Shifting to the transformation economy - 16 Jan 2017

[Jessica Tennant, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] The new year is well underway with much trend talk on what retailers should be preparing for. Last week, Claudia Roth from Soul Luxury looked into the shift from the experience economy to the transformation economy, with five tips to get you started in identifying your own 'currency of connection'; Justin Smith from Woolworths explained why more than ever, sustainability is good business; and Kevin Tucker from PriceCheck believes that a renewed focus on value in e-tailing will level the playing field. read more

Introducing #BizTrends2017 - 9 Jan 2017

[Jessica Tennant, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] Twenty-sixteen was very much a year of disruption. As the theme for 2017 begins to take shape, we once again forecast what industry leaders believe to be the most influential trends for the new year. Curated by Louise Marsland and Bizcommunity's editorial team, #BizTrends2017 features trend predictions by industry experts across all industries. read more

#BestofBiz 2016: Retail - 12 Dec 2016

[Jessica Tennant, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] 'What would shopping look like if you could walk into a store, grab what you want and just go?' Amazon asked this question about four years ago, and last week introduced Amazon Go - a cashier-free grocery store currently being tested by Amazon employees in Seattle, and set to open to the public next year. Also on the subject of trends, Graham du Plessis from Zando looks to the mobile landscape for 2017 and what e-retailers could expect, from more content rich apps to more creative methods of advertising. And Antoinette Coetzee from Redefine Properties does not believe the peak in shopping around the start of the festive season means better than expected festive spend, but rather customers starting earlier, and suggests retailers "connect with customers to bring cheer this festive season". She goes on to discuss some key trends for this year's festive shopping season. Wrapping up, we've compiled the annual #BestofBiz 2016 lists across all industries featuring our most-read content, from articles, to contributor pieces to press offices. read more

Flavour of the month - 5 Dec 2016

[Jessica Tennant, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] December has arrived and while Bizcommunity was celebrating the end of the year on Friday, Menlyn Park Shopping Centre celebrated its R2bn makeover. At the relaunch event, Gauteng transport MEC Dr Ismail Vadi lauded the shopping centre for its integral transport facilities and involvement in the Bus Rapid Transport system to commence early next year. Another cause for celebration is the arrival of Baskin-Robbins - the world's largest chain of ice cream specialty shops - in South Africa this Friday. read more

The South African adoption of American retail trends - 28 Nov 2016

[Jessica Tennant, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] With the increasing uptake of South African retailers adopting the American Black Friday craze, so the hype of South African consumers has seen related hashtags dominating the social media front. On Twitter alone, local Black Friday mentions grew 2,200% year on year, reports Meltwater. Anton van Heerden, Executive Vice President: Africa & Middle East at Sage shares the pros and cons of Black Friday for small businesses. read more

Let the festive shopping begin - 21 Nov 2016

[Jessica Tennant, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] Just a few days to go until Black Friday, the start of the festive shopping season, and retailers are readying themselves for the busiest shopping day of the year. Menlyn Park Shopping Centre is reopening the day before, offering extended shopping hours, extra security and a park-and-ride service, expecting at least 100,000 customers on the day. While e-commerce sites prepare for a surge in web traffic. Justin Drennan, co-founder and CEO of Parcelninja, says online retail in South Africa is set for a boom in the coming months, particularly this quarter, adds Thomas Pays, co-founder and CEO of i-Pay, in a release sent to Bizcommunity. read more

'Tis the season to have specials - 14 Nov 2016

[Jessica Tennant, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] As reported by AFP, Singles' Day, created by Alibaba in 2009, took place on Friday, seeing Chinese shoppers spend more than $1bn in the first five minutes. It's become the world's biggest online shopping promotion, surpassing the main US online spending spree - the five days from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday, in just one day of trading. read more

Why Whitey quit - 7 Nov 2016

[Jessica Tennant, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] Last week Groupon announced that it has wound down its operations in South Africa, as part of a global shedding in an effort to "make the business more efficient", reports Andy Walker of Memeburn, who also explains what this means for any coupons you've not yet redeemed. In other top story news, Whitey Basson will step down as Shoprite CEO at the end of the year. read more

