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6 ways to keep the cart open on Black Friday



Black Friday Global data for 2018 shows a 1 052% increase in sales in South Africa compared to a regular day in the country. And online retail can maximise this opportunity further by reducing cart abandonment, a critical factor for increasing sales and revenue.  The industry norm for abandoned carts is an astonishing 75-80%, which means that merchants are losing 4 out of every 5 sales due to poor checkout conversion – this is after the customer has gone through the mental gymnastics to make the decision to purchase the selected items in the first place.

“Reducing friction in the checkout process is key to reducing cart abandonment,” says Derek Cikes, commercial director at buy-now pay-later fintech provider Payflex. “A simple checkout process will result in significantly higher sales for ecommerce merchants on regular days of the year, and especially to further optimise sales on Black Friday.”

Cikes provides insights into 6 core strategies to reduce cart abandonment on Black Friday.

1.       Use a 1-Click checkout solution

Create a frictionless experience to reduce the number of steps to complete a card payment transaction.  From entering card information details to completing the 3D secure mobile phone process, each step is a point of friction that can (and often does) go wrong, leading to an abandoned cart. 

Amazon’s 1-click checkout function was a game changer to reduce friction in the payment process.  This feature dramatically increases sales conversions by facilitating a seamless shopping experience.  Customers enter their card information just once. The details are then safely stored for future transactions and can be accessed any time through a “1-click” checkout.

“Our experience indicates that the Payflex 1-click checkout process can reduce cart abandonment by a whopping 40% – a huge benefit for ecommerce merchants,” says Cikes.

2.       Communicate delivery costs

Shipping costs is one of the biggest grudge payments when it comes to online shopping and is a key reason for cart abandonment.  Being transparent and upfront about delivery charges manages shopper expectations, so they’re not surprised by a higher than expected cost during the checkout process.  Better yet, offer free delivery wherever possible to improve conversion.

3.       Choose a flexible payment solution

Reduce the number of payment offerings at the checkout by choosing a flexible, customer-centric payment solution that incorporates a 1-click payment solution and offers shoppers a choice of payment options. 

It’s also critical that your payment provider offers top-notch customer service to solve any issues timeously as well as a stable and proven platform, so you don’t lose any of those hard-won sales.

“Payflex ticks all the boxes with our 1-click “pay now” or “pay later” offering, together with next day settlement facility, a stable and proven payment platform and a transparent and simple fee structure without fees for all sorts of payment activities. Payflex also offers a first-in-market 6-week free spending plan for your customers that will boost your sales by 20-30%,” says Cikes.

4.       Hold your shopper’s attention

Use a progress indicator on your site to show the 3 steps of the checkout process, namely shipping, payment and order.  This keeps your shopper involved and provides a clear path to completing the order.

5.       Nurture trust and security

Many shoppers still have trust issues when asked to supply sensitive financial information, such as card details, to complete a purchase.

“Remind the customer of your security and data privacy protections to encourage completion of the sale,” says Cikes, who also recommends displaying trust symbols of well-known security partners such as Norton or VeriSign on your website to improve trust.

6.       Understand impediments to checkout completion

Regularly review the checkout process to identify obstacles that are causing abandoned carts – and remove the obstacles to create a frictionless checkout experience. Optimise navigation and