Online Marketing Manager for Kalahari.com, Jenna Bloch, gives us a summary of the most important shifts that E-commerce made in 2012, and gives us her predictions for 2013. We also find out whether she really believes that shopping online is safer than using your card in a physical store.
Kalahari is one of the most popular E-commerce sites in South Africa, and has been around for longer than most other Ecommerce sites – and therefore seen many trends. What would you say has changed the most about E-commerce in the past 12 months in South Africa specifically?
The E-commerce industry is very dynamic and things are changing all the time. If you look at Kalahari, when we started over 10 years ago, all we sold was VHS cassette players then. The biggest change was the emergence of Mobile Commerce – although everyone had mobile phones a year ago, smart phones have just boomed. So we’ve seen more and more people coming online to buy mobile phones and also interact via their mobile phones. More people are downloading apps and wanting to interact with online retailers using apps. The most significant thing would also be the introduction of tablets. They haven’t become a mass market just yet, because they aren’t at an affordable price yet for the masses. However the emergence of tablets brings a lot of traffic and more interaction – aside from the PC.
Is online shopping actually safer than using your credit card in a bricks and mortar store?
I think there are two opinions about that. Personally, I would say yes. If you want to use your credit card online, you need to make sure the site you are using has a secure certificate, such as Verisign. And you also need to look for the https. If a site has those two things, it is safer than going to a brick and mortar shop.
What trends do you predict for Ecommerce in 2013?
I think a lot of the trends tie in to what we have seen emerge in 2012. According to the World Wide Worx report for 2012, they said that 2013 is going to be the year of adoption. I think we will see a rise in online traffic, especially from mobiles and tablets. I also think there is going to be a big rise in apps. People are already using apps to do their grocery shopping, make their travel plans and much more. I think in 2013, everything is going to have to have an app in order to make it really shine, and it will need to be fully usable on all tablets and mobile phones, because today – those are just extensions of your PC.
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