Marketing & Media trends
- A bold year for beveragesAlex Glenday
- Acceleration of digital paymentsJonathan Smit
- Safety vs sustainability - the packaging industry's key conundrumNthabiseng Motsoeneng
- The evolving e-tail landscapeVilo Trska
Construction & Engineering trends
- 3 major trends in the commercial property space in AfricaPeter Hodgkinson
- A bright horizon for South Africa's energy landscapeBarry Bredenkamp
- Achieving developmental goals through constructionCyril Vuyani Gamede
CSI & Sustainability trends
- Time for NPOs to show their real impactKeri-Leigh Paschal
- 5 sustainability trends that will shape business in 2021Christelle Marais
- 4 trends set to continue or be re-interpreted in the NGO sectorInnocent Masayira
- Strengthening NPO skills and processesNazeema Mohamed, Feryal Domingo and Soraya Joonas
- Sustainability is key for social investment in 2021Keri-Leigh Paschal
- 4 trends in employee skills development and training you need to know for 2021Siphelele Kubheka and Desikan Naidoo
Energy & Mining trends
- 10 predictions around fintechDominique Collett
- The 4 themes for the new yearAndrew Duvenage,
- 3 wealth management trends to watch in 2021Maarten Ackerman
- 4 strategies to rethink investing in SMEsKuhle Mnisi
- Microinsurance ready to reach new heightsMarius Botha
- Finding alpha in the age of Covid-19Nema Ramkhelawan-Bhana
- Purpose or profit. It's not a choiceMike Middleton
- Shifting towards a digital - but still human - approachHenry van Deventer
HR & Management trends
- 4 areas in which your business can practice its swivelFrancois Kriel
- 5G is coming. Here's what it could mean for SASamantha Naidoo
- 3 big issues demanding legal attention this yearJonathan Veeran, Nozipho Mngomezulu and Burton Phillips
Logistics & Transport trends
Marketing & Media trends
- Tech democratisation will set the tone for 2021Andrew Smit and Johan Walters
- Auction industry survival depends on going virtualJoff van Reenen
- Covid-19 drives new trends in local property marketMarcél du Toit
#BizTrends2019: Africa's consumers - connected, in control, and hungry for convenience
Shopping - love it or hate it, it's nearly impossible to escape the banality or adventure that competes for consumers' precious time. It takes us away from the things we would rather be doing or it can provide immersive and enjoyable experiences.
Ailsa Wingfield, Nielsen.
In light of the above, Africa’s retail environment is evolving to meet consumers changing circumstances and shifting priorities, and not only in the direction of e-commerce.
Across the retail spectrum, consumers are increasingly in control, increasingly connected and increasingly looking for more convenient and enjoyable shopping experiences to suit their individual circumstances.
This means a new continuum of retailers are emerging to capture shoppers’ attention and wallets – new non-traditional, specialist and niche retailers, clicks and bricks retailers, native e-commerce retailers, manufacturers as retailers and consumers as retailers. In Africa, it is said that retail is everywhere and everyone is a retailer.
With growing proliferation and fragmentation of products, retailers and media, the defining retail areas in Africa in 2019 will be:
1. Transcending virtual and physical borders
Connectivity today brings the convenience of hassle-free shopping – anytime, anywhere. The combination of existing connected consumers spending more, more often, and newly connected consumers purchasing for the first time will propel e-commerce growth across Africa.
Online retail development correlates strongly with constantly improving internet access, especially in mobile first markets. The scope for growth in online shopping in Africa is undisputed, and consumers are increasingly willing to adopt ‘send-it-to-me’ services and more digital elements to improve their on-demand shopping experience.
• Connectivity: will continue to drive the shift to e-commerce as consumers seek efficiency and access to products beyond home borders
• Automation: artificial intelligence and digital home assistants will enable predictive ordering and replenishment via online subscription services, loyalty data, payment technology
• Actuality: augmented and virtual reality will equip consumers to virtually and personally ‘try out’ products – lipstick, paint or furniture – from the comfort of their homes
• Modest modern trade: online-first retailers can leapfrog typical evolutionary stages of development, especially as modern trade retail presence is still in nascent stages beyond Southern and East Africa.
2. Tapping into touchpoints
Omnichannel facilities will help provide the much needed “digital makeover” to integrate physical and virtual shopping. Today’s off and online purchasing actions rarely happen in isolation, there are now a number of digital shopping activities that precede and succeed the path to purchase, even for physical stores.
These actions help to inform decision making; add value, transparency and interaction; and ultimately lead to better buying experiences for consumers. Omnichannel services are an imperative, and for sustained success, retailers need to leverage their consumer relationship information (via their rich datasets and loyalty) – with the right technologies, and a strong focus on convenience – to expand their consumer touch points.
• Online and offline touchpoints will bridge the gap between physical and virtual worlds with pre, during and post shopping interaction
• Searching online for product information, offers and availability is often the start to the shopper journey. It is vital for physical retailers to incorporate these elements into their offerings and interaction. In-store apps and Wi-Fi access for in-store deals and availability will help build relationships and in-store engagement
• Serve in-the-moment store promotions to reward shoppers
©Diego Vito Cervo via 123RF
3. Small is smart
Physical shopping experiences are already changing within brick and mortar formats – smaller stores are outpacing the growth of large stores and gaining share of shopping frequency. Smaller stores often already have the advantage of proximity and are well placed to optimise their products and services, beyond daily essentials and snacks. Stores located along busy traffic routes that provide efficient in/out and click and collect offerings will grow in popularity.
• Value added services: fresh and prepared food, click n collect options, pharmacy, health, home delivery and meal kit services will entice consumers into stores
• Technology: checkout, walkout, self-scan amenities will improve speed and efficiency
• More meaningful small stores: leverage their locations with expanded convenience ranges and product assortment beyond snacks and essentials to match consumers more immediate needs
• Niche and pop-up formats: ice cream, holiday, seasonal, fresh spots provide much-needed innovation and experience encounters to encourage product trial
Circumstances, culture, location, market maturity and technology will be key influencers and important considerations when tailoring solutions for different segments of Africa. But no matter where or for whom, online or offline, consumers are seeking more efficient and enjoyable shopping experiences.
Large, small and virtual stores need to be infused with positive, sensory encounters, relevant services and technological capabilities that provide ease, utility and simplicity. In providing these elements, shopping solutions and experiences can enable more fulfilment, enjoyment and balance in people’s busy lives – where time is fast becoming the new currency.
Manufacturer, Retailer, Technology, Media and Service brands have a vital role to play in providing an overall experience with easy-to-use, automated, intelligent and digitised options for every conceivable shopping item, incident and interaction.