Courier service is key for online retail industry

2012-01-17 00:00

AS online shopping in South Africa is on the rise, retailers who use the Internet as their shop front should ensure they strategically partner with the best courier and shipping service companies.

A recent survey shows that 51% of South Africans with access to the Internet are shopping online. Likewise, 54% of South Africa’s online shoppers tend to conduct research either by surfing the Internet or compiling references from friends and family, before they make purchases.

“But what if these references reveal a bad experience because the shipping company caused a delay in delivery, lost the parcel or rerouted the package to a different destination?” asked Jasen Smallbone, country sales manager — courier of United Parcel Service (UPS), the world’s largest package delivery company.

“Such circumstances would affect consumer relationships with a particular retailer, not the courier company, which is why it’s essential to find the best logistics partner.­­”

UPS said that the enhanced visibility of shipments and specific event notification gives customers more control over their purchases, providing them with accurate information about their shipments.

“A well-known logistics brand helps retailers leverage purchase decisions and build consumer confidence, to give online shoppers peace of mind knowing where their goods in transit are and exactly when they will be delivered,” said Smallbone.

Furthermore, with the growing use of cellphones in the country, South Africans are increasingly making online purchases with their cellphones and the Internet, improving open communication — an essential mechanism for sustainable business.

According to the latest research by World Wide Worx, online retail in South Africa has entered a phase of sustained acceleration.

The survey titled “The Online Retail in SA 2011” shows that the total amount of money spent on online retail goods in South Africa passed the R2 billion mark in 2010 for the first time. It reached R2,028 billion, growing at 30% over the previous year.

“The report claims that online retailers are more bullish about 2012, with the industry consensus pointing to 40% growth this year. This is encouraging, yet we believe the continued growth in online sales can be bolstered by one vital and imperative element within the supply chain — logistics,” said Smallbone.

“If the report states that over 6,8 million people will be online by 2015, there are over three million more people whom retailers will have to target in the future compared to the 2010 e-commerce market. Online shoppers will continue to buy from virtual retailers only if they trust their processes and the company delivering their goods to them, which is why loyalty and transparency have to be established from the beginning,” said Smallbone.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.