What is the price of an eCommerce shop?

The eCommerce store price comes down to functionality and size of the store:

Store Product amount: The amount of products on the store determines the server requirements. For a large store base, you will require a hosting company with a dedicated server that can handle a lot of space and traffic. A large store normally consist of more than 2000 products and each image takes up space, a dedicated server will handle a large store.

Functionality and software automation: The well know eCommerce platforms have add on that facilitate customized options For example, perhaps they want a feature that allows customers to customize their clothing or products and see the results in real-time. Shipping calculator that facilitate pricing and tracing from a courier company. Maybe they want to offer a membership subscription or multi-vendor option where vendors can have their own shop page in your store. Other add on could be a booking event component. These types of features require extensive programming and would allow for a larger budgets for the design and development of these features. A smaller company, has to rely on built-in features or plug-ins to enhance their user experience that would not require customized programming.

Website Content: The most important content is product images, product descriptions and pricing. A store with a huge amount of products will require more effort than a small business website with only 30 products. eCommerce shopping cart software comes with a dashboard that help non-technical people to add and editing products, and editing post content. Other content to consider is Terms and Conditions, your return and shipping policy.

Payment Gateway integration: Most website owners do not have the technology or budget to handle the processing of customer payments via a Merchant bank account. The solution is to pay a small fee to a secure payment gateway to process all your transactions. Most web design companies will integrate a payment gateway as part of the service offering.

What’s the cheapest, easiest way to create an e-commerce store?

A company that offer a Hosted e-commerce solutions and self managed solution the easiest way to create an e-commerce store. A small businesses with up to 30 products with the ability to upgrade as the business grows would be the cheapest solution. We generally charge R 4900.00 for hosted e-commerce solution. This pays for complete one year hosting, setup, design, domain registration and we include some SEO and training. The most important factor to consider is support, look for an webdesigner that will supply you the training how to manage your shopping cart, update prices and to process your orders.

What are the next steps in deciding which web design company to hire?
Request recommendations and estimates. Ask for a formal proposal.
Compare estimates and check their references.
Consider which features and functionality you need.
Decide your target customer and geographical area.
Establish if the company supply training and support as part of their eCommerce solution.
Search competitors on Google that are doing it right, as well as those that aren’t, so you can provide examples.
Establish a budget that includes creating the website as well as handling monthly maintenance.
Research eCommerce web development companies like online-e-commerce.co.za

5 eCommerce retail trends to be adopted in the South African market

With so many shoppers and so much to offer, what are some of the emerging trends that e-commerce specialists noticed in international markets and how can they be adopted in the South African market?

Mobile
Smartphones provide the ultimate gateway for internet users across the world. They provide consumers with market transparency and the possibility of anywhere, anytime interaction. In China, it’s estimated that 88.9% of internet users chose to connect through their mobile phones. A recent study, conducted by the German Scientific Institute
of Market Research (GfK), found that 26% of German shoppers compare prices using their mobile devices when visiting a store.

When it comes to South Africa, mobile has also had a significant impact within the market. Mobile penetration within South Africa is huge and smartphones are quickly gaining market share over feature phones. Mobile purchasing isn’t big just yet, but consumers are increasingly making use of it. Just take a look at one of our partners, HP Shop, with their total mobile visitor growth of 65%.

Digital currency
Digital currency, particularly Bitcoin, is emerging at quite a rapid pace within the online retail space. However, due to some scandals and security risks, many businesses are still wary of digital currencies. Despite this, there are many different forms of online monetary transactions coming to the fore, such as desktop wallets, mobile wallets and web wallets. South Africans, have in fact, become far more familiar with the concept of mobile wallets in recent years.

Interestingly, Africa and South Africa are more advanced in mobile payment systems than the US. This is thanks to payment methods such as QR codes or tap to pay, with 55% of South Africans saying they would be willing to use digital currency, according to the 2015 consumer study conducted by PwC. Credit card penetration within South Africa is relatively low. Digital currency could therefore bridge the gap between those who have a credit card and access to the internet versus those who have internet, but no credit card.

Same-day delivery
Let’s be honest, not everyone has the time to sit around and wait for their parcel to be delivered. Standard delivery will suit most consumers, with some willing to wait for a longer period of time, in order to get free delivery. That being said, there are many consumers who wish to have their parcel delivered on the same day. When it comes to delivery, a fixed date is the most popular choice, closely followed by next day delivery. PwC’s consumer study also found that 79% of South Africans are willing to pay for same-day delivery, which is why it’s important for retailers to have the logistical infrastructure in place to satisfy customers’ needs.

