Tag: shopping

What South Africans bought this Black Friday

Black Friday 2020 sales volumes in South Africa were higher than last year, but the growth was far lower than expected.

The follow are highlights of the day:

  • 2020 was very different from previous years, as purchasing activity did not start at midnight
  • Sales volumes after midnight were down 33% while there was 63% less spending during this period. Volumes started to pick up at around 08:00
  • There were surges between 08:00 and 09:00, and 19:00 and 20:00. These were more impulse buying, with high volumes but far lower basket values
  • Black Friday as a whole saw an increase of 14% in sales volumes, much lower than the expected 35% growth
  • There was a 400% increase in sales when compared to a typical weekday
  • The most popular item was the air fryer, with disposable face masks coming in second
  • Dishwashers were among the most popular appliances
  • Takealot’s more traditional top sellers were Samsung and Hisense TVs, the PlayStation 4 console and 3 Game bundle, laptops, wearable tech such as the Garmin Fenix 6X Pro Sports Watch and Apple AirPods Pro
  • In Massmart stores Makro and Game, top sellers were 25-litre cooler boxes, Smart HD TVs, Raleigh bicycles, rechargeable lanterns, fridge/freezer combos and kettles
  • Makro shoppers who opted for the Click and Collect option did so not to avoid a trip to the store, but to reserve highly desirable products. When they collected the product in store, they shopped more.
  • BankServ Africa’s preliminary tally of Black Friday transactions shows total in-store card purchases numbered 4 967 022 (30% down from 2019)
  • Online sales reached 868 903, which was 62% up on 2019’s figures
  • 95% of payments were done through credit and debit cards, dwarfing EFT

Karen Nadasen, PayU South Africa CEO, puts the lower-than-expected growth and low midnight sales down to a few factors:

  • The big Black Friday deals expected at midnight did not materialise
  • There were many retailers which only put their deals up in the morning
  • There was a big decline in airline ticket sales, which typically account for large Black Friday volumes

Image credit: Thapelo Morebudi/Sunday Times

Tips to survive Black Friday

By Chad Williams for IOL

With South African shoppers eagerly awaiting the release of arguably the best shopping deals on Black Friday, with all that has happened this year, the burning question is: how will retailers manage the influx of shoppers, bearing in mind that physical distancing needs to maintained?

Last year, I penned a few tips on how to survive Black Friday.

Since things are slightly different this year, I’ve decided to share these great tips with you again, with a few amendments here and there, of course.

Firstly, you must dress accordingly. Don’t wear flip-flops and thick clothes, or you won’t make it past the front door. Wear comfortable yet grippy shoes as well as loose clothes so that it’s easy to move around. It gets very hot in shops on days like this, and chances are the air conditioner will be broken.

Don’t forget your mask and sanitiser. People are going to shout and breathe heavily around you. Safety always comes first. And we’re still in the middle of a pandemic.

Make a list of the items you need or want, and take your flyers with you. It’s important to have a game plan. People tend to overspend when they don’t know where to go in the store and end up running up unnecessary aisles.

Take a shopping buddy with you. The other person is not only there to help you carry the unnecessary appliances you purchased, but also keep you in check when you go overboard.

Draw only the amount of money that you’re prepared to spend, and don’t forget to keep your taxi fare in your socks.

Do some exercises before Black Friday weekend. You’re gonna have to be focused both physically and mentally. Chances are you will be involved in a scrum for that blender.

Eat a good breakfast before you leave home. Eating food in the mall is not a priority on Black Friday. Have a good breakfast and take that energy supplement if you must.

Leave the kids at home. I know you love your bundles of joy, but they will drive you crazy while you hunt for those specials. Especially if they see Elsa or Peppa Pig.

Check online deals first. Most retailers will send a Black Friday teaser a few hours before the time.

Lastly, stay at home. Avoid the shops, and all the madness that goes with Black Friday and the hassle of going to a mall during a pandemic. I guarantee you will have more money left in January. And you will definitely have a good laugh at all the videos you’ll see on social media of grown adults fighting over coffee and chicken.

 

Online sales boom expected on Black Friday

By Estelle Sinkins for The Witness

Online retailers are expecting a boom on Black Friday after health experts appealed to shoppers to avoid crowds at shopping centres.

