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Ecommerce

  • Want your ecommerce startup to take off? Forget the discounts, push customer service

    According to business consulting firm Lee Resources Inc, 91% of unhappy customers will not willingly do business with you again. The number one reason for their unhappiness is service delivery. Service delivery has become a hotly debated topic in South Africa, and we have seen frequent examples where customers have taken to airing their frustrations on public forums. One only has to look at the anti-Cell C banner debacle that caused quite a stir in the media recently. The whole incident developed into something bigger because the customer felt that he wasn’t receiving the service that he deserved and decided...

  • TrustPay wants to bridge the disparate islands in the mobile payments space

    The mobile payments space is booming. In Africa, pioneering systems like MPesa are still going strong, while the likes of Snapscan and FlickPay are gaining traction among smartphone owners. Internationally meanwhile, the entrance of Aplle into the space is only likely to accelerate acceptance and innovation. For the most part however, the various apps used remain fairly disparate and, in many cases, limited by national borders. A new play by Cape Town-based company TrustPay is looking to change that. Aimed at emerging markets, TrustPay claims to be able to connect merchants and consumers to one another through the assimilation...

  • Jumia ‘acknowledges success’ after just raising a nice fat $150 million

    Jumia, which launched in only two years ago in Lagos, Nigeria, has just announced a new round of investments amounting to a fat €120 million (about US$150-million). These investments, which were made by existing shareholders, are said to strengthen the company's position as the leading online retailer in Africa. With the additional funding, the company is now valued at €445-million. Backed by the likes of German incubator Rocket Internet and Milicom through Africa Internet Group (formerly Africa Internet Holding) and in partnership with telecom giant MTN, Jumia is now operating in 10 countries including Nigeria, Egypt, Morocco, Kenya, Cote...

  • New ecommerce site Zwipit wants your old phone for cash

    South Africa has a lot of phones. With a mobile penetration rate exceeding that of the population by almost a third, one can easily imagine a good amount of old Nokias and Blackberrys lying around in people's drawers, forgotten and gathering dust. It's then to no one's surprise that a mobile-phone recycling startup has finally reached the country's shores. Founded in 2011, Spanish company Zwipit has launched in nine other markets so far in its mission to buy second-hand phones, refurbish them, and sell them back to people. For the time being, Zwipit South Africa -- which is locally owned...

  • Selling online? Use this 10-point checklist to protect yourself from credit card fraud

    Selling goods and services online can be an excellent way to build a business, says Brendon Williamson of PayGate -- but online retailers must get the security basics right to avoid being taken for a ride by fraudsters using stolen credit cards and fake identities. There’s a thriving global market in stolen credit card numbers, and fraudsters know exactly how to use them to make a quick, low-risk profit. Fortunately, there are some relatively simple precautions that online retailers can take to protect themselves. One of the most important is to know what the red flags are that indicate possible...

  • Evolution of a startup: Mobicred one year on

    Just over a year ago, we told you about Mobicred, South Africa's first online-only credit facility. The brainchild of Jason Sive, who is also the director of First Health Finance (FHF), the startup was aiming to attract the kind of people usually averse to buying online with their actual physical credit cards. As an added bonus, it would offer a centralised account that you can access across a number of merchants. The technology behind the facility would also ensure that only the people least likely to default would be given credit, with merchants and customers paying fees similar to what...

  • Leveraging the omni-channel is critical for etailers this festive season

    Customers often get confused and overwhelmed by choice when walking down a grocery store's aisle – and browsing online for products is not much different. Retailers need to use the technology at their disposal to guide customers more efficiently. As shopping heats up in the build up to the festive season, retailers in particular need to communicate more intuitively and intelligently to connected consumers. It would seem that investing in mobile-driven solutions such as apps would be a no-brainer. Yet, worldwide research indicates that retail apps that solely offer basic brochureware are failing to deliver on the user engagement promise. Shifting...

  • Microsoft 4Afrika, Skrill team up for new ecommerce portal

    Growing economies, an emerging middle class and increased connectivity. These are three things that a number of African countries have experienced over the past few years. They also however represent a massive ecommerce opportunity. Microsoft 4Afrika, together with online payments company Skrill and a number of mobile operators, are looking to tap into it with the launch of a new portal. Launched today at communications conference AfricaCom, the portal will enable Africans to use their mobile wallets to buy from global internet brands, access free educational content and use Microsoft software. Africa is urbanising faster than any other continent,...

  • India’s ecommerce market said to rocket to $6-billion in 2015

    Ecommerce might be young in India but it’s growing super fast. India’s ecommerce market will reach US$6-billion in consumer spending in 2015, leaping from US$3.5-billion in 2014, according to the latest data from Gartner. This makes it one of the fastest-growing ecommerce markets in Asia/Pacific. The potential for a 70% growth rate to be maintained or even accelerated can be seen from the low base from which it is emerging. Ecommerce in India still represents less than four percent of the total retail market. And less than five percent of total digital commerce happens through mobile. But as the number of smartphone adopters...

  • Zapper now an option for Paygate merchants

    Payment service provider PayGate has added mobile payment system Zapper to its stable of options, something that's apparently part of the company's strategy to capitalise on a predicted mobile boom. “We expect that mobile will account for 50% of all card transactions within the next five years -- and that’s probably conservative,” says the company's general manager for business development Brendon Williamson. “As South Africa’s leading provider of payment services for online business, our goal is to ensure that our clients are always able to collect payments using the methods their customers prefer. Mobile is becoming an important part...