What consumers and businesses want - 31 Oct 2016

[Jessica Tennant, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] The mobile payment industry is quickly evolving to meet the growing demands of mobile users, "with more recognisable brands stepping into the industry to advance technology and offer what consumers and businesses want in terms of apps and services that allow them to pay with their phones". According to John Rampton in his article, 'The evolution of the mobile payment' on TechCrunch.com, it's anticipated that there will be more than 4.8bn individuals using a mobile phone by the end of 2016. Moreover, consumers have come to expect a broad range of sophisticated technology features in their cars, such as Wi-Fi access, voice-activated controls, keyless entry and remote start and stop. read more

Beyond customer complaints to a skilled workforce - 24 Oct 2016

[Jessica Tennant, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] In a must-read for any business, Wynand Smit, CEO at INOVO writes about slick complaint resolution tactics. His top tip is to implement customer satisfaction surveys to nip these in the bud before they're taken to the social media realm where thy risk going viral. Leigh Andrews also rounds out her #BeyondRetail2016 conference coverage, with an overview of the final panel session. read more

Can retail save the South African economy? - 17 Oct 2016

[Jessica Tennant, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] Growth in consumer spending makes you wonder, 'Can retail save the South African economy?' This was in question at last week's #BeyondRetail2016 event, covering a range of views and kicking off with 'the economist's view' of Dr Azar Jammine of Econometrix. Leigh Andrews will share more of these over the course of the week. According to developer Pareto Limited, the redevelopment of Menlyn Park Shopping Centre was driven by strong demand from retailers seeing robust trade results year-on-year. read more

Sustainability is the theme - 10 Oct 2016

[Jessica Tennant, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] As promised, I interviewed Aisha Pandor of SweepSouth on being named both Best Female Tech/E-Commerce Entrepreneur and Best Black Tech/E-Commerce Entrepreneur at the recent PriceCheck Tech & E-Commerce Awards, while Leigh Andrews investigated how your website could be driving away customers. Big news in the fashion sector is that Country Road Group is acquiring Australian menswear brand Politix, adding to Woolworths Holdings Limited's existing stable that already includes David Jones, Country Road, Witchery, Trenery and Mimco. In other international news, Facebook launched a new online 'Marketplace' allowing over-18 users to buy and sell items with their online community. What's more is that from tomorrow MasterCard will enable its new biometric payments option, whereby shoppers can make online payments using the fingerprint scanner on their smartphone or via facial recognition tech by taking a selfie. Sustainability is the theme this month, and I gave it a green light for Retail featuring a truly inspiring interview with Lush co-founder and product inventor Rowena Bird. read more

October is #SustainabilityMonth - 3 Oct 2016

[Jessica Tennant, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] Famous Brands has made its first foray into the food service leisure sector, acquiring a 49.9% stake in the award-winning commercial catering company, By Word of Mouth. The intention is to expand the business' existing presence in the premium corporate market and establish its footprint in Cape Town and Durban. read more

Showcasing visionary e-commerce innovators - 26 Sep 2016

[Jessica Tennant, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] PriceCheck's inaugural Tech & E-Commerce Awards showcased pioneering new entrants and visionary e-commerce innovators, seeing Takealot.com scoop the coveted Overall Winner award, in addition to Best Customer Service and the People's Choice Award. Zando received two awards for Best Shopping Experience (Mobile and Overall), and Aisha Pandor of SweepSouth won Best Black Tech/E-Commerce Entrepreneur and Best Female Tech/E-Commerce Entrepreneur. read more

An app for almost anything - 19 Sep 2016

[Jessica Tennant, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] Realising that the future of online shopping lies in mobile, Spree implemented a mobile app-first approach to improve the overall mobile user experience, thereby driving engagement and shopping on mobile devices, and increasing the mobile conversion rate. While Zeekit, an app that allows you to virtually (from your mobile device) try on outfits before buying online or in-store, launched last week. read more

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