Nicolet Pienaar, the head of market insights at trends analysts GfK South Africa, said retail chains with established online shopping facilities and logistics were likely to be the biggest winners.

“Loyal buyers are putting their trust in the online presence of their preferred offline retailers,” she added. “They feel that the physical presence of these stores means they can follow up with a human if they encounter any problems.”

The battle for consumers’ hard-earned cash is already fierce with many of the large retail chains — including Game, Makro, Clicks, Dischem, Checkers, Pick n Pay and Spar — offering big discounts to shoppers in the lead-up to Black Friday.

John Bradshaw, retail executive for marketing at Pick n Pay, said the company had worked closely with suppliers for months to secure stock.

“We have taken several proactive steps to minimise any overcrowding, which includes extending our Black Friday deals to run over two weeks,” he added.

Shoppers who do want to head to brick and mortar stores can expect retailers to implement strict lockdown guidelines. Bradshaw said Pick n Pay stores would be limiting the number of people in its stores, wiping down trolleys before use, sanitising hands upon arrival, sanitising till points, and providing floor markers for physical distancing.

It’s a similar story at Game and Makro. Brian Leroni, senior vice president group corporate affairs for Massmart, said staff would be marshalling social distancing measures in queues. They will also be managing the number of customers in stores throughout the day.

Desmond Heunis, general manager for the Liberty Midlands Mall in Pietermaritzburg, said the shopping centre had worked closely with retailers to manage Black Friday.

The planning covers security, crowd control and traffic management in conjunction with SAPS, traffic authorities, parking management operators and the on-site management team.

 

Woolies to launch same-day delivery service

By Lucinda Dordley for Cape Town Etc

Lovers of Woolies’ quality and service will be delighted to hear that the retailer has decided to launch its own same-day delivery service. It made this announcement via social media on Monday, 23 November 2020.

Called “Woolies Dash”, the retailer promises the service will deliver groceries within the hour. It did not, however, provide details on when the service will launch or which areas it will service.

Recently, competitors Pick n Pay and Checkers also launched similar delivery services.

Pick n Pay partnered with online grocery service Bottles to bring customers what they need. However, as Bottles was not permitted to sell alcohol during the strict lockdown earlier this year, the app had to be re-purposed for on-demand groceries instead of liquor.

Checkers has its Sixty60 app, which was launched in 2019. The service allows customers to accept a delivery within 60 minutes, or alternatively at a time that best suits them. Users can pay using a credit or chip-enabled debit card and shoppers can track their order throughout delivery with real-time GPS tracking.

 

Source: Supermarket & Retailer

Shoprite and Checkers supermarkets will offer early Black Friday deals and discounts of up to 50% on everyday essentials as customers are increasingly looking for value given the pressure many households are under.

In response to Covid-19, both Shoprite and Checkers supermarkets will for the first time offer early Black Friday deals and keep the deals valid for longer, to allow customers more time to plan and shop, and to prevent overcrowding.

Deals will be offered on selected groceries, electronics, small appliances and much more. Some of the early Black Friday deals available to Xtra Savings members at Shoprite, Checkers and Checkers Hyper include:

● Shoprite (early Black Friday deals: valid from 20 – 22 November 2020):

○ 2 x value packs of Pampers pants for R220 (R200 saving)

○ 2 x 500g bricks of Rama Original 70% fat spread for R30 (save 40%)

○ 850g Parmalat cheese for R75 (R45 saving)

 

● Checkers (early Black Friday deals: valid from 23 – 24 November 2020):

○ 18 pack Twinsaver 2 ply toilet rolls for R75 (save 35%)

○ 2 x 3kg packs of Ariel washing powder for R99 (R98 saving)

○ 800g Clover cheese for R75 (R84 saving)

 

● Checkers Hyper (valid from 23 – 27 November 2020):

○ Xbox One S 1TB Console for R5 699 (R1 300 saving)

○ 40″ JVC TV for R2 949.00 (R600 saving)

○ 4.5 litre Platinum air fryer for R999 (R500 saving)

Stringent hygiene and sanitising protocols will be in place to help protect customers and employees as far as possible including the use of face masks, hand sanitiser, social distancing and limited entry where necessary to avoid overcrowding.

