Black Friday / Cyber Monday - the impact of hyper-availability on e-tailing
By Kate Mollett, regional manager for Africa South at Veeam - Nov 21st 2018, 09:20
South African e-tailers are experiencing a surge in customers thanks to the convenience and pervasiveness of mobile devices supporting online shopping apps. With people expecting a seamless customer experience between an app, online store, and fulfilment of order, a business cannot afford to experience any downtime. Hyper-availability has become an absolute necessity in this regard.
Additionally, making sense of the influx of customer data reflecting likes, dislikes, shopping preferences, and so on have become critical to competitive advantage. Business continuity, therefore, needs to incorporate more than availability and must extend to intelligent data management.
With Black Friday (23 November) and Cyber Monday (26 November) here, local e-tailers are bracing themselves for another bumper year. In recent years, retail sales both in-store and online have grown significantly with customers eagerly snapping up the deals on offer.
Of course, while attention turns to the availability of e-tailers during these peak times, care must be taken not to forget the rest of the year. Research shows that South Africans are likely to spend more than R45-billion in online shopping this year with over 60 percent making a purchase from an overseas retailer. And with the remainder shopping exclusively on local e-tailing sites, businesses need to be aware of the reputational and financial damage of not being accessible.
Purchase at will
More than 18 million South Africans currently shop online. Furthermore, by 2021 these shoppers will spend an average of R2,700 on their e-tailing purchases. Competition for visitors are, therefore, at an all-time high for online shopping sites. If a site is not available when a customer wants to make a purchase, chances are he or she will simply move on to the next one.
Consumers do not care about things such as load-balancing servers or uptime percentages. They care about going online and being able to make a purchase from their preferred device at a time that is convenient for them. But even with availability being essential, e-tailers should leverage insights derived from data for a tailored buying experience.
This is something that the traditional online shopping giant Amazon has done really well. You log in to your account and get a personalised version of the site that speaks to your previous purchases, the items on your wish list, and even what you liked and disliked in the past. Granted, many other local and international sites are doing this, but it gives a glimpse of what is possible by intelligently managing data.
The e-tailer of today must, therefore, combine accessibility with analysis for a well-rounded customer experience. It is certainly about dealing with capacity issues during sales like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but it is also about knowing what to offer people based on an understanding of their shopping history. Even more so, plugging into unstructured data such as that generated by social media provides even greater insights on the customer.
There must be a willingness to do so if e-tailing sites are to create differentiation beyond just the products they offer.
Black Friday not necessarily a “black & white” decision for small business growth
25/11/2019 - 10:52
Black Friday, once only a North American marketing frenzy, has become a critical entry in the calendars of South African retail business owners.
Pick n Pay shares five of its Black Friday deals
25/11/2019 - 10:10
Pick n Pay has released five of its nationwide in-store Black Friday deals as a teaser of what customers can expect this Friday.
Takealot Group anticipates biggest Black Friday yet
22/11/2019 - 11:00
South Africa’s leading e-commerce group expects to ship at least one order every second, with roughly 10 000 boxes leaving their warehouses every hour this shopping season.
Black Friday: how small businesses can extract the most value
22/11/2019 - 10:13
As South Africans have joined the global rush to benefit from massive Black Friday discounts, the annual discount extravaganza has become an attractive opportunity for local small businesses to increase sales volumes and turnover.
Chinese spending hits record high on Singles' Day
13/11/2019 - 13:53
Chinese consumers spent a record amount on Alibaba platforms on Monday during the annual “Singles’ Day” buying spree, the world’s biggest 24-hour shopping event, which was launched with a glitzy show by US singer Taylor Swift.