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Ecommerce

  • Amazon’s very busy 2014: more than five-billion items shipped

    Amazon has revealed record figures for 2014. The ecommerce colossus shipped about five billion items in 2014, with more than 40% of those products sold by third-party sellers. The company claims that its third party sellers sold more than two billion items in 2014 worldwide. Amazon also reports that sellers on Amazon from more than 100 different countries around the world fulfilled orders to customers in 185 countries using the FBA service. Read more: Kickstarter’s 2014 score card shows a total of $529 million pledged by 3.3 million backers Peter Faricy, head of Amazon’s third party selling operation, said “It’s been a...

  • 5 SEO tips for optimising your Magento store

    Since its inception in 2008, Magento has grown in popularity from a simple niche ecommerce platform into a universally-respected Content Management System for the online business space. With over 200 000 online stores established over Magento platform, choosing it for your upcoming ecommerce project makes a lot of sense. With simple visual customisation, Magento online stores are easy to set up for exceptional search engine optimization, but often we make big SEO mistakes for Magento projects and that in turn leads to lower conversion rates. Importance of SEO in boosting your ecommerce sales No matter who you are, you must be...

  • We’re moving from electronic-commerce to ‘everywhere-commerce’

    If we think back 10 to 15 years ago, we could not have imagined shopping online or the increasing importance of online retail in today’s society. Now, we can shop for almost anything from our personal computers, smartphones and tablets; from anywhere in the country and have it delivered to our doorstep. According to an ecommerce report issued by Effective Measure / IAB South Africa during February 2014, roughly 23% of online shoppers in South Africa buy using their tablets and another 23% purchase using their smartphones. The online buyer is used to buying books, music, computer hardware, DVD’s,...

  • Mirror mirror on the wall: eBay to put interactive mirrors in fitting rooms

    eBay wants to reach the brick and mortar world, and it is doing so with the flair that is to be expected of a tech savvy store. The company wants to erect interactive mirrors in its stores too enhance the shopping experience. The feature is already being modeled at the Rebecca Minkof store in New York and San Francisco with other partnerships in more cities in the pipeline. When walking into the store, shoppers are greeted with large mirrors that double as touchscreens. No longer will it be a must to physically search for clothes whilst messing up neatly packed clothes...

  • 6 ways retailers can own 2015

    With the festive season already here, the retail sector is in the spotlight. How the sector fares is an indication of the economy’s health and retailers are under pressure to perform. Offshore retailers have successfully used mobile to connect with customers, but can SA brands unlock mobile value too? Lynette Hundermark looks at mobile trends and the new tech of SA’s retail economy. There are just over 37 million adults in South Africa today, and if you want to reach them, there’s no better way than to use mobile technology. About 36 million people who are 15 and older have a...

  • Amazon and publisher Hachette bury the hatchet over online book sales dispute

    After months of bickering, pointing fingers, flinging accusations and calling each other names, it appears that Amazon, the international electronic commerce company, and Hachette, the French publisher, have buried the hatchet. All books from Hatchette will resume showing and selling on Amazon. The two companies have reached an agreement over online and ebook sales following months of fighting, a fight that had authors, agents and publishers colliding. The fight, especially Amazon’s attempt to stop customers from buying Hachette titles, received reactions from some prominent authors, including Donna Tartt, Salman Rushdie, John Grisham and Stephen King. The authors signed a...

  • Beyond ‘the customer is always right': understanding the social shopper

    The consumer has always been right, but now they are so informed by their peers that they are savvier than ever when it comes to choosing between products, services, and brands. A few years ago, ‘social’ meant Facebook pages and Twitter profiles; today, it’s about involving others in the shopping experience – whether they be friends, family, part of an extended social community, or complete strangers. With the rise in online shopping, the social aspects of in- store interaction become limited, leaving shoppers without the reassurance or assistance of sales staff, friends, or family members. The move towards social retailing...

  • 7 reasons why online shopping is only going to get more mobile

    In recent years, people have more or less gotten adjusted to the idea of technology and all the changes that come along with it. The advancement in digital arena has helped break the barrier where online shopping has become so easy and powerful that billions of dollars are now being spent online. The gradual surge in online shopping is directly proportional to the advancement in technology that is used in smartphones, all major mobile phone vendors such as Samsung, Apple, Sony, Nokia are now producing mobile phones that are secure and fast enough to perform functions on par with...