Additional security measures will also be employed.

Shoprite and Checkers will release more Black Friday deals in due course, and Xtra Savings members will be notified first. Some deals will be exclusive to members.

 

What Black Friday shoppers want this year

Source: Finder.com

‘Tis the season to spend and save, with festive sale events like Black Friday and Boxing Day fast approaching. So how many people in South Africa are planning to hit the sales this year? And how much of a discount will entice them to shop?

Financial comparison site  Finder.com polled 1 524 South African adults to find out, and according to the research:

  • Men are more interested in shopping the sales than women
  • Millennials are more likely to be enticed by a discounted item
  • South Africans have a favourite retailer
  • People are looking to save on family-oriented products

70% of South Africans will be shopping this year’s festive sales if the price is right. That’s the equivalent of around 27-million people. On average, it’ll take a discount of 52% to make South African customers purchase an item.

Men are more interested in shopping the sales than women
Men are slightly more likely to be enticed by the sales than women, with 73% of South African men saying they’ll shop for an item for the right price compared to 68% of women who said the same.

It looks like men are more tempted by smaller discounts too. About 22% of men say that a discount of 5-25% off would be enough to motivate them to make a purchase, compared to just 14% of women.

Millennials more likely to be enticed by a discounted item
Those aged 25-34 are most likely to purchase a discounted item in the sales compared to all other age brackets. 76% of people in this age range say they’ll purchase an item on sale at the right price, while just 61% of 55-64-year-olds and those aged 65 and above say the same.

Those aged 18-24 need the deepest discounts of at least 55% to entice them to shop. Other age brackets say they’ll purchase an item if it’s discounted by anywhere from 47% to 53%.

Who are the most popular retailers in South Africa?
Search volume data from Ahrefs suggests that one of the most popular places for South Africans to go for Black Friday deals is online platform Takealot. Other popular online shopping destinations include Makro, Game, Checkers and Hi Fi Corp.

South Africa’s most searched retailers are:

  • Game
  • Makro
  • Takealot
  • Checkers
  • Pick n Pay
  • Evetech
  • Incredible Connection
  • HiFi Corp
  • Edgars

What are people looking to buy on Black Friday?

In terms of specific products, search volume data from Ahrefs suggests that South Africans have historically looked for deals on flights, though 2020 will probably dampen people’s interest in travel. Other popular items include gadgets, specifically laptops, the PlayStation 4, phones and the Xbox.

In terms of branded searches, telecommunications company Vodacom is one of the most common brands specifically searched for on Black Friday, along with Telkom and Kulula.

How does South Africa compare?

Of the 12 countries included in this study, South Africa ranks first for the highest percentage of people who will be enticed by the sales (70%). This is followed by France (66%). Meanwhile, Italy has the smallest number of festive sales shoppers (50%), followed by New Zealand (53%) and the UK (56%).

However, in terms of the discount required to entice shoppers, Spanish adults actually require the highest discount of 60% off to motivate a purchase. People from France and Mexico also require steep discounts to entice them to shop, at 59% off and 58% off respectively. Meanwhile, Canadians say they’ll need the smallest average discount at just 42% off, followed by people in Hong Kong (44% off) and Ireland (45% off).

Which country has the most Black Friday shoppers?
Black Friday is synonymous with hoards of Americans breaking through the front doors of stores all across the country. But as far as the Internet is concerned, the US no longer has the top spot for Black Friday shoppers.

Brazil is the country with the highest search interest in Black Friday, according to an analysis of historical search data from SEMrush. Interest in the shopping holiday peaked and hit new highs in November 2020, jumping up 22.36% from the previous year. Brazil also accounts for 13.20% of all global searches for the term “Black Friday”.

The US doesn’t place silver either: that post is taken by France. Like Brazil, France also saw a jump in search interest year-on-year, jumping 22.22% between November 2019 and November 2020. France makes up 10.78% of all searches for the term “Black Friday”, which is quite impressive, considering that France only accounts for 0.84% of the population.

