SMEs show growth in use of eCommerce during festive season, report

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VISA- Pesapal
PHOTO/COURTESY: Marketwatch.com

The use of e-commerce has taken an upward trajectory as the festive season approaches, a new report released by digital payments firm VISA has revealed.

According to the report titled Accelerating the shift to eCommerce, approximately 60 percent of the small businesses surveyed have taken steps such as changing their infrastructure and digitizing their business to prepare for the seasonal sales activity that kicks-off with Black Friday.

The report compiled by Visa Consulting and Analytics (VCA) highlights that 81 percent of customers surveyed indicated they are willing to pay more for a good customer experience when they shop online. This indicates a growing willingness by customers to conduct their purchases using eCommerce.

“SMEs that leverage ecommerce solutions; which provide excellent online shopping experience for consumers; have the opportunity to benefit from high spend periods like Black Friday and the coming festive season compared to businesses who have not mastered the importance of holistic back-end design of the customer journey,” Eva Ngigi-Sarwari, Country Leader for Visa in Kenya, said during the launch of the report

The move to increased online shopping comes on the of back most retailers driving their customers online due to different lockdown restrictions that affected in store foot traffic as indicated by Visa’s Covid-19 Impact Tracker report which was released earlier this year. As the retail sector looks to driving recovery, the approach to periods like Black Friday has also evolved and further necessitated safer, better online payment experiences.

 “The impact of a bad payment experience can be devastating. The report highlights how the payment experience is a critical touchpoint – a part of the customer journey, which requires special attention. Each time a potential customer reaches the checkout page, they have a moment to reflect on whether the effort needed to make the payment is equal to the value they get from their purchase.  To win prospective and repeat customers, SMEs need to have a digital presence during the discovery and evaluation stages of the customer shopping journey,” Ms. Ngigi said.

Digital payments provide a convenient and secure way to pay for customers. For businesses, they reduce the friction arising from handling money, limit customer queuing, grow their customer base as a result of enhanced experience and eventually improve sales and profitability.

As online shopping becomes the norm for consumers and businesses continue on the road to economic recovery, digital payment and in particular frictionless e-commerce experiences, will become a competitive advantage for small businesses.

ALSO READ: Safaricom, Visa partner to expand access to digital payments for M-PESA costumers

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