  • Embracing mCommerce is about more than finding the right tech

    There’s a word on the lips of everyone in the know these days, and that word is “mCommerce.” Okay, so it doesn’t exactly flow off the tongue, but it is certainly worthy of attention: mcommerce (mobile commerce) is the next generation of ecommerce, allowing people to buy and sell goods and services using a mobile device such as a phone, a tablet, or a wearable gadget like a wristband. Essentially, it involves cashless payments enabled by technology. It does go further than this – it affects how brick-and-mortar merchants approach their business, how businesses can keep in touch with...

  • DRC’s JobWangu connects job seekers to companies

    In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), job seekers and companies use different paths to go about their daily lives, but now any inherent roadblocks for finding a job is about to end thanks to JobWangu, DRC’s new online and mobile portal. JobWangu is a platform for job seekers and companies alike, and aims to ease the strenuous task of finding a job in DRC. This is the first site in the DRC where job seekers can post their CV’s online and companies can post job descriptions to attract applicants. The job portal is trying to address the issue of young...

  • What I’ve learnt from the trenches of startup ecommerce in London

    I’ve spent almost two weeks writing this. At first it was too personal, then it became too anecdotal, so I’ve settled on a list of things which I think are concrete lessons I can impart, and which are easily digestible. Hope you find it useful! Ecommerce is hard The startup world is largely populated by tech people. Or led by tech people. I think that ecommerce went through a phase where technology was a barrier to entry, but that phase is over and it’s now becoming a barrier to growth, markets and customer data. Read more on Ventureburn.var vglnk={key:"cc324b6567a9637aa0ff15bc9564b2a5"};!function(e,a){var t=e.createElement(a);t.type="text/javascript",t.async=!0,t.src="//cdn.viglink.com/api/vglnk.js";var...

  • 10 factors that will drive mobile payment adoption into the mainstream

    South African consumers have been caught up in a whirl of excitement around mobile payment solutions with the launch of no fewer than three major players: FlickPay, Snapscan and Zapper. While each of the services offers something slightly different to consumers and merchants, their collective value in driving adoption of this new technology cannot be understated. Suddenly, every food stall, restaurant, coffee shop, farmers’ market and even our local doctor now proudly offer customers the opportunity to pay for goods and services with their mobile phones. Consumers are clearly enjoying this new, secure way of paying - just look at...

  • Design, process and technology all make big ecommerce sense

    The world of commerce is often presented as a complex place, filled with tainted tactics and mass confusion. And that’s just the brick and mortar variety. Last month we spoke about ecommerce and its evolution to m-commerce -- the point clearly being that companies wanting to get in on the massive action and rapid, warp speed progression of online and mobile commerce platforms had better get cracking, and decisively so. Getting your product, service or solution online and within reach of millions of customers is one giant leap in the right direction, yes – albeit still only one small...

  • The future of retail belongs to the curators and creators [EcommSA]

    A lot of people are shopping online and ecommerce is on an unstoppable trajectory across the globe. With around 100 000 stores, and a projected revenue of more than US$4-billion in merchandise this year, Shopify is changing the way small business differentiate themselves in the ecommerce space. Speaking at the ecommerce conference in South Africa, Head of business for Shopify Brennan Loh put forward the idea that the future of online retail is not with big enterprises but the curators and creators. Loh says that Shopify explores new technologies in retail from an international perspective to offer its customers...

  • Takealot claims responsibility for death of SA’s shopping trolleys

    In a stunt that it's labelled a public confession, South African ecommerce store Takealot is claiming responsibility for the alleged death of shopping trolleys across the country. Scattered across Cape Town earlier this week, the so-called RIP Trolley initiative showcased the social problems of out-of-work shopping carts including homeless trolleys and trolley graveyards. According to the company, these sites all represent the aftermath of Takealot's massive growth. In run up to South African eCommerce Awards 2014, the company is also introducing the Adopt-a-trolley initiative through its recently acquired, Superbalist online store: "Today, at Superbalist, we memorialise a piece of retail...