The US doesn’t even get the bronze on its own, sharing the podium with Germany for the second year in a row, with search interest in both nations increasing by the same amount over the last 12 months (22.28%). Both nations made up 8.82% of the search volume for the term “Black Friday”, but Germany is far outperforming in terms of its population size, with Germany accounting for 1.07% of the world’s population, compared to the 4.25% that the US represents.

South Africa ranked equal 27th overall for Black Friday search volume. Search volume has increased by 22% from November last year to November 2020.

Black Friday goes online

By Georgina Crouth Time for IOL

Deals for more days, greater choice and other enticements, just to keep customers out of brick-and-mortar stores – that’s how retailers are responding to a pandemic Black Friday because Covid or no Covid, the sales bonanza is here to stay.

E-commerce is estimated to have surged by at least 16% this year in South Africa and Covid-19 has changed the game for retailers.

In May, Nielsen found 65% of South Africans shopped less at supermarkets due to Covid-19, while those who already shopped online shopped more (29%) and 21% continued as before.

Marketing agency HaveYouHeard head of insights Claudia Schonitz says: “Many, many South Africans have emerged from the pandemic with considerably less spending power. Not only will this put pressure on brands and businesses to fight for less, they will need to work harder to convince consumers to support them.

Schonitz says the most noticeable shifts have been in three “domains”: social, home and e-commerce.

“When it comes to social, many people have realised just how much they need others and, over the next 12 months, connecting socially will be central to much of our activity and behaviour.

“We have become better at not doing much (while also doing more in the home) and enjoying it. This, I predict, is a behaviour that will persist for much longer.”

HaveYouHeard’s recent survey found 81% of respondents who shopped for groceries online stated that safety from Covid-19 was the biggest benefit to online grocery shopping, but only 27% said they were likely to continue once Covid-19 was no longer a threat.

Remember, remember the sales of November

Last week, announcements came in thick and fast about how brick-and-mortar stores would be offering Black Friday for the entire month of November.

Pick n Pay has extended Black Friday to two weeks, with more deals in store and online. John Bradshaw, retail executive for marketing at PnP, says, “Black Friday is a very busy trading period so we’re extending Black Friday to two weeks to keep our customers safe and able to shop for great deals at their leisure. We will also be limiting the number of customers in our stores at any one time to keep everyone safe, with highly organised queueing.”

The retailer says its stores are better prepared this year, after extensive planning with suppliers, and they’ll be opening as many tills as possible to keep customers from queueing as much as possible.

In-store deals will also be available online, but the retailer will run online only deals before launching its in-store deals, with new deals being added every few days.

Massmart stores Game and Makro are running Black Friday deals for all of November. Game has increased staffing levels and expanded its Uber Eats partnership for Black Friday to ensure it is able to meet customer expectations. It is also offering its 1 Cent Price Surprise on all Black Friday purchases. Both retailers will be spreading their deals out over different weeks. Game’s first set of deals will be announced and launched online at midnight on November 1 and be available exclusively for that week.

Uber Eats is the exclusive delivery partner for small electronics and home office essentials. Consumers are promised a delivery time line of 10 to 14 days on all Black Friday orders, with the delivery fee being capped at R90 – except for large appliances such as fridges and chest freezers, which will carry a R70 surcharge per item, per order. Newsletter subscribers will have early viewing access to all Black Friday deals.

But don’t expect door-busting deals in-store: Game stores will only trade between 9am and 6pm during the week, Saturdays from 9am to 5pm and Sundays from 9am to 4pm.

Cyber Monday will run exclusively online.

Makro similarly says it will be offering “unbeatable specials” for a week at a time, which are not to be repeated.

There’s also 10% back in mRewards for the opening week (November 2 to 8) on all non-promo general merchandise in store and online; the delivery fee is capped at R90 (excluding extended range items and commercial orders); free locker delivery on qualifying orders; same-day delivery on grocery and liquor orders through the One Cart app; 50 new deals every week.

Warrick Kernes from the Insaka eCommerce Academy says brick-andmortar stores have been forced to prepare for an online surge to avoid the risk of Black Friday becoming a super-spreader.

“E-commerce has been growing 25% year-on-year over the past decade but its growth this year has been stepped up: consumers were forced to adopt processes and tech that they should have used before, because of the joy and ease of having things delivered at home or office.”

