase, your first priority is to verify the legitimacy of the merchant you’re buying from. Doing the research beforehand can save you the trouble of trying to get your money back after you’ve paid, which is considerably more difficult.

Only make purchases through secure websites: Ensure that you are on a secure domain before entering any confidential information such as your payment details. Look out for the ‘S’ in HTTPS at the start of the website’s URL, which is found in the address bar at the top of your browser. Depending on what browser you use, you will see a padlock in the left-hand side in the address bar

Read the returns and refund policy: The merchant is responsible for dealing with your order. If an issue occurs with your order, such as if you decide to cancel your order or it never arrives, you should know what your rights are and how you can expect the merchant to assist.

Read customer reviews: Take a look at comments on the merchant’s social media pages and read customer reviews on Google to ensure that the company has a good history of delivering products as promised. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Check out using secure payment options: Look up reviews on the payment options on offer before committing to checkout. You should always choose to checkout and pay with a payment method that you are familiar with and trust.

Don’t store your credit card information in a browser: When shopping online, you may be prompted to save your card details. This could be either a pop-up message within your browser or when checking out on an e-commerce website. By doing this, you could risk exposing your card holder details to other users of the device or put yourself at risk if the device is stolen.

Save card holder details to Payment Card Industry (PCI) verified merchant websites: Many websites give you an option to save your details with a tokenised ‘single-click’ style payment facility to speed up the checkout process on future purchases. This is considered safe when the site you are using is PCI accredited or if they hand off these requirements to a PCI DSS Level 1 payment processor.

Besides offering a convenient and time-saving way to make purchases, online shopping provides customers with an opportunity to support their favourite local stores without putting anyone at risk. It’s up to us as consumers to play our part in fighting the third wave of Covid-19 – this is one of the simplest ways to do so.

 

Source: MyBroadband

Online retail in South Africa more than doubled in just two years, thanks to the explosion in demand for home deliveries brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

This was one of the findings of Online Retail in South Africa 2021 – a study conducted by World Wide Worx with the support of Mastercard, Standard Bank and Platinum Seed.

The study revealed that the total growth for online retail in South Africa in 2020 came to 66%, bringing the total of online retail in South Africa to R30.2-billion.

“The most astonishing aspect of this total is that it is more than double the R14.1-billion reached in 2018, in just two years,” said World Wide Worx MD Arthur Goldstuck.

“It is also 50% higher than the total forecast for 2020 three years ago, when online retail in South Africa was expected to reach R20-billion by 2020.”

Comparing the online retail market to traditional retail puts the figure into context.

In 2018, the R14.1-billion in online retail represented 1.4% of total retail, estimated at the time at R1.07-trillion.

Online had outpaced traditional retail growth throughout the past 20 years, since it came off a low base, but traditional retail still grew every year until 2019.

In 2020, it slumped as a result of lockdown as well as economic stress.

According to preliminary data from Stats SA shows, at current prices, total retail fell by 4.2%, to R1.05-trillion at current prices.

The percentage of retail made up by online retail sales came to 2.8% – exactly double the percentage for 2018.

“While equivalent growth cannot be expected for 2021, it can be stated fairly confidently that it will exceed the 30% growth of 2019, when expansion was organic and a factor of the evolution of shopping habits and retail strategies,” said Goldstuck.

“Those factors remain in place, along with the massive boost given to both areas of evolution since the pandemic began.”

This means South Africa can expect to see total online retail sales of around R42-billion in 2021, taking the online percentage of total retail to around 4%.

The findings were not a surprise, Goldstuck said.

In November 2020, Mastercard released the findings of a survey of 1,000 South African consumers, which found that 68% of respondents were shopping more online since the onset of the pandemic.

The categories experiencing the highest growth, aside from data and airtime top-up, were clothing, at 56%, and groceries, at 54%.

68% of these consumers said they used the time during the pandemic as a positive learning experience.

The demand for online entertainment also surged, with 52% of respondents saying they have spent more money on virtual experiences than they did before the pandemic.

The majority had participated in video calls for work or leisure (88%), three quarters (75%) had watched TV or films through an online subscription service, and nearly half (47%) had taken part in a virtual cooking class.

“This trend appears to be here to stay as 71% of respondents say they will continue to shop online post-pandemic,” said Suzanne Morel, country manager at Mastercard, South Africa.

 

2020 sees boom for online shopping in SA

Source: Supermarket & Retailer

South African consumers have turned to online shopping in unprecedented numbers since the start of 2020, according to data released by Mobicred, the largest digital credit facility in this country.

Even though local shoppers have traditionally been cautious about online shopping, the growth in online shopping was both in terms of adoption rates and product selection, said Mobicred CEI Jason Sive.

He said, however, the trend was not unique, and their statistics showed South African online shopping behaviour was in line with other markets. The trends were extracted across 2 000 online retailers accepting Mobicred customer payments, over the last six months.

Across this customer base some of the key changes between pre- and post-lockdown purchases included an overall increase of 40 percent in monthly online transactions.

Demographically, customers older than 60 years, traditionally hesitant to transact online, grew by over 90 percent in terms of applying for Mobicred credit facilities.

The average purchase size across the entire customer base also increased, showing an up-tick of more than 25 percent, while the frequency of transacting online also grew by more than 30 percent.

The increased appetite of South Africans for online shopping had not gone unnoticed by retailers as they sought to offer customers greater freedom and more options to transact.

Over the same period, Mobicred reported a 50 percent monthly increase in the number of new online retailers signing up with the credit facility.

Having access to an increasing basket of options and benefitting from concerted efforts by retailers

to engage more meaningfully with their customers, the purchasing choices and behaviour of South Africans was producing interesting insights into what we spend our money on.

The Mobicred data showed significant shifts in pre- and post-lockdown purchasing choices.

These shifts largely followed what could be assumed to be the impact of especially lock-down restrictions, limiting movement which, in turn resulted in spending more time at home and therefore a greater focus on purchases relating to households.

The auto industry experienced a sharp decrease in sales, dropping by a substantial 45 percent over the period. Also suffering heavy losses in spending, the tourist industry took an 85 percent hit.

Less affected, but still showing a decline, the health and beauty industry was down by 14 percent.

Showing considerable growth, sales in the fashion industry were up by 22 percent, just a few percent shy of the 26% increase achieved by general retail.

Similarly, the tech industry revealed a strong rise, growing by 27 percent. Profiting most over the period, compared to pre-lockdown figures, the bed industry was up by 95 percent, with home and furniture showing significant growth as it rocketed by 140 percent.

This sharp rise in spending on household items was expected to keep growing as the so-called ‘stay-home economy’ continued to develop.

To capitalise on the shift to the stay-home economy, retailers would need to continue expanding their online offerings and further embrace technology to produce online customer experiences that will keep customers coming back, just as they would in a brick-and-mortar store.

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