Top consumer trends in SA and what they mean for your business

The customer of today has a number of concerns. Trust, values, and integrity issues are of the utmost significance in a world that is always evolving. But how does this affect the way they interact with your company?

The State of the Connected Customer report by Salesforce reveals what makes 650 South African respondents tick. So, let’s examine the five trends that matter most to South African customers.

A trust-based economy is moving to the forefront 

It’s been a bumpy ride over the past few years. From the global pandemic to extreme weather caused by climate change, trust in the government is spiralling. But 94% of respondents in South Africa said trust becomes even more important in uncertain times. That means customers are increasingly looking to businesses to do the right thing and build great experiences based on trust.

With only 37% of respondents agreeing they generally trust, there’s work to be done. While most people reported they ‘completely’ or ‘mostly’ trust companies to act with integrity, the trust section of the survey indicates uncertainty for customers.

In other areas of the survey, a markedly larger proportion of customers provided a definitive yes or no response. When asked about trust, approximately 50% of customers were reluctant to commit to saying they completely trust companies.

So, what are the five top ways you can build trust?

  1. 84% want to see greater transparency and better communication.
  2. 76% want to be treated as a person, not a number.
  3. 76% want greater assurance that you’re using their data responsibly, and 85% think this is more important than ever.
  4. 76% expect issues to be resolved quickly and proactively with great communication throughout.
  5. 72% want a consistent experience across all touchpoints.

When it comes to building trust as an organisation, customers are more likely to engage with companies who actively demonstrate good values and prioritise health and safety.

Building brand loyalty matters more than ever

The world is now our oyster, thanks to digitisation. While this is great news for consumers, it also means that developing brand loyalty is more crucial than ever – and customer relationships can be influenced by unexpected factors.

While it’s not surprising that 84% of buyers think about how you treat customers:

  • 70% want to know you treat employees well.
  • 61% are looking at how you respond to racial injustice.
  • 50% will be scrutinising your environmental practices.
  • 47% consider action on economic injustice important.
  • 41% rate you on how involved you are in the community.

To determine how you meet these requirements, 95 percent of respondents want you to clearly articulate your beliefs, and 79 percent have abandoned a business in favour of one that better fits with their values. However, South African consumers also switch brands for better deals, higher quality, and superior customer service.

Introducing a loyalty program is an effective model to reward existing customers and attract new ones. Customers like companies who make it simple to redeem, such as by applying rewards immediately, as well as those who provide personalised deals and enable customers to use loyalty points across numerous brands.

As always, knowing your customer is key.

Businesses must balance personalisation with privacy concerns

Today, personalisation goes well beyond communications. Customers expect that you will anticipate their expectations and desires at every touchpoint.

Digital channels continue to dominate customer engagement. They expect consistent, personalised experiences across multiple channels. In fact, 94% say customer experience is just as important as products or services – but only 63% agree that companies provide consistent, omnichannel experiences.

While two-thirds of customers are happy to swap personal information for a more tailored experience, an overwhelming majority feel more data is collected than needed, companies aren’t transparent about how they’re using it – and 67% don’t think they benefit from sharing their data.

To make customers feel more at ease, it’s important to communicate clearly about why you’re capturing personal data and how it will be used – remember, only 24% of consumers feel confident that companies will fully respect their privacy.

Going back to that 76% of customers who want to be treated as a person, not a number: the appetite for personalisation is there, but only 44% feel like companies treat them as an individual.

There’s a fine line between the promise of a better life and distrust in technology

Artificial intelligence has been a game-changer in terms of freeing people’s time, but although 75% of respondents in South Africa are receptive to the idea, 86% believe it has the potential to be a force for both good and bad.

Less than half of customers understand the role of artificial intelligence in business. To make them feel more at ease, respondents want:

  • Greater control over how it’s used and the opportunity to provide feedback.
  • Access to the research behind the tech.
  • Input from human rights and ethics experts.
  • Inclusion of more diverse data sets.

