E-commerce refers to card purchases made on an online platform where businesses and individuals can buy and sell goods and services. The trend towards increased online purchases was already underway before the March lockdown, but restrictions on movement further accelerated this trend in South Africa.
According to a recent study of consumer spending done by Mastercard, 68% of South African consumers have been shopping online more since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, and 63% said that they were shopping online at small businesses.
Kamini Redhi, marketing and communications director for Mastercard Southern Africa said despite the digital shift, consumers were still seeking a personal touch and human feature in their e-commerce experiences.
By partnering with PayFast, MasterCard encourages South Africans to shop online, providing exposure to small businesses and the entrepreneurs behind them.
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) intensified digital transformation efforts.
According to Rhedi, in this time of financial uncertainty, Mastercard took actions to protect SMEs, while also encouraging consumers, large and small, to shop, share, and support these companies.
Redhi stated that “At Mastercard, we are dedicated to unlocking potential and empowering SMEs to thrive commercially by connecting them to millions of new and existing customers through digital technologies and awareness campaigns like our collaboration with PayFast that spark conversations and help elevate SMEs in the marketplace,”
Additionally, the South African e-commerce app, Reka, is introducing Africa's first Augmented Reality (AR) online shopping platform for brands. Millennials and Gen Z consumers are expected to be influenced by a more realistic in-store shopping experience at Reka they hope to change their consumer behaviour and online buying habits.
Nii-Odartey Mills, founder and product development lead at Reka, explains that AR technology allows customers to interact with sellers' products in ways they could never have imagined.
Founder and designer Vickus Nel said shoppers can now share their looks via the avatar they create on social media and via WhatsApp, so they can get real-time feedback and approval on their purchases from friends and family.
The official launch is scheduled for September on all major app stores, including iOS and Android.
“We’re extremely excited to launch Reka and show the country what we’ve been working on over the past year and move the South African e-commerce industry forward in a manner that the youth can buy into,” said Mills and Nel.
We extend a warm invitation to all brands that love technology and want to participate in an ecosystem focused on fashion/furniture and are looking for an interactive way to engage with their online shoppers, to join Reka Market by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org today.
Additionally, Go4IT Africa can assist in getting your business eCommerce ready for the new digital age by designing and building the perfect platform to showcase your products and help grow your SME.
Would you like to learn more or get in touch?