Capture customers and delight with innovative solutions in online retail

Mamongae Mahlare, Takealot Group CEO, talks uncertainty, economy, inflation and complexity and how online retail can shift these pressures into business opportunity.

There is little doubt that 2023 has started on rocky ground. The economy remains tough, inflation continues to rise, fuel prices are high, and a global recession is putting pressure on companies and consumers. The landscape is challenging and retailers need to unpack what role they play in this context and how they can meet the consumer at their point of need. There are opportunities that sit within this fractured environment for retailers with a finger on the pulse, and these opportunities can be unlocked by focusing on the following key themes: Value, Delight, and Simplicity.

Value is set to become the great differentiator, and not just in terms of lower priced offerings. While quality goods for lower prices will always be a lure for the consumer, there is also value associated with a sense of being special and of being able to access premium products. When money is tight, the quality of what you buy becomes very important and that represents a form of value – quality buy.  People will always spend on the essentials like washing powder and grocery basics, but they still want the ability to access premium products that bring joy and remind them life is good and they deserve good things like luxury beauty products or latest tech gadget. As a retailer it is important to consider your value offering both at the affordable end and the premium end of the selection.

Delight. The challenge then, is to create aspirations around premium products and brands and to find fresh ways of making the mundane interesting. Retailers need to invest in customer delight by making shopping an experience, entertaining and fun. did 24-hour live shopping event on Black Friday, a first of its kind In the country, which brought major excitement and uniqueness to what has become an expected day of shopping mega deals. It’s invaluable to work with premium brand owners to curate exciting and insightful multi-dimensional content to make purchasing special. This will make consumers feel as if they can look beyond the limitations of their budgets, loadshedding and daily challenges to moments where they are free to enjoy the browsing and buying journey and have high expectancy for receiving their new purchases. Another thing retailers can do to inject a sense of delight into the most basic of purchases is aligning their product and brand messaging with the very real needs of their consumers and connect to their context in a unique and creative way, even humorous where appropriate. Bringing light into their daily lives. In short, have a little fun.

Finally, never underestimate the value of simplicity. One click, sold. Two clicks, Delivered next day. Want to exchange a product – no problem, click here. Want to see the reviews before you buy, click on this button. Have only a debit card, no problem, click on debit card payment options. Don’t have all the cash today, click on Buy Now Pay Later option and spread your payments over a few months.

The simplicity of transacting on the platforms is important and its about making sure it’s easy to find what you looking for and quick to make the purchase. It’s about having access to information about the products, Including reviews, and about getting recommendations that make the shopping experience easier. Online retailers need to make it as easy as possible for customers to immerse themselves in their stores through intuitive user interfaces and touchpoints. Online gives you opportunity to have immense scale of products to showcase, this is powerful thing which can keep people coming back for more because you can solve so many of their needs in one exciting place.

There is then the simplicity of addressing concerns or questions and developing an Instinct about consumer requirements. This is why we’re committed to ensuring that consumers are given multiple payment options that provide a variety of solutions for consumers from various financial realities – those with credit cards or with debit only or those needing a little help spreading their purchase value over couple of months with Buy Now Pay later solutions. 

Delivery options also speak to various realities and preferences – whether prefer delivery to your home, work or collection from a pickup point. The speed of Delivery Is another consumer centric deliverable. You have one hour delivery times for Now Now needs like groceries and pet food, or for fashion emergency or cell phone charger, you have Same Day Delivery options. If you need it Just Now like loadshedding solutions, you have Next Day delivery, and for Now items, like sneakers for weekend partying or joining the air fryer revolution, you have Standard delivery. Its key to keep the delivery options simple so consumers can focus on doing more with their day.

To capture customer attention consistently it’s important to offer value for money, keeping in mind that it’s not about cheap, it’s also about quality. In a world full of sad news, bring delight to mundane shopping journeys and make it an experience. Lastly, innovate to be relevant and to simplify the consumer journey and solve their problems. Provide choices to address the spectrum of realities in this country. Innovation doesn’t have to be a big splash, it can be incremental adjustments that connect with customers in ways that make them feel seen, heard and valued; and of course, leaves them delighted and engaged with the business. 

The customer is royalty. Keeping them central to all your business decisions and priorities is the only way to building a lasting future together. Excite and delight, the results will follow.

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