Beyond Covid: Top trends driving the evolution of South African retail
Gavin Lomberg, chief commercial officer at RCS
South Africa’s retail sector was undoubtedly one of the hardest hit by the onset of Covid-19. Lockdown regulations, reduced trading hours and the sudden, unexpected limitation of face-to-face contact required retailers to rethink the rules in unprecedented circumstances.
The industry saw retailers entering new product territories, pivoting their business models and digitising their service offerings. These adaptations, believed by many to be temporary strategies to stay afloat, became the framework for a whole new industry.
Now, exactly three years after the pandemic hit, the retail landscape looks very different from what it did before. Arguably the biggest driver behind this change was the mainstream and rapid adoption of digital technology.
E-commerce platforms and mobile apps rose to serve changing consumer demands where brick-and-mortar retailers could not. Contactless, and even faceless, interchanges between retailers and their customers became the norm. The pace of digitisation, which had been on the steady increase for over a decade, went into overdrive. And retail was ready to ride the wave.
Rise of payment technology
During the pandemic years, South Africans turned to online and mobile platforms as these quickly became the safest solutions for shopping. Retailers rose to the challenge, supporting their technology with efficient customer service, speedy order fulfilment, fast turnaround times and reliable delivery.
Courtesy of Bizcommunity – full article here