Click and collect
The concept of click and collect is very simple. The consumer will buy something online and collect it in their own time, often just a few hours later, rather than wait for it to be delivered three or four days later. It’s ideal for those consumers who are headed to a particular store but want to save time. One of the biggest attractions about click and collect is the certainty that your item will actually be there, waiting for you. This particular trend is very popular within the UK marketplace and it’s something which has the potential to become just as popular in South Africa.

The year ahead
Online shopping in South Africa as a standalone, is still relatively small. When it comes to the world of online retail, South Africa is still seen as being in e-commerce infancy but is growing at quite a rapid pace. Watson says that the ability for rapid growth is what makes South Africa’s market so exciting.

Because South Africa is lagging behind the rest of the world in online retail, we have the advantage of having other markets far ahead of our own going through trends before we do. It’s like the world is our testing ground. So the methods that have been successful across the globe are the ones that South Africa’s retailers should try first. It means a much higher chance of success

By Neil Watson on 18 March, 2016  Source: memeburn.com

Online Marketplace Bidorbuy Adds Bitcoin Payments

To eliminate the financial security issues a lot of African e-commerce users have suffered from, Bidorbuy, Africa’s largest online market, began accepting Bitcoin payments March 3. The integration of Bitcoin relieves e-commerce platforms from storing sensitive financial data on their local servers, reducing the risk of a data breach and leak of personal user information. By providing Bitcoin as one of its main payment methods, Bidorbuy aims to lead the growth of the e-commerce industry in Kenya and South Africa.

Bidorbuy has more than 700,000 items listed on its online marketplace and generates more than 30 million page views per month. It is the largest corporation in the South African and Kenyan e-commerce industry by market share and the size of userbase.

The e-commerce market of Kenya is growing at a rapid pace. According to the Communications Authority of Kenya, the data/Internet market in the country has grown exponentially since 2014, due to the increase in smartphone adoption rate and speed of bandwidth Internet connection across Africa.

“All sub-categories of data/Internet service demonstrated growth apart from the terrestrial wireless service which recorded a drop in the number of subscriptions during the quarter. This was as a result of the on-going migration of wireless subscribers to fiber network by some of the major data/Internet providers. Emergence of new markets such as e-Commerce will present a prime opportunity for the market to make a turnaround and begin to record growth as it provides physical delivery services for online transactions,” said the Communications Authority of Kenya.

The country’s e-commerce platforms, including the popular OLX online marketplace, have experienced a huge growth momentum in Africa. OLX Kenya manager Peter Ndiang’ui says the establishment of stable Internet connections and the emergence of affordable smartphones led the African e-commerce industries to achieve significant milestones over the past year, especially daily purchase volumes, market share over traditional markets such as the retail industry and the number of newly registered members on online marketplaces.

“All those services [available on e-commerce platforms] are having a huge growth momentum in Africa and specifically in Kenya. The biggest driver is the access to smartphones. Smartphones have become cheaper, and Internet access has spread with broadband spreading much more wider,” said OLX Kenya Manager Peter Ndiang’ui.

Visa South Africa General Manager Jabu Basopo explains that an increasing number of e-commerce platform users are starting to purchase more airline tickets and clothes online to eliminate the inconvenience of visiting retail shops or travel agencies at traffic heavy hours.

“If we look at the trends, the top three areas that are growing are electronics, fashion and airlines. However, each market differs. In some markets you’d see probably the airlines being number 1 [growing area],” said Visa South Africa General Manager Jabu Basopo.

Despite the rapidly growing clientele of many e-commerce platforms, one major issue with Kenya and other African countries’ online marketplaces that is restricting the potential expansion of the e-commerce industry throughout Africa is poor financial infrastructure and vulnerability of credit card payments.

Kenya’s leading online electronics marketplace Kilimall marketing manager Charles Mungai says a lot of users of e-commerce platforms have had their sensitive financial information and credit card data leaked over the past few years. Since e-commerce platforms manage centralized local servers or databases of sensitive user data and financial information, users’ credit card data are prone to hacking attacks and data breaches. If a hacker or a group of hackers gain access to an e-commerce platform’s servers, users’ financial data will inevitably become leaked.

“A lot of people have got themselves into very nasty situations because of issues with credit cards, fraud and financial insecurity. For example, you give credit card information on a platform that was not very secure and somebody takes that information,” said Charles Mungai, Marketing Manager of Kilimall.

The increase in financial fraud and consumer insecurity associated with credit cards and traditional means of payment have led a substantial part of Kenya’s population to refrain from using online payment tools in purchasing goods online. By incorporating Bitcoin into its online platform, Bidorbuy hopes to initiate a trend back toward e-commerce.

Joseph Young March 22nd, 2016

Source: bitcoinmagazine.com