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Free eCommerce Virtual Summit kicks off in May

The annual PayFast eCommerce Virtual Summit, hosted by The Insaka eCommerce Academy, is set to take place from 17 to 20 May 2021.

©Tsung-Lin Wu via 123RF

The online event will explore the growth of online shopping due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and unpack and entrepreneurs and businesses capitalise on this significant change in consumer behaviour. The Summit is open to the public and free to attend.

Online retail expansion


According to global market research company Euromonitor International, by 2025 e-commerce will expand by an additional $1.4tn, accounting for half the growth in the retail sector worldwide.

“From groceries to clothing and tech, South African consumers have embraced online shopping as a convenient means of retail. Despite the lowering of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, the variety of products available, and ease of online shopping has sustained consumer interest in the e-commerce sector. This presents an opportunity for more businesses and entrepreneurs to move online,” says Jonathan Smit, managing director and founder of online payment gateway, PayFast.

As a keynote speaker at the Summit, Smit will speak to the trends and opportunities seen in the e-commerce sector. “We’ve seen many local retailers – big and small – launching successful digital platforms and e-commerce models over the past year. We want to encourage and support attendees to continue driving innovation in e-commerce and meet the increasing demand for local online businesses.”

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Warrick Kernes, founder of The Insaka eCommerce Academy, a community-driven learning organisation for entrepreneurs, comments: “Due to the wide adoption of e-commerce platforms since the start of the pandemic, the barriers to entry for the industry are the lowest they’ve ever been. We want the Summit to encourage anyone who has considered starting an online store to take the leap of faith, while the industry is as established as it currently is.”

Kernes will use his event session to explore how entrepreneurs can find winning products to sell online. “With the increasing shift to digital, consumers still want a strong human element to their e-commerce experience. The Summit aims to help merchants, big and small, with bringing that personal touch to their online stores covering everything from marketing, customer service, logistics and most importantly their products.”

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Other key speakers at the Summit include Lauren Dallas, founder of Future Females; Prof Adheesh Budree from the University of Cape Town; Craig Lubbe, CEO of BidorBuy; Jaco Roux, co-founder and technical director from Africa; and Donald Valoyi, founder of Zulzi.

Register for the free event here.
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