“We have seen Click and Collect, which is a concept in the UK now, where you buy your groceries online but you don’t have them delivered, you go past the store on your way home. There’s a lane, almost like a drive-through, and your groceries get delivered,” Pearson, the CEO of BMI Research told CNBC Africa on Monday.
Click and Collect is a comprehensive directory of traditional retail stores that offer online e-commerce by allowing consumers to order online and pick up their goods directly from the store. It’s aimed at easing shopping and eliminating the delivery waiting period.
“There’s going to be a lot more of that type of innovation and where is South Africa in that, well I think we’re not there yet but we are going to close the gap quite fast,” added Pearson.
According to a study conducted by World Wide Worx, the internet economy contributes 2 per cent to South Africa’s GDP. The study, titled Internet Matters: The Quiet Engine of the South African Economy, revealed that this contribution is rising by around 0.1 per cent a year. This indicates that it should reach 2.5 per cent by 2016.
Traditional shopping has taken a backseat to online shopping in recent times and due to a growing virtual presence, retail in South Africa has had to adapt.
Retailers are becoming increasingly aware of the potential of online shopping and many have fully-embraced the concept. This progression may even, at some point, extend to eliminating swiping a card altogether.
“You’re going to get virtual vouchers. You will get a code on your cell phone and you can just redeem it, once we have near-field contact list technology, you just go and scan your barcode off your phone,” said Sugendhree Reddy, the head of personal markets at Standard Bank.
“It has been thought of in South Africa, it’s just how quickly you get it to the market and the law. It’s basically in the development phase.”