Financial Data
Updated 21 Jun 2018

E-retailers: You can’t afford not to consider these mobile landscape influencers

If you don’t keep up with what’s happening in the world of smartphones, you could be losing online shoppers to competitors that are offering more engaging mobile experiences. 

Nicole Crampton, 10 March 2017  Share  0 comments  Print

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As an e-retailer, you need to be connecting with your customer base through a mobile platform, particularly as smartphone uptake increases and more consumers switch onto online shopping via apps and mobi-sites.

Your competition is probably already doing it and they’re luring your consumers away from you by creating magical mobile retail moments that really connect with them.

As mobile and smartphone technology becomes more incorporated into your customers’ lives, you will need to create an experience that’s just as integrated and streamlined as Amazon’s (arguably the leader’s in multi-platform engagement today).

Your customer is expecting an omni-channel, collaborative experiences between your various platforms and you need to be able to supply them with it.

Related: Why and how you must prepare your e-commerce business for Google Shopping


In 2015, mobile internet advertising revenue grew from R64 million to R181 million, according to IAB South Africa’s Internet Advertising Revenue Report. According to a 2016 report from Effective Measure, one-third of South African’s spend at least three hours a day on their mobile devices, with 19% spending more than five hours. This is a prime (mobile) market for you target to grow sales, as an e-retailer.

Mobile -technology -app

Here are a few ways your e-retail business can create seamless, omni-channel experiences to drive-up engagement (with a mobile focus) with customers:

1. Get your app to market ASAP

The top 100 retailers with apps have an average repeat shopper rate of 47.96% compared to the average of 37.48%, according to Internet Retailer’s Market 500 report. App users have become a more lucrative market when compared to mobile and desktop, which means if your e-retail business doesn’t have an app, you are missing out on a significant base of mobile shoppers.

Basket size, repurchase rate and engagement are higher when compared to traditional mobile and desktop users. However, this is a highly competitive market, which can be seen by the number of apps that have been available for more than a year. For example, Zando, Superbalist, Mr Price, Takealot, Gumtree and OLX, all boast a growing number of app-based consumers.

Related: Create content that grows your business

2. The content you create is key   

While an app is certainly one of those must-haves if you’re in e-retail these days, the app marketplace is becoming saturated. Many of the larger retailers are now offering useful and pertinent content to their target audiences, such as Net-A-Porter.

These suggestions loop customers back to items in-store for purchase. Video-via-mobile is also making an impact, but this will grow even more when data networks are made more affordable for the average South African user.

If you offer streamlined services across all your digital platforms, giving your user the choice of which platform to use, you can grow sales this year. Convenience can be a deciding factor for many shoppers whom prefer to be able to choose when and where they buy. Mobile puts your shop in their pockets, and it can’t get more convenient than that.


  • Launch an app to supplement your online and mobile storefronts, but ensure they’re all on point in terms of delivering an engaging shopping experience.
  • The app market is highly competitive, however to differentiate yourself you may want to offer your customers useful and pertinent advice through articles or video content too.
  • Offer your users a seamless experience no matter what platform they choose. Convenience and quality of experience will keep them coming back time and time again.
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About the author

Nicole Crampton

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