CAPE TOWN - Black Friday is synonymous with customer stampedes, long queues and lots of pushing and shoving. But imagine a Black Friday where you could get all the benefits of discounted retail goods without the hassles.
According to analysts, this is where e-Commerce is set to shake up the retail landscape.
CEO of First National Bank Consumer, Dr Christoph Nieuwoudt says "Any savvy shopper can cash-in on the specials without spending time in queues and traffic, trying to move from one destination to another. While e-Commerce is still in its infancy in South Africa compared to global standards, both the consumer and retail sectors are warming up to the use of technology to deliver and acquire goods and service".
Nieuwoudt adds that "placing a food delivery order, buying clothing, booking a taxi ride or renewing your license disc, it’s all being integrated into the virtual world and available at your fingertips".
The online shopping society has more to benefit this coming Friday. RunwaySale CEO, Karl Hammerschmidt says they are already riding on a 100% year on year growth, so Black Friday is more likely to add fuel to the fire than the eventual upswing after a slow offline trading year.
Hammerschmidt points out that their customers don’t have to queue at overflowing shopping centres or struggle to find parking.
"Online does have its technical challenges though – as was seen last year when many sites crashed and users were frustrated they couldn’t shop. ‘We’ve increased our server infrastructure 4-fold in the weeks building up to Black Friday," Hammerschmidt added.
Santam insurance firm advises of 10 safety tips for online shopping:
1. Look for the lock in your URL bar - Only transact on secure websites
2. Save your favourites - it’s a good idea to bookmark your most trusted shopping sites
3. Do your online shopping in safe places - Don’t do your shopping in coffee shops and malls
4. Watch out for strange emails and links
5. Keep your browser up to date
6. Use strong passwords
7. Keep track of your bank statements
8. Choose strong antivirus software
9. Use two-factor authentication methods - In the world of online shopping and banking, the OTP (one-time PIN) is your best friend
10. Teach your kids about online safety
- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE