Today’s consumers are savvy, with many of them being digital natives. The changing economic climate and somewhat shaky political period in South Africa means that retailers need to keep an eye on how consumers are changing the game, as the country’s commerce world is fast becoming consumer led. Cape Business News (CBN), in collaboration with Hippo.co.za, recently listed the four top consumer led trends of 2017:

1. Seamless customer experiences
Customers want to be able to find what they are looking for immediately. Not only does your website need to be user friendly and easy to navigate, you also need to make sure that you are giving customers quick feedback online as well as in your brick and mortar stores. Businesses need to take note of what their customers want and what they are complaining about. According to a 2015 Nielsen Global Corporate Sustainability Report, 68% of South African consumers will continue to support a business if it proves that it cares about its customers and their needs.

2. Online engagements
According to We Are Social’s annual Digital report, 26.8 million internet users in South Africa spend close to three hours a day on social media. With so many people turning to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to stay connected with their contacts and up to date on news, it’s crucial for businesses to have a social media presence. Make it easy for your customers to engage with you on social media and be sure to showcase your products and services on these platforms too.

3. Online shopping
According to World Wide Worx, an internet and mobile technology trends organisation, the South African online retail industry has maintained a growth rate of above 20% since the turn of the century – reaching a growth rate of 26% in 2015. eCommerce is becoming increasingly popular because it’s quick, convenient and gives people access to the products they’re looking for. Businesses need to make sure that their eCommerce sites are easy to use on both desktop computers and mobile platforms, and that website visitors are able to browse and pay with ease.

4. Quality
South Africans still value quality products, especially now that their disposable incomes are shrinking. A study by BMi Research found that consumers will review the quality of a product, the expiration date (if it is perishable) and whether it has been through a quality check – even if the product is on sale.

Full thanks and acknowledgement are given to www.cbn.co.za for the information contained in this article.