Mobile – The future of shopping in Africa

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“Currently, 99 per cent of shopping is done offline through devices such as mobile while only one per cent is done online. Mobile is how everyone will shop in Africa,” said Andrew de Wet, chief executive officer of PriceCheck.

He said that 87 per cent of South Africans currently owns a mobile phone while globally, there are more mobile subscriptions than there are people.

In just 16 years, the mobile media space has grown to become a 236 billion US dollar industry, making it the fastest growing in the world.

“Nothing gets you (retailers) closer to your consumer than mobile,”

He explained that industries all over the world need to adapt to the mobile space in order to meet consumers growing demands.

Consumers currently use their mobiles to search for stores’ locations, perform price comparisons and read product reviews in order to make better informed decisions.

“Mobile is a powerful part of consumer’s purchase decisions,” he said.

“Retailers can also use mobiles to drive products in store. For instance, they can feature their top 20 products online, then get the customer to visit one of their stores to see the rest of their products on offer,” he explained.

“Mobile helps retailers merge online and offline consumers with through a single point of entry.”

He also stressed that retailers need to ensure that they include a budget for mobile advertising in their marketing strategies.  

“It’s important for retailers to take the same approach with their advertising. If their customers are shifting to mobile, then their media budgets should follow. Mobile marketing isn’t an option, it’s imperative.”