Kernes says while many industries were negatively affected by Covid, e-commerce has benefited greatly because consumers have cottoned on to the convenience.

The spectre of Black Friday, though, raised concern about super-spreaders: “Even if we don’t see a second wave in South Africa, retailers would not want to encourage shoppers to come in droves to stores for big-screen televisions, etc.”

Spreading out the sale makes sense for any seller because there’s less “noise” around the day, customers get to pick their deals calmly and they aren’t bombarded by marketing material.

Massmart’s strategy is “genius”, he says: “Consumers aren’t going to shop around as much, so the retailers can close sales quicker. Their teams can handle the influx of deals and the processing and dispatching of orders. Spreading it out allows for a quieter team, which means retailers can deal with more sales and not overload the couriers.”

Towards the end of a year scarred by a pandemic and economic devastation, online retailers can expect a bumper sales period because shoppers would want to avoid physical retail stores and shopping malls over Covid19 fears – and capitalise on deals, more than ever.

Kernes believes this is a massive opportunity for online sellers in South Africa to benefit.

 

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.

By Denise Lee Yohn for Harvard Business Review

Retailers need to stop expecting business to return to “normal.” There’s no going back to how it was anytime soon. Even before the Covid-19 pandemic and economic crisis, brick-and-mortar retailers had been fighting a fierce battle against Amazon and other e-commerce players. Those challenges have now accelerated at staggering speed.

The latest data from McKinsey shows that consumers are likely to keep the behaviours they’ve adopted amid stay-at-home orders, such as more online shopping and fewer mall visits. Retailers can’t afford to be in a wait-and-see mode. First, they need to reimagine their baseline requirements and then turn their attention to taking their customer experience to the next level.

A new baseline
To start, retailers have to adapt their brick-and-mortar operations to comply with health-and-safety regulations and meet basic customer expectations. This includes mask wearing, ensuring physical distancing, and controlling the number of employees and customers in stores, instituting contactless transactions, improving speed of service, and introducing more self-service options.

Retailers also need to offer a simple and seamless e-commerce experience — from browsing to researching, selecting, purchasing, and returning/exchanging. Customers will no longer tolerate sub-par digital shopping experiences like they may have before the crisis. Retailers have to make sure their sites are mobile-responsive, offer integrated services such as “buy online pick up in store” (BOPIS), and deliver a consistent, reliable digital experience across devices and channels.

For a select few retailers, such as trendy fashion stores or pop-up restaurants, executing at this baseline level is sufficient. If demand for a product is so high and/or urgent — for example, as it had been for Shake Shack burgers, Nike shoe drops, or the latest Apple release — customers will still venture out to a brick-and-mortar location. Camping out overnight or waiting in hours-long lines to shop may eventually return as a super fan’s pastime. But that’s no longer a strategy to rely on – enhanced in-store operations and a well-functioning digital presence are table stakes.

Rethinking the in-person experience
For several years now, some retailers have been putting as much if not more priority on the in-store experience than on the products they sell. From Restoration Hardware to Bass Pro Shops and even Walmart, retailers have learned that holding events or offering special experiences and services in-store not only attracts customers, but also encourages them to linger longer, buy more products, and spend more on those products.

As a result of Covid-19, all retailers will have to make their in-store experiences even more extraordinary for those who can visit in person. They have to give people a reason to visit that is so compelling, it justifies their exposure to health risks and overcomes the inertia of the behaviours they adopted during the shutdown.

To get started, retailers can consider how premium movie theatre brands such as Cinepolis emerged back when Netflix and other home movie-viewing options threatened the movie theatre industry. These new experiences didn’t simply improve what had been previously offered to customers and address the shortcomings of existing options. They made visiting a theatre better than watching at home — offering luxury reclining loungers, specialty food and beverages delivered seat-side, and lobby areas with bars to hangout with friends before and after movies. Retailers that offer an exclusive, superior experience like luxury cinemas once did can draw people out of their homes.

Elevated in-person customer service is another way to compete and win over online players, but retailers must think differently about service. Service can no longer be defined as a support for sales and be limited to generic efforts, such as greeting customers, handling complaints, and managing returns and special requests. Even personal shoppers, technical experts, and certified installers have become expected from most retailers of bigger ticket, more complex product categories.