Happily, customers are more willing to trust technology when it comes to order tracking and contactless payments, and 60% expect augmented or virtual reality to be used more in the future.

Helping customers understand the role technology already plays in streamlining and automating their experience is key to reassuring them about its potential to make life better in the future.

Customers increasingly expect a joined-up experience

Giving customers a consistent experience across departments isn’t just a nice-to-have: 92% of respondents expect it, and it has a direct correlation to loyalty.

However, only 14% of customers feel like companies have a consistent voice across departments, with more than half reporting it doesn’t feel like sales, service, and marketing teams share information to give the customer a seamless experience.

Crucially, 84% of respondents revealed that a lack of consistency across touchpoints makes them lose trust in a company, and 58% lose faith when they receive irrelevant communications that don’t match their experience,

So, how is South Africa measuring up when it comes to demonstrating consistency across touchpoints?

  • 25% of customers completely trust businesses.
  • 58% of customers somewhat trust businesses.
  • 15% of customers mostly distrust businesses.
  • 2% of customers completely distrust businesses.

Your biggest takeaway here? Make sure you’re rewarding your customers with a great, joined-up experience in exchange for their data.

Uniting teams on Customer 360 creates enterprise-visibility not just across departments, but on all channels and every device. This isn’t just key to giving customers a seamless experience, but provides an opportunity to have better conversations and to collect comprehensive data to use for personalisation.

Wrapping up

We at ShopShipShake have been working with businesses like yours with fulfilling experiences. We offer one-stop services, including an efficient supply chain, over 10 thousand of China’s suppliers, and more. With a successful track record of over 20,000 clients, we are sure to deliveryour orders requirements. Let’s get in touch to build, sustain, and grow yourbusinesses.

If you would like to know more details about us, please contact with us:

If you are interested in cooperating with us. Please register on:

How To Start A Dropshipping Business In South Africa

Dropshipping has proven to be one of the most efficient businesses strategies for starting a profitable venture. Over the last several years, more and more people have begun establishing e-commerce enterprises thanks to this accessible business model.

This type of business can be started anywhere and targeted at buyers of any demographic and location, South Africa included. And this shouldn’t come as a surprise, since with a population of almost 60 million as of 2020, South Africa is a rather large and growing market to target for a dropshipper. Furthermore, the e-commerce market revenue in this country is projected to reach $4,057m in 2021 with an annual growth rate of 10.1%.

So, in this article, we will uncover what is dropshipping and how to start a dropshipping business in South Africa.

1.What is dropshipping? Can it work in South Africa?

First, let’s make sure you understand what dropshipping is and what makes it an accessible and attractive business model.

Dropshipping is a type of e-commerce selling method where the business owner does not have to physically possess the products or even manage the stock. The dropshipping entrepreneur has several key responsibilities he is in charge of creating an online store, picking and promoting the goods, finding and cooperating with a reliable dropshipping supplier. In return, the dropshipping supplier handles other aspects of the business such as managing the stock, packing and sending the products in the name of the business owner and providing tracking information.

Essentially, the dropshipper simply manages the transaction process. When an order is placed on the online store, the dropshipper transfers the customer’s order details to the dropshipping supplier and pays the original product price. When the supplier receives the order details, he packages and ships the order directly to the customer, leaving the dropshipper only responsible for customer support. The difference between the supplier’s original product price and the marked up price paid by the end buyer is the dropshipper’s profit.

Sounds pretty appealing, doesn’t it? From this, you can see why dropshipping can be such an attractive and accessible business.

The dropshipper does not need to pay upfront for stock or storage of the goods. Neither does he have to be concerned about the delivery, as this is the responsibility of the supplier.

What’s more, a dropshipping business can be launched and maintained from absolutely anywhere in the world! The flexibility of this kind of business is one of its many beneficial aspects. And anyone can try their hand in it, from ever-busy moms to first-year college students, to regular everyday workers. That’s why it doesn’t really matter where you’re from, as long as you have access to the internet and a computer, you can sell to anywhere in the world! And South Africa is no exception!

