Africa's ecommerce portal goes live
The ecommerce sector in Africa is on an upward trajectory. According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development ( UNCTAD ), global ecommerce sales in 2018 reached $25.6 trillion, an increase of 8% on 2017, while in Africa, digital innovation and ecommerce has seen significant growth as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and an increased consumer need to move online. Developing countries are seeing the biggest spike, and there is a need for high quality ecommerce ecosystems capable of supporting the increased demand for digitised services and solutions.
This rapidly growing market has inspired the development of Ecommerce.co.za – a platform focused on the business of selling online. A portal that digs down into the platforms, the payment solutions, the logistics, the customer experience, and the trends relevant to the ecommerce industry.
“From a customer experience perspective, we stand behind Ecommerce.co.za’s initiative and its potential to significantly impact digital commerce across Africa,” says Piya Botha, ecommerce Key Account Manager at Vectra. “A partnership agreement was a no-brainer: our purpose and mission in educating and closing the ecommerce knowledge gap perfectly aligns with the portal's objectives.”
Ecommerce.co.za has seven sections that focus on key pain points and areas of interest for entrepreneurs and retailers in the ecommerce space in Africa. The Customers pillar focuses on marketing, sales, customer experience (CX) and analytics; and this is supported by the latest News with statistics, trends, research, events and offers.
“The different sections on the platform aren’t bogged down by content noise, and personalisation is applied throughout,” adds Botha. “The overall design and development approach to the portal is clean, straightforward and enjoyable for the online reader and user with clear calls to action. We’re excited to join the launch of a connected and sustainable platform that will educate our nation.”
Ecommerce.co.za will also include a section dedicated to Business. Here, readers can unpack content around leadership, strategy, funding and lessons from the trenches, alongside profiles of leaders in the ecommerce community. The Platforms element will examine the different stores, marketplaces, web development and technology innovations, and will pin down best practice for the industry dependent on market, outlet and sector.
“To date it has been fairly difficult to find relevant industry information specific to ecommerce in South Africa, and while there are member-only Facebook groups you can join, finding the information you want quickly has historically been very time consuming,” says Cheryl Ingram, Director at TDMC. “The launch of Ecommerce.co.za could not have been better timed. COVID-19 has catapulted the industry five years into the future, so having a single go-to destination for all things ecommerce related will be the perfect space for any industry professional.”
Rounding off the offering on the portal will be a Payments section that focuses on solutions, innovations, security and integration – critical for customer trust and business growth – along with a Logistics area that will examine delivery, shipping, warehousing, inventory, returns and packaging. All critical points along the journey to a thriving ecommerce business.
The Directory then adds the last bit of flavour to a distinctly local solution – vendors, support networks, tools and resources will be accessible to users, and provide the ideal space within which to connect and network.
“We truly believe that a platform like Ecommerce.co.za is a brilliant tool for anyone in the ecommerce industry in South Africa - whether you’re an ecommerce expert or just starting out. For newcomers to the industry, it is a ‘one-stop shop’ to find everything you will need to start a successful online store,” says Danika Uhlmann, Marketing Coordinator at uAfrica.com. “It is a great way for people in the industry to keep up to date on all things trendy in ecommerce, get the latest news and insider information. For the ecommerce veterans, this is a good platform to discover new players in the industry, as well as expand their own network and knowledge. We are proud to be a part of it and think it has amazing potential to assist the growth of ecommerce in South Africa!”
Ecommerce.co.za follows a collaborative model, designed to bring the ecosystem together and to inspire the ecommerce retailer and entrepreneur. The focus is on engaging with experts and think tanks, and to build a resource that will support the economic growth of the industry.
“With the ever-increasing need for retailers to have a strong digital presence, it's essential that entrepreneurs can easily access the information that will help them develop their ecommerce capabilities. Ecommerce.co.za fills a clear gap in the market by consolidating all of the vital 'digital transformation' information retail entrepreneurs will need in one place, from business funding options to the best technology solutions,” concludes Tom Stuart, Chief Marketing Officer at Lulalend. “As passionate supporters of SME's, Lulalend is proud to be partnering with Ecommerce.co.za in helping retailers go digital!''