Introduction to Plan and Start an eCommerce Business in South Africa

  By     |   July 11th, 2019

E-commerce has been a great success over the globe. The reason behind this is its simplicity and comfortability. The “any time” “anywhere” strategy is working nicely for eCommerce. If you are in need of a product, then just take your device and you are just a single click away from the product that you want. Yes, the process of online shopping is very simple. But there are many hard works and struggles behind this simplicity. Did you ever notice that? Most probably the majority’s answer will be a “no”. For E-Commerce to be successful, we should have planning and careful preparation.  This blog is the introduction to plan and start your E-Commerce business in South Africa. And the upcoming blogs clarify on what are the things you should do before and after starting the eCommerce business. Before that, you should know the goals of an eCommerce website and its possibility and the current situation in South Africa. Let’s check this out first. 


Common Goals of an eCommerce Website

  • Increase customer base and revenue using new technologies and strategies: This is the main goal of E-Commerce. Customers are the heart of any business. Without increasing the customer base, you cannot succeed in any business. To achieve this, you have to make use of new technologies and skills. The promotion of a business is the main procedure of a successful business. You have to utilize all the platforms that enable you to do promotion especially on social media platforms having a humongous following at the present. The quality of your product always matters. Offers and discounts are also other methods to increase the customer base
  • To start an eCommerce website with all the available features, sell and promote products online: A website is the core of an eCommerce company. Without a website, most probably an E-Commerce company cannot even work. The majority of the processes in an eCommerce company are achieved through its website(Company details, product details, selling process). So a standard website should be hosted with the help of an eCommerce Web development company
  • Shipping the product from the nearest location of the order: The delivery process will have a delay according to the shipping location. To avoid this problem, the shipping of the product will be done from the possible nearest location to the customer. This will help the customer to acquire the product without having much delay.
  • Omnichannel integration with online and offline sales to provide the best customer services: As technology progresses, new and more platforms are integrated into our society. Omnichannel is one among them. Omnichannel is a cross channel approach that provides a great experience to the customers no matter whether they are shopping online or offline. Omnichannel will be surely an asset for customers and can help the customers in any circumstances.
  • Multichannel integration and utilize market places in South Africa and abroad (Take a Lot, Bid or Buy, etc.): Multichannel Integration is the process by which companies interact with customers through multiple channels in order to sell their products. Multichannel integration should be implemented to produce better results and also we should utilize all the popular online shopping services such as Take a lot, Bid or Buy, etc.

eCommerce Development In The Rainbow Nation, an Overview

South Africa, also known as the “Rainbow Nation” is one of the countries with a great E-Commerce run. South Africa is ranked as the 30th richest country by the World Bank GDP. Currently, there are 18.43 Million E-Commerce users in South Africa. By 2021, it is expected to become 6.36 Million more. The leading online product category in South Africa is Electronics and Media followed by Furniture and Appliances. Another product that the South Africans love is fast food and hence the popularity of Mr. D Food and UberEats. Another research suggests that the majority of the online shoppers shop in evening and night times. The advantage of online shopping in South Africa is that people shops all the time, which is terrific. The top importing country to South Africa is China followed by Germany, the US, Nigeria, and India. Social networks also play a crucial role in the successful run of E-Commerce in South Africa especially Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube, and Instagram. According to a research, most online shoppers in South Africa prefer Credit Card (45%) to purchase online followed by Debit Card (21%), Bank Transfer (20%), PayPal (7%) and Others (8%). All this clearly proves that the E-Commerce revolution in South Africa is having a great impact and will have more in the coming future.

How To Start An E-Commerce Business In South Africa?

Now, let’s Look at the steps to start an eCommerce business in South Africa. Planning is the trump card before starting any business. Without proper planning, you cannot be successful in this area. This is business, you should have to pay even for your tiny mistakes. So before starting a venture, you should have proper and careful planning. South Africa is one of the most beautiful countries in the world with great advancement in technology. So to start an E-Commerce business and to make it successful will not be that easy.

Let’s see what all can we do to start an E-Commerce business in South Africa and make it a success.

  • Selection of Product: This step is the core of your E-Commerce business. You should select a product having great demand in the market. You should also consider whether it is easy to import to other places or not. If these two criteria are satisfied, then you will surely gain a good profit. Totally, the selection of products is the most crucial part of your E-Commerce business.
  • Product Catalog Management System: After selecting a product, you need a website for it. The website is the heart of your E-Commerce business. The list of products you sell, product details, and the selling process everything is achieved through this website. So the website is a very crucial factor. The customers should feel comfortable using your website. For that first of all the website should be very beautiful in appearance. It should be neat and tidy. The content on the website regarding your products should be short and precise. In short, the website should be perfect in all aspects. Magento is the best E-Commerce platform that will really help in your business. Magento is an open-source technology and so that you can get this software for free. But the success of Magento is not due to this factor, it is due to the highly flexible features, intuitive admin panel, strong SEO capabilities of Magento. The language used in Magento is PHP.  Another reason for the huge success of Magento is the security it provides. Magento provides highly prolific features so that attackers fail to track it. Hence Magento is a fantastic platform that will really boost you in the field of E-Commerce.
  • Selection of Payment Method: This is another crucial step in starting an E-Commerce business in South Africa. You have to select a method for the customers to make payment. So you should do it according to the comfortability of the customers. If customers feel any difficulty or obstacle in your payment system, that may even lead to the loss of interest of the customers towards your company. Payfast and Paygate are the best payment gateway options in South Africa. So the selection of payment method should be done carefully and perfectly
  • Start your business: Now you have got the base for your business. Open your website and start your business. Promotion is the very first thing that you have to do here. Promote your product everywhere and try to impress customers. Social media, having a terrific following is also a platform to do your promotion. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is also a platform that can help you. SEO will help you to register your business with Google business and will perform all the necessary procedures which you require
  • The Delivery Process: Delivering a product to a customer is a crucial process. You have to do this with great planning and care. If the delivery is late or if there is any complaint in the delivery system that can negatively affect your business. So delivery should be done through a standard and punctual courier company. Courier Guy, MDS Collivery, Dawn Wing, FastWay, SendR, Rush and uAfrica are the main courier companies in South Africa that can help you in your business
  • Maintain your business: After completing a few deliveries at the beginning, you should not stop. Continue and grow your business. Also, don’t forget tips to impress the customers. On some occasions, give offers that will benefit the customers and this will lead to a personal interest for customers towards your company. Also, don’t forget to sell your products in South Africa’s leading online stores such as Takealot and Bid or Buy. This can also help you a lot to grow your business. Hence grow and maintain your business if you have to make your E-Commerce company a success.

Yes, online shopping is a very easy process to do. Just one touch and you will get what you want. But to start such an online shopping company is not that easy. As mentioned above, serious planning and careful observation are required and finally, you should also have that Midas touch which always turns into gold. Totally a simple process that just requires a single touch has many complications to have a start. The comfortability that we are having is the result of hard work of many. To implement an E-Commerce business in South Africa and to make it a success is also not that simple. But this beautiful nation of South Africa will always support good procedures. Let’s hope that more and more E-Commerce companies will be established here in this Rainbow Nation and will completely change the face of this Nation. 

More details about E-Commerce development in South Africa will be explained in our next two blogs.

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