With that said, let’s look at how to start a dropshipping business in South Africa.

2.How to start a dropshipping business in South Africa

Starting a dropshipping business in South Africa is similar to starting it anywhere else. Here is what you have to focus on:

  • Thoroughly research the niche you want to take
  • Find quality products and reliable suppliers
  • Establish an online store where you can sell your products
  • Attract potential customers to your website

Now, let’s look at each aspect in more detail.

(1)Research the niche

Regardless of your geographical location and whether you want to focus on the South African market or any other market, niche research is the most important step in creating a successful dropshipping store.

Knowing exactly what your potential customers want and what the trends are in a particular niche, you will help your business a long way. But the trick in niche choice that can help your store be successful is not trying to cater to all people at once. Instead, you should focus on a specific group of people and supply them with products that they have limited access to.

(2)Find trustworthy dropshipping suppliers and quality products

When you have found what it is you want to sell and who your target market is, it’s time to look for reliable suppliers who offer quality products.

Luckily, the Internet is full of supplier databases, both free and fee-based. You can try to find them or you can try to find suppliers on your own on various online marketplaces, like AliExpress.

The key to differentiating a reliable supplier is their store history and their reviews. Basically, the longer the store is operating, the more trustworthy it is. Furthermore, usually large online marketplaces have store rating systems that can help understand how the customers view and rate the store. And finally, the reviews left by the store’s customers will do wonders in terms of understanding how reliable the sellers are.

As for the quality products, since one can’t physically touch or feel the goods without ordering them, he will have to rely on other options. For example, the number of times the item was ordered will signal its demand level. Moreover, the review section will also help with quality evaluation, as customers tend to share their opinion on the purchased products. Some even share pictures of the product, which will help you determine how it actually looks in real life.

When it comes to selling products online, the constant challenge is to make sure the shipping times are as low as possible. Let’s face it, no one wants to wait 2 or 3 months for the goods to arrive. So to minimize this inconvenience you can look for suppliers near the location you are going to target.

In this case, if you wish to dropship to the South African market, you need to find suppliers near that country. One of the platforms that can help you with this is Dropstore. There you can find South African suppliers with lots of different products.

(3)Establish an online store to sell your products

Now, when you know your niche and what products you are going to sell, you need to create an online store.

There are several ways to get an online store. You can create one from scratch, purchase a ready solution, or turn to a store development service.

Thankfully, there are plenty of services where you can benefit from all these options. To build a website from scratch you can use WordPress. It is the most popular service for website building in the world. Additional plugins will help create a fully functional dropshipping store. Or, if you don’t have any technical experience, you can turn to such services as AliDropship, BigCommerce, Shopify, etc. There you can purchase a store based on your needs. Though each has different pricing plans, you should explore each option yourself to find what suits you best.

(4)Finding potential customers for your online store

For many dropshipping entrepreneurs, the real challenge lies in attracting potential customers to their store. Exactly for this reason it is important to research and choose the right niche. If you have found a niche with demanded products at a reasonable price, then you shouldn’t experience much of a challenge.

You have a few options to drive traffic to your store. The first is through paid advertising. With platforms like Facebook and Google, it is as easy as ever to reach your target audience. Another way is to use Search Engine Optimization strategies. Here you will need to adjust all of your website pages according to SEO to drive organic traffic when someone searches for your products. Another way to drive traffic is to create content such as writing blog posts, making YouTube videos, etc. The key here is to make content that will be valuable to your potential customers.

3.Notable aspects of dropshipping to consider

The regulations

When selling products to customers from a different country, it is important to understand the laws and restrictions within that country. Additionally, there are various rules when it comes to importing and exporting products. For example, import costs could amount to almost half of the item’s costs. And this is important to specify to your customers. So, you should do your best to research this topic.

We heavily recommend consulting local law advisers about certain aspects of your business. Thus, not only will you be able to protect yourself and your business, but lower the number of unhappy customers and customer complaints.

