We have taken it all in our stride (for the most part), adjusting to the new normal and found novel ways to do the things we love through the use of technology, and discovered a new way of living. While I wish I knew how or when life will ever go back to being the same as it was pre-2020, I think it’s understood that we will never truly return to the normal that we all once knew, but rather an altered post-COVID normal, heavily influenced by technology.
But what now? What now that we have all adapted to our new reality, having once been stripped of activities as basic as going to get a cup of coffee or going for an afternoon walk? Technology has enabled us to retain a sense of normality by allowing life to carry on remotely, from the many online fitness classes to socialising with our friends. While these activities will slowly return, the idea of technology as an enabler will stick.
It has the potential to remove unnecessary friction from our everyday lives, and consumers are starting to realise this. Take shopping, for example. As non-essential shops were forced to shut their doors, we saw businesses like bookshops beginning to offer home delivery in order to secure the future of their business. Because of this, consumers have formed new online buying behaviours, and in many cases these new habits will replace store visits for the indefinite future. Those who would not consider online shopping before have been forced to familiarise themselves with e-commerce, and there’s no going back.
South African e-commerce has made great strides, achieving years’ worth of transformation in under two months. My Broadband found that South African food retailers have experienced a 700% increase in web traffic, growth that was expected only in the next year or two, as online shopping has become the new norm.
Delivery methods have advanced to introduce drive-through click and collect options and businesses have been forced to improve delivery times to meet consumers’ needs for instant grocery delivery.
Consumers have been introduced to a new way of shopping, while benefiting from reduced time spent in-store, cashless payments and convenience brought about by e-commerce. This new and improved omni-channel customer experience is likely to be expected going forward, and businesses need to ensure that their online presence is up to scratch to cope with future demand and achieve success in the long run, as shopping becomes digital.
Many South African retailers have made the leap and adjusted strategies to match, such as Pick n Pay’s partnership with Bottles and Rain introducing a click-and-collect SIM card service. Have you joined the e-commerce bandwagon yet? Our team at Yellow Door is more than happy to help you develop and launch your e-commerce platform so that your business does not fall behind its competition. Connect with us at: firstname.lastname@example.org, we look forward to hearing from you!