South Africa’s Woolworths announced on Thursday it has launched free Wi-Fi in 85 stores nationally, with additional connections planned by early 2018, as customers continue to shift to online and mobile shopping platforms this festive season.By Staff Writer
The food and clothing retailer has to date, experienced double-digit growth since the start of the holiday period in relation to its online sales, with over 50% of e-commerce purchases driven through mobile.
In preparation for a surge in online transactions, Woolworths also launched its first dedicated warehouse, referred to as a “dark store” to provide the storage and delivery of online clothing, beauty and homeware products purchased.
Within a South African retail context, customer adoption of e-commerce relating to fashion and food has traditionally been limited. However, according to Stats SA, in 2015, the rate of online e-commerce was 26%, valued at approximately R7,5-billion.
Within this context, due to Woolworths continued investment in its digital channels and its customer user-experience, the retailer has seen sales in items such as swimwear, beach accessories, table settings, beauty products, kids clothing, summer dresses and men’s shorts increase dramatically. From a foods perspective, online sales in weekly staples such as bread, milk, meat and salads have increased exponentially, as well as holiday season items such as champagne and gifting items.
“Continued investment and innovation in digital channels and our e-commerce strategy is a key growth pillar for the future at Woolworths. As a business, we are always looking to improve and provide our customers with an enriched, innovative and seamless customer experience. Digital and online certainly plays a fundamental role in this strategy, which Woolworths is committed to delivering on,” said Liz Hillock, Woolworths head of Online .
- Photo Credit: thenewspaper.co.za