Payment gateways

To establish a proper dropshipping business, one has to be familiar with the most popular local payment gateways. Payment gateways are needed to process online payments. Here are the most popular International payment gateways and gateways within South Africa:

  • Payfast
  • PayGate
  • Payment Express PxPay
  • BitPay
  • GoCoin
  • PayPal
  • Stripe
  • 2Checkout

4.Final takeaways on how to start a dropshipping business in South Africa

South Africa has a large and flourishing market that spends sufficient amounts of money in the e-commerce segment. And the numbers are set to grow even more in the coming years. This makes it a promising country to start a dropshipping business.

So, how to start a dropshipping business in South Africa? Dropshipping Is a low-cost and low-risk business model that provides a unique opportunity to absolutely everyone, regardless of your geographical location. Though, there are some common procedures that one needs to follow to create a successful business. These include finding a lucrative niche and finding a way to cater to its audience, and searching for a reliable dropshipping supplier who will ship the products without any inconveniences. And of course, an attractive website is also required to sell the products.

Taking everything into account, one can create an e-commerce business of their liking at a low cost.

Hopefully, this article was informative and insightful and now you have an understanding of what is dropshipping and how to start a dropshipping business in South Africa. Good luck to you in your future endeavours!

Wrapping up

We at ShopShipShake have been working with businesses like yours with fulfilling experiences. We offer one-stop services, including an efficient supply chain, over 10 thousand of China’s suppliers, and more. With a successful track record of over 20,000 clients, we are sure to deliveryour orders requirements. Let’s get in touch to build, sustain, and grow yourbusinesses.

If you would like to know more details about us, please contact with us:

If you are interested in cooperating with us. Please register on:

Changing retail habits in South Africa with online shopping

After two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, omnichannel strategies have become essential for brick-and-mortar stores to meet consumers’ needs in South Africa. The NielsenIQ study “ Unlocking the Consumption Code” concluded that the consumer goods industry in the country is more open to digital shopping than ever before. 

Massive disruption fed habit changes

The pandemic has completely changed day-to-day routines. According to our study, 30% of South African consumers indicated they have shifted their shopping habits from in-person grocery store visits to online in the previous 12 months.

Fast delivery and innovative platforms for a high-level shopping experience are seen as the key factors in this journey, with several popular apps accelerating this change in the market.

Adjusting to a new environment

The next steps in South African e-commerce shopping can be referred to as a period of continuity of growth, where retailers and brands need to understand and plan wisely on how to develop and create a unique experience for consumers. Above all, they should prioritize customer satisfaction, convenience (including fast delivery), and availability.

In a nutshell, more conscious consumers are here to stay for more reliable conditions, including physical risks. However, the constrained consumers phenomena is on the rise, as it lets consumers watch how and where they spend their money. At the end of this experience, they can better manage their household spending by making purchases more frequently online.

Retailers should also consider creating different omnichannel experiences, which offers a secure environment and supports reliability while creating price advantages and promotion opportunities.

As consumers rebase their home, work, and travel routines, they will increase their visits to physical stores. For strong competition, e-retailers should watch their service speed, structured on-time and safe delivery, and present a differentiated shopper experience.

Digital shopping allows for sophisticated practices and dynamic pricing. In a world where new players/brands come into the market every day, keywords or various promo strategies may not be enough to win the competition in the future.

Opportunities in South Africa

South African consumer habits have changed forever in the past few years. They feel more comfortable while they shop online. On the other hand, the main growth in this market comes from having omnichannel solutions (online and in-store shopping hybrid), so now is the right time to measure the correct potential in the market and expand possibilities for growth.

Wrapping up

We at ShopShipShake have been working with businesses like yours with fulfilling experiences. We offer one-stop services, including an efficient supply chain, over 10 thousand of China’s suppliers, and more.
With a successful track record of over 20,000 clients, we are sure to deliver your orders requirements. Let’s get in touch to build, sustain, and grow your businesses.

If you would like to know more details about us, please contact with us:

If you are interested in cooperating with us. Please register on: