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Monthly Archives: January 2013

[Infographic] How to target Tablet & Mobile users on your Online Store

Jenn Lisak of Marketing Tech summarizes some of the most crucial points for your eCommerce website, especially if you’re planning on attracting tablet & mobile users as clients. Men are more likely to use tablets and mobile phones to make purchases than women. The #1 frustration for consumers is not having enough product information online. Facebook commerce rises on tablets/mobile phones. Over 50% of 18-34 year olds plan to use mobile devices to purchase this holiday season. And check out the very informative Infographic below.

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[Infographic:] What is eCommerce?

Seriously, just the best overview of e-Commerce ever. A fantastic overview for beginners and experienced users as well. This explains “What is e-Commerce?”, “The Brief History of e-Commerce”, “e-Commerce Classifications”, “The Advantages of e-Commerce” and finally, “Where is e-Commerce Today”.

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The Top Ten Burning Issues in Digital – eCommerce is No.2

Gian Fulgoni lists eCommerce as the number two Burning Issue in his article. What is  more relevant to South Africa in the eCommerce context is that the necessary infrastructure to the eCommerce was never around, till now. This the key attribute which makes eCommerce still “the next big thing” in Africa, even after being around for decades in developed nations. The hot selling points for eCommerce and online stores are “lower prices, convenience and the broadest selection of products,” (Fulgoni, 2012) and what may surprise many SMEs, is that selling online is not an expensive venture any more with some of the new ecommerce solution providers, such as CloudSales & OpenCart functionality. Here’s what Fulgoni said in January 2013: 2. e-Commerce Driven by lower prices, convenience and the broadest selection of products, online consumer spending is soaring. comScore data show that in the last twelve months $304 billion was spent via e-commerce in the U.S., with Travel accounting for $110 billion and Non-Travel (aka Retail e-Commerce) pulling in $194 billion. Retail e-Commerce now accounts for one in every ten discretionary dollars spent by U.S. consumers and in Q4 grew 15% versus the prior year, a rate about five times faster than for all consumer spending at retail. Pure play online retailers such as Amazon and eBay have built massive businesses on the basis of e-commerce. Amazon for example, now attracts in excess of 110 million unique visitors in a month and reported North America sales of $7.9 billion in Q3, up 33% over the prior year. But the emergence of e-commerce also means that the physical store is under attack, which in turn means that those retailers who cannot maintain their in-store market share as their category shifts online face increasingly difficult times. Different product categories are shifting online at differing rates, creating particular challenges for multi-category retailers such as big store mass merchandisers. For example, the consumer electronics product category now sees about 30% of sales completed online while consumer packaged goods lags with no more than 1% of sales occurring via e-commerce. This means it’s particularly important for multi-channel retailers to monitor trends in their market share by channel and also by product category so as to clearly understand the nature of competitive online threats. The channel shift to online has also put downward pressure on prices, because the Internet allows consumers to easily root out the lowest price [...]

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Mobile is Monstrous – So say the prophets.

Mobile is Monstrous, or so say the Online Sales predicting prophets. Jonathan Novotny, founder of SA innovation market-leader CloudSales, is so convinced of the “Move to Mobile” that all solutions implemented starting in 2013 will be native, mobile compatible. Paul Skeldon of Internet Retailing predicted that “more than half of consumers will buy Christmas gifts via mobile – 73% for the first time.” Now whether that benchmark will be hit or not is not relevant. What is relevant, is that South African small businesses should be looking at ways into the ecommerce foray and should not delay. “With professional packages starting from as low as R 299 per month for intermediate or even R99 per month for a starter solution, there is no excuse to sit on the side lines” says Novotny. Internet Retailing listed a number impressive results in the paragraphs below. Consumers worldwide are finally convinced by mobile commerce and are keen to use it for their seasonal purchases, with 55% of people across the globe likely or certain to buy gifts via their mobile device this Christmas, according to a global study by mobile media company BuzzCity. In the UK alone, despite never buying gifts via mobile before 47% of consumers are planning to purchase Christmas gifts via a mobile device for the first time this year. The poll also highlighted that around a third of consumers (31%) claimed that they are planning to spend over half of their overall festive budget on purchases via mobile, avoiding the traditional Christmas crush in favour of shopping from the comfort of their home or while they are on the move. Dr KF Lai, CEO of BuzzCity tells us: “These findings have given us the clearest indication to date that consumer trust in mobile shopping is higher than it’s ever been. The age of mobile commerce is finally here – and it has been a long time coming! It seems that the industry and retailers have done a good job of winning consumer confidence and trust to overcome the barriers that existed previously. This creates a very significant opportunity for advertisers and marketers wishing to reach their audiences via mobile at this time of year.” Convenience appeared to be a key benefit for those planning to shop on their mobile devices with almost three quarters of those surveyed (63%) saying they would be more likely to buy via their mobile [...]

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Mobile Commerce To Boom in 2013

According to almost EVERY SOURCE IMAGINABLE, mobile usage, smart phones, and by extension, mobile commerce is growing at phenomenal rates. What this means for the average small business owner who caters to the public is: Ensure your site is mobile compatible. In other words, responsive (check out the infographic on this) and that your ecommerce site also is configured for mobile   users. CloudSales, a SA ecommerce company employing disruptive innovation, is offering transparent & complete packages in line with the latest trends. ( The CEO of BuzzCity said this about the “Move to Mobile:   Consumer confidence in mobile shopping is at an all-time high, with the majority of shoppers planning to buy Christmas gifts on their phones – 73% of whom have not done so before. Is this global phenomenon here to stay and what are the opportunities for forward-thinking advertisers? As well as consumer trust in mobile shopping growing, around one in three customers are planning on spending over half of their festive budget via mobile, avoiding the traditional Christmas crush in favour of shopping on their own terms. In the UK (as of November 2012), smartphones account for 83% of the market. Conclusion: we cannot disregard the impact mobile is having on consumer spending trends. Retailers who do not have a mobile site really need to launch one. Now. In the year ahead, we predict more problems with platform rivalries (such as the iOS6 maps debacle) that could lead to the re-emergence of walled gardens. Companies will secure their share of consumers’ time, but those same consumers will have their overall mobile accessibility disrupted. Brands need to be aware of a backlash. Convenience will continue to be king in 2013. We already know it’s a key benefit for consumers, and last-minute shoppers are more likely to use mobile. The next step is a larger ‘screen shopping’ experience, complemented by the role of QR Codes to further blur the lines between online and high-street shopping. Emerging markets will bring new mobile products offering even more convenient solutions. Just as banking and micro-financing entered the mobile market, we believe mobile healthcare will grow by solving the problem of accessibility. We expect to see a new consumer experience including: Remote patient monitoring Remote nursing Medical records Access to healthcare information. Healthcare service providers (such as insurance companies) would do well to tailor their content strategies to suit. As in [...]

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Going Mobile: 5 Keys for Selling Products on Mobile Devices

5 years ago, not everyone knew what a smartphone was and not many people owned them. You know how trendy mobile devices are now and that they will only become more common in the near future.  But, what does the growth of mobile device usage mean for selling products through e-commerce? Today, I’ll help you understand the specifics that will help you realize just how important it is to make your website smart phone friendly in order to sell to the mobile device market.  To begin, take a look at this picture, courtesy of eMarketer: In 2010, online sales from mobile devices accounted for just $3.5 billion – nothing to get too excited about.  But, that number almost doubled in 2011, more than tripled by 2012, and by 2015, it will have increased by 8.85 times, with about $31 billion in total sales being done online through mobile devices at that point! Now, that’s a piece of pie that you want to have a part of. 2015′s Only Two Years Away – How can You Position Yourself to Get Some of the Sales? 40% of visitors to your site who have a poor experience will leave to visit a competing site.  How can you make sure you make a good impression?  Here are some tips to follow to make sure your site is friendly for mobile users. > Keep it simple, stupid.  To maximize your site’s ability at selling products, all you have to do is to make sure you site has an easy-to-use, functional design.  That’s it!  Don’t make it any more complicated than is necessary. > Don’t be afraid to pay for plugins.  If your e-commerce site also features a CMS like WordPress, make sure you pay for plugins that increase functionality for your users.  The payment the creators of such plugins request pails in comparison to the benefits they return. > Optimize for slower connection speeds.  Mobile bandwidth hasn’t caught up to hardwired bandwidth.  Make sure all the images your site uses appear neat and clean, but are compressed and optimized for the fastest download time possible. > Make your site flow vertically.  Most mobile users browse websites vertically.  So, accommodate their use by making sure your site’s design requires no horizontal scrolling whatsoever – it’ll only frustrate the mobile crowd. > Use larger buttons.  Mobile users use their fingers to click on different things on your [...]

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The most efficient & cheapest option:

Payments are implemented via SA payment market-leader NetCash, by Softline, and are implemented every month-end.

No Contract. No Hidden Fees. Debit Order can be terminated at any time with a 7 day notice before the next payment period.

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Your first payment will be made via Instant EFT.
Thereafter monthly payments will be debited via Debit Order.

Debit Order Payments are implemented via SA payment market-leader NetCash, by Softline, and are implemented every month-end.

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Your first payment will be made via PayFast Gateway payment options.

Thereafter monthly payments will be debited via Debit Order.

Debit Order Payments are implemented via SA payment market-leader NetCash, by Softline, and are implemented every month-end.

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E-commerce opens challenging worlds

Author: Charles Brewer The advent of e-commerce has significantly boosted opportunities in the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector, which currently accounts for 40 percent of South Africa’s gross domestic product and 60 percent of the workforce in formal employment. However, despite e-commerce enabling SMEs to reach a larger customer base, it has also made operations more complicated, hampering SME growth, which is critical for development, employment and entrepreneurial goals. In the wake of uncertain domestic demand, small business owners are increasingly exploring new ways of selling their products and services overseas. There is strong evidence that going global generates lucrative growth opportunities, and that SMEs engaged in international trading via channels such as e-commerce are reaping the benefits. The latest research by Cisco Systems estimates that global e-commerce will increase 13.5 percent annually over the next three years and reach an estimated $1.4 trillion (R12.4 trillion) in 2015. The research also estimates that while the US, UK and Japan will command more than 53 percent of e-commerce sales by 2015, emerging countries such as Spain, Brazil and Russia will grow at rates of 26 percent or more annually through 2015. By recognising a niche in the market and quickly adapting to meet that need, SMEs can potentially capitalise on growing customer demand and in turn create a major source of employment and wealth creation. Doing business outside of South Africa can, however, present challenges and as a result, limit SME growth. There are various considerations that SMEs need to consider when venturing outside of South Africa. One of the biggest barriers is a lack of market intelligence, especially when a company is trying to expand into different markets. Everything from culture and local customs to language barriers and complex legal producers can hamper an inexperienced business’ ability to trade internationally. While expanding overseas can seem daunting because of these uncertainties, SMEs can avoid some of the potential pitfalls with an efficient and reliable third-party partner. Shipping is just one component of getting your goods to markets in other countries and that SMEs are increasingly turning to their suppliers for expert advice on markets. We are seeing a continued trend for a complete range of end-to-end solutions, beyond the traditional capabilities of warehousing and transportation. Securing a partner with a broad geographical footprint is being seen strategically by some SMEs as a way to gain a deeper understanding of foreign [...]

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