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Retail Revolution: 4 Trends Redefining the Retail Landscape

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Physical retail businesses remain vital in the South African landscape, catering to many customer preferences. However, as eCommerce surges, these businesses face challenges competing with industry giants like Amazon. The trends outlined below are crucial considerations for thriving retail businesses in an increasingly online world. While not one-size-fits-all, these trends can complement a strong physical presence, efficiently attracting and retaining customers.

Here are the 4 trends shaping the retail landscape:

1. The eCommerce Boom

According to Statista, the African eCommerce market is projected to reach $51.25 billion by 2028, reflecting a 42.2% increase. Setting up and operating online stores is now swift and convenient, with tools like the Yoco Gateway facilitating seamless payments.

2. TikTok’s Rise in Social Commerce

TiktokTikTok has become a game-changer for physical retailers, offering a vibrant space to showcase products, connect with diverse audiences, and drive sales directly. Its ability to convert followers into revenue fosters brand loyalty and complements traditional retail experiences.

TikTok provides a unique avenue for physical businesses to enhance their trading strategies. The platform’s ability to convert followers into revenue amplifies its value, fostering brand loyalty and creating a dynamic online presence that complements the traditional retail experience. For physical retailers, embracing TikTok translates into an innovative approach to expanding reach, engaging customers, and staying relevant in the ever-evolving retail landscape.

3. Data Privacy and Online Safety

Consumers prioritize data privacy and online safety. Physical retailers can lead by proactively communicating data usage, complying with the POPI Act, and prioritizing safe customer experiences.

By proactively communicating how customer information is used, ensuring compliance with the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI Act), and prioritizing a safe customer experience, physical retailers can take the lead in addressing these concerns and building trust with their customers.

4. Demand for 24/7 Customer Service

While industry trends lean towards 24/7 service and AI, local retailers can differentiate themselves with personalized customer service. Balancing technology with personal engagement can be a winning strategy.

While exploring technologies for automation to simplify and enhance efficiency, physical businesses should remember what makes their customers loyal: the enjoyment of personal interactions and those special touches that only they can offer. Striking a balance between leveraging technology for streamlined services and preserving the charm of personal customer engagement can be a winning strategy for local retailers.

Lena Smith, Head of Retail for Yoco says, “The value of in-store shopping for a customer has not diminished just because online shopping is growing in popularity. In a retail environment, customers can touch and engage with products before purchase. For this reason, a digital business like Yoco made the call to move into physical spaces. By partnering with some of South Africa’s largest retailers, we are increasing our exposure, allowing customers to see our physical products before purchasing. Plus, with quick and easy set-up, customers can start transacting on the day of purchase – who doesn’t love instant gratification?”  

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