Whatever dreams and aspirations you have for your business, Standard Bank wants to journey alongside you to your particular next.
Your bank should be more than an institution that provides you with financial assistance. Standard Bank acknowledges this and is undertaking a journey with customers to address their needs beyond the finance they require to enable business growth.
As part of increasing the value and benefits that form part of the customer experience, on 10 April Standard Bank held its first Trade Knowledge Sharing Session of 2018. Business banking customers in the trade and retail industries were given the opportunity to listen to exclusive expert industry insights from two knowledgeable speakers.
“We want to partner with you to grow your business,” said Herman Sambo, Business Unit Head: Johannesburg Region at Standard Bank. “You are our next and we want to take you to your next, this occasion is aimed at getting to know you better and bringing you together with like-minded people in the same industry in which you operate.”
Related: Insider insights on the changing face of retail in South Africa
Trade economic outlook
As a market leader, Standard Bank believes in providing customers with the best information and data to successfully grow their business. Giving its clients exclusive access to experts who are leaders in their fields is just one of the ways Standard Bank goes beyond offering facts, figures and finance.
KEY ECONOMIC INSIGHTS
- Commodities are trading much higher than the cost curve at the moment, according to the Standard Bank commodities team. When the prices are expected to come down isn’t yet clear.
- Terms of trade normalising would mean depreciation of the rand, resulting in the price of South African exports being much cheaper for its trading partners. This will subsequently make trading with us very attractive to foreign importers.
- foreign flow re-enters emerging markets, South Africa is now very well positioned for international investments, as the global economic community starts to regain faith in our economy.
- Inflation is expected to remain benign in 2018, averaging 5% from 5.3% in 2017 – its effect of petrol will be significant, pushing the fuel price up to 10% higher than it was in 2017.
At the exclusive Trade Knowledge Sharing Session, Standard Bank’s economist Siphamandla Mkhwanazi shared the effects of the impending trade wars and China’s slowdown on South Africa’s economy, and on local business. Mkhwanazi also touched on the importance of the rand’s strength for the inflation outlook and why a growth rate in excess of 2% is vital.
“I believe that after this session business leaders will now be able to make better investment decisions. Today we’ve painted a picture of the country’s economy and how to navigate the uncertainty that business has been facing over the past two years, using Standard Bank’s insights.”– Siphamandla Mkhwanazi, economist at Standard Bank.
Present knowledge, future value
Trend analyst, author and founder of Flux Trends, Dion Chang, discussed the new rules of retail, sharing his extensive knowledge on shifting business templates. Flux Trends identifies the trends that affect how we live and work in the 21st century and interprets the impact of these on business strategy.
“Our retail reality is that today’s consumers are seeking less stuff and more stories. With the sixth most shopping centres in the world, South Africa is contributing to the oversupply of retail space, as the department store model declines in relevance.”– Dion Chang, trend analyst and founder of Flux Trends.
Chang believes that as the consumer reality changes, so should the retailer’s. His exclusive presentation included the rise of the township economy and how retailers can best respond to it, as well the various customer tribes that have begun emerging, challenging traditional LSMs.
KEY RETAIL INSIGHTS
- Is your business Instagramable? – Your lighting, décor and even your crockery can affect your business’ customer-generated social media presence.
- What does your product do that others can’t? – Your product is secondary to the experience your customer associates it with. Try converting to a hybrid store where customers can try before they buy.
- How is your retail experience different? – Brands are turning their stores into learning centres, both brick and mortar and e-commerce retailers. Don’t just sell your product, teach your customers know how to use it.
- Looking to invest in a shopping mall? – Stay away from the typical big city locations and consider the current success of peri-urban malls.
The trend specialist considers the future of retail to be China and said the industry needs to consequently move from online to ‘no line’. Standard Bank has recognised the trade opportunities emerging between Africa and China and has geared its Africa China Banking division to assist businesses in accessing these opportunities.
Looking ahead to your next
During the session, Standard Bank clients had the opportunity to discuss issues of concern within their business – relating to the current state of the trade and retail landscape – with the bank’s representatives and the speakers.
Related: 6 Trends and the future of South African retail
Several Standard Bank customers who attended the session spoke positively of their business’ future after interacting with both speakers. Jaco Verwey, Co-owner and Managing Director at the JAMAWAY Beleggings Group, said his perspective had been broadened by both the speakers’ insights and the networking opportunity during the session.
“Meeting different people from various industries and learning how they think about business has been eye-opening. Both speakers are experts in their fields, so they have definitely had an impact on the way everyone here thinks about the economy and retail.”–Jaco erwey, Co-0wner and Managing Director at the JAMAWAY Beleggings Group
Franco van Deventer, Sales Director at Robit SA, believes the knowledge sharing session has assisted him in changing his perception on how marketing really attracts the customer.
Join the conversation
“It’s just the beginning and more of these sessions are anticipated during the course of the year,” said Sambo, who highlighted Standard Bank’s vision to establish and maintain a solid and sustainable partnership with each of its clients through informative meetings of business minds.
To continuously improve on the value provided to its customers, Standard Bank will explore key challenges and trends that impact businesses in the trade and retail sectors to better address its clients’ needs and move ahead with each of them to their next.