Black Friday is a major shopping event each year, where consumers have traditionally flocked to retail stores to capitalise on massive specials and pre-Christmas deals. However, with COVID-19 fears still high and social distancing protocols in place, South African consumer behaviour has shifted away from physical stores and into the digital world, with Google statistics indicating that 77% of South African shoppers say the pandemic has affected how they will shop for the holidays and 51% deciding to avoid retail stores on Black Friday this year.
Today, consumers are Phygital (Physical + Digital = Phygital) as they purchase goods and services in both the physical and digital worlds. Therefore, it is essential that retailers embrace this trend and replicate the in-store experience seamlessly online.
“For many consumers, online shopping has become the default during the pandemic. With consumers switching to digital shopping and payment alternatives, businesses need to go Phygital, by combining the best aspects of digital and physical commerce to create an integrated experience for the consumer,” says Pearl Masoga, Vodacom Business Acting Managing Executive for Retail & Logistics.
It is essential that retailers adopt an agile, omni-channel approach which seamlessly integrates their online and offline channels. By integrating digital tools within retail spaces, South African retailers will be able to better manage in-store queues, facilitate faster payment methods, speed up deliveries and enhance stock management to fully capitalise on the Black Friday retail frenzy.
Although Black Friday sales traditionally focused primarily on in-store deals, increasingly shoppers are choosing to hunt for offers online, and the concept of Black Friday as the kick-off of the holiday shopping season is changing.
With Black Friday and Cyber Monday on the horizon, businesses require an edge to improve their performance online. This is why Vodacom Business, in collaboration with Cloudflare, is offering a free security and web performance consultation for South African retailers.
“Retailers must not concede to increasingly common security and performance challenges. It is vital that retailers optimise their online channels to ensure they work seamlessly across all devices and are able to manage the demand as both Black Friday and Cyber Monday demonstrate an enormous growth in online shopping,” says Masoga.
Through the Cloudflare Enterprise plan, businesses gain a platform to address key internet security and performance use cases built upon a differentiated architecture that combines scale, ease of use and integrated performance. These solutions will ensure that internet applications stay online in the face of extremely high-volume attacks or legitimate traffic spikes during this major shopping event.
It’s not too late
From managing client expectations to careful inventory management, ensuring the robustness of your site and server and bringing in temporary staff to help, it is critical that retailers plan ahead to ensure a smooth November.
“While Black Friday occurs on November 27, it is not too late for retailers to integrate digital solutions into their business model. Through a suite of digital products and solutions, Vodacom Business can assist your business along its Phygital journey as it transitions into a future-ready business,” says Masoga.
Vodacom Business offers the essential digital tools, such as queue management, self-checkout capabilities, B2B2C track and trace, omni-channel enhanced customer service solutions and our trading bridge solutions to help customers create a superior customer experience.
The increasing trend of online shopping is expected to translate into permanent long-term shopping habits, therefore implementing digital solutions within your business is a long-term investment that will pay off.
Vodacom Business is here to help take your business to the next level. As consumers embrace e-commerce and digital business options, the increased demand for digital offerings must now be met with supply.
To find out more about Vodacom Business offerings, visit https://www.vodacombusiness.co.za/