Report shows growing confidence in e-commerce

Updated on 9 June 2016

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Today's top entrepreneurship and business stories (9 June)

South Africans have shown a growing confidence in e-commerce with a notable 56% of the respondents indicating that they have shopped online between December 2015 and March 2016.

This is according to Effective Measure’s e-Commerce Industry Report 2016, that was released yesterday. The report focuses on those who shop online as well as those who don’t and the motivating reasons behind both decisions.

Consumers felt most comfortable doing their first online payment with bill payment merchants, while automobile merchants may need to polish up their e-commerce skills as they ranked lowest with only 7% of consumers feeling comfortable making their first online purchase with them.

Marketers can take note of what South African online shoppers look for before making a purchase. 41% of the 12,000 respondents indicated that the overriding assurance they look for when shopping online is guaranteed returns and 59% say that an “on delivery” payment option would motivate them to purchase online more often.

With the increasing availability of online shopping in South Africa, the report reveals that consumers have most enjoyed purchasing these top five commodities: books, tickets for events, travel tickets, hotel reservations, DVDs, videos or music.

When it comes to delivery time, the report reveals that delivery within 5 working days is most common and South African online consumers are largely content with this.

“Understanding the digital consumer, their behaviour and barriers to entry is increasingly a focus for many businesses. Whether they are a retailer building e-commerce competency or media owner implementing paid for content strategies, the challenge remains the same. How do they effectively reach the right consumer, increase the propensity to purchase and increase the basket size. Consumers wallets are under pressure, this report aims to provide insight on how e-commerce can provide a clever solution to solve a real business challenge,” said Nicolle Harding, country manager at Effective Measure SA. (Bizcommunity)

The 2016 BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands

Continual innovation, increased revenue from advertising, and growth in its cloud business has helped Google reclaim from Apple the number one position in the 2016 BrandZTM Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands ranking, released today by WPP and Millward Brown. The brand increased its value 32% to $229bn, while last year’s leader Apple dropped to number two after declining 8% in value to $228bn. Microsoft remains at number three, growing 5% to $122bn, while Facebook (+44%, number five) and Amazon (+59%, number 7) entered the Top 10 for the first time. The total brand value held by the Top 100 rose 3% year on year to hit $3.4 trillion.

The BrandZ data and analysis indicates that this was a stable year for the world’s most powerful brands in the face of global financial pressures, including the economic slowdown in China. However the brands that innovated, and then showcased their innovations to consumers through the brand experience, have achieved standout growth with Google, Amazon and Facebook acting as prime examples.

Disruption was the dominant trend, with brands changing the status quo with their offerings in a number of ways, often beyond the use of digital technologies. Brands of all kinds moved to build a multi-faceted ecosystem around the consumer’s needs and desires, often by diversifying into new categories. Amazon built its own logistics network using independent contractors, which enabled it to offer flexible and one-hour delivery options, and started producing its own content. Facebook began hosting publishers’ original content to keep members active.

Starbucks (+49%, no.21) moved into the ecommerce space with a ‘tap and go’ app, and enhanced its cold drinks and savoury ranges and offered beer and wine to extend its relevance.

“The brands that thrive, regardless of sector, are those that behave like challengers and adopt disruptor models and mindsets,” said David Roth, CEO EMEA and Asia, The Store WPP. “They’re shaking up other categories with innovation that goes beyond new products or technologies – transforming the way a service is delivered, enhancing the consumer experience or changing a format. The power these brands already hold, combined with the strength of their platforms, is enabling them to quickly and successfully move across sectors.”

Mara Mentor launches e-mentoring platform for Zambian entrepreneurs

Zambian newspaper reports that social enterprise initiative Mara Mentor, has launched an e-mentoring platform that connects Zambian entrepreneurs to peers and significant business leaders.

Mara Mentor is a Mara Foundation social enterprise initiative of Mara Group, founded by Dubai-based entrepreneur and co-founder of Atlas Mara, Ashish Thakkar.

Mara Foundation representative Akash Tanwar told the paper that the e-mentoring platform was rolled out in Zambia to connect young entrepreneurs with established business leaders and other professionals in key sectors of the economy to provide essential advice in an effort to tackle youth unemployment.

“The e-mentorship programme is an e-platform which connects ambitious entrepreneurs to established business leaders. We basically want to make sure these young, budding entrepreneurs get the opportunity to connect with business leaders who can provide them with mentoring help, with advice because that is what the youth are lacking at this point in time,” Tanwar said.

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