Best Buy used this approach several years ago to rebound from its losing battle with Amazon. It introduced an advisor program that allows customers to get free in-home consultations about the products they should buy and how they should be installed. The service is intended to facilitate long-term customer relationships, not necessarily to close sales. As a result, it lured customers away from online options and positioned Best Buy as a trustworthy, more personal brand.

Digitally native customer experience
This new emphasis on innovation and service needs to extend to the digital customer experience as well. Most retailers with roots in brick-and-mortar simply try to replicate their in-store experience online, but such efforts are fruitless and misguided. Beyond the transaction basics discussed earlier, customers don’t expect a virtual experience to be like an in-person one — nor do they want it to be.

Investing in some of the unique capabilities of digital — including real-time inventory management, predictive analytics, AI-powered search, and personalisation and co-creation functions — can create completely new and different shopping experiences. Take, for example, social commerce, which not only enables companies to sell through social media channels but also incorporates social interactions; peer support, reviews, and recommendations; multimedia content; personalisation; gamification; and more. A retailer can use these new capabilities to create a social, interactive, immersive experience wherever customers are — that’s something no physical outlet can provide.

To get inspiration and insights for designing an online shopping experience from the ground up, retailers might want to examine the evolution of other brick-and-mortar industries and institutions. When Covid-19 forced churches to shut down their weekly services, most simply transferred their church services online using digital conferencing solutions like Zoom. But Cincinnati-based Crossroads Church seized the opportunity to re-imagine its pastors’ weekly sermons. Now they film pastors delivering messages at different locations to help reinforce that week’s message (for example, talking about the importance of a strong foundation at the site of a historic church). Similarly, retailers can take advantage of the greater flexibility and new contexts that digital affords by, for example, depicting a single clothing item on multiple models to show what it looks like on different body shapes and sizes or using videos to demonstrate how real customers actually use a tool.

They can also take inspiration from how digital enables immediacy and interactivity for online education platforms such as edX and Coursera. Students studying software programming can upload their coding projects and get them automatically graded, so they receive instant feedback; psychology students can use an app that goes with their class to track their habits and better notice patterns in their own behaviour. What might this look like in the retail context? Possibilities include AI-enabled answers to customers’ questions in real-time, instant video chat with a personal stylist, and apps that track usage of current products to make recommendations for new ones. Ideas like these arise when retailers think beyond adapting the in-person experience online.

This isn’t the time for the retail industry to try to simply ride out the storm. With a more proactive, progressive approach to both digital transformation and a new era of customer experience and service, the future might look less bleary.

If our free content helps you to contend with these challenges, please consider subscribing to HBR. A subscription purchase is the best way to support the creation of these resources.

Source: MyBroadband

Nedbank has launched a new “super app”, called Avo, which will give the bank’s customers to access online shopping, essential services and financial products on a single platform.

The group said the term “super app” refers to the fact that Avo is actually a multitude of apps aggregated into one.

Some of the key features of the app include:

  • Online groceries and food – Nedbank has partnered with OneCart to allow customers to buy groceries from leading retailers in one delivery or browse the Avo Shop for essential items at the best prices.
  • Essential professional home services – The app currently has 170 registered home repair and services merchants, with more being added
  • Digital home entertainment – Users can access a number of home entertainment options including Showmax, Tidal and Deezer
  • Airtime, data and electricity – Users can easily top-up and purchase airtime, data and electricity bundles
  • Avo points – The app has a built-in rewards system and users can earn 1% in Avo Points on every transaction made on the platform.
  • Business listing – Nedbank said it will allow businesses to list for free on the app. This will allow them to reach more potential customers, communicate easily, send quotations and receive payments in-app.

Because the app launched in the middle of the country’s coronavirus lockdown, Nedbank said the services available through the app are level-5 compliant.

It added that the beta version of Avo has already been delivering essential goods, providing home entertainment and connecting home service providers across provinces.

While the app was originally trialled by staff, Nedbank said it has now released a beta version to its Nedbank Money App users.

“This will see the phased release of Avo to Nedbank clients, to allow for further enhancements before full public launch.”

“The beta will allow Nedbank Money App users to use a two-click process to sign up seamlessly onto Avo.”

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