Retailers miss out on digital disruption

retail 1JOHANNESBURG – MANY South African grocery retailers are failing to make the most of the digital revolution, much to the detriment of their competitiveness.

This is according to an expert ahead of the historic Consumer Goods Forum  Global Summit scheduled for Cape Town, South Africa on June 15-17, coinciding with an age of digital revolution when the grocery retail  industry is having to invest massively to meet the needs of ever more  demanding, tech-savvy customers.

“The challenge for South African grocery retailers is that while most are  tapping into multiple sources of ‘big data’, many have not yet translated  this into competitive advantage for their companies,” said Guy Lundy, a trends analyst and strategy consultant specialising in the retail and consumer sector across Africa.

He recommended that local grocery retailers learnt from their counterparts abroad.

“We need to learn from the success of retailers in the UK, who are  arguably leading the way in this field, especially in terms of loyalty schemes,” said Lundy.

He said although South Africa had a relatively small online customer base,  a more sophisticated urban market and the extensive roll-out of fibre  broadband in urban areas might soon change this.

“While some South African grocery retailers do now have online shops, others are way behind the curve and offer no online purchasing  opportunities,” said Lundy.

“All it takes is one trend-setting start-up to set up a competitive, pure  online business to cause a major disruption in the industry – this has, in  fact, already happened in the UK with the rise of the online-only grocery  retailer”

Held for the first time in Africa, the Consumer Goods Forum Global Summitis expected to draw more than 800 delegates from over 365 companies in 40 countries.

CAJ News

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