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The Growing Importance of Being Online

US online sales increased by 44% in 2020 and South Africa is not far behind with a 30% increase. These percentages are significant as South Africa’s online sales are now worth over R225 billion and growing. Covid lockdown proved a major driving force for online transactions E.g. Takealot increased revenue by 28%.


Is Covid the only factor in driving consumers online? The answer in South Africa is NO. Astute Media take pride in low cost affordable campaigns and believe the driving force behind online to be:

  1. Certainly Covid restrictions on closed brick and mortar stores and the need to social distance has been the major factor.

  2. Trust in online has grown. This is driven by e.g. online banking, purchasing airline tickets and the likes. More particularly, retail brands we trust such as Checkers, Pick 'n Pay, Woolworths and etc. all have strong online order offerings. Trust in these brands has made us less resistant to online purchase fears. What this means to you is that the barriers / mistrust of online purchasing are breaking down. However, you have to build trust. This is done by having a strong website that is easily found (SEO and PPC) and frequent communication via social media channels and email.

  3. Shoppers thoroughly research products online before buying: • ROBO – Research online – buy offline. Research indicates that 81% of shoppers research products online before buying. • 56% say their shopping choices are influenced by Social media. What this means to you is that you need a strong web and social presence. What you say about your product is of vital importance.

  4. Online In Store - Over 15% of shoppers in store – a 20% year on year growth – visit your website while in store. E.g. a fridge – they go to your website to check up about warranties, backup service and etc. What this means is that you need to aid shoppers in getting to your site by having site URL’s and QR codes on product's etc. to make access easier.

  5. 38% of people will leave your website if they find it unattractive or hard to navigate. What this means is that you need a fast site with easy to find links and a great UX (user experience design).

  6. No need to re-invent the wheel. Don’t be scared of getting your business online whether for corporate reasons or for online sales. Unless you are a big business with deep pockets for custom API’s don’t reinvent the wheel. Getting started costs less than you think. There is nothing wrong with using e.g. Shopify to build an online sales system.

  7. Astute Media are a media agency specialising in budget conscious start-ups, new businesses and the smaller brand. Our experience allows us to cover all aspects of the advertising journey including, digital, traditional, design and printing.

Written by: Steve Topp – Astute Media Sign up to our Email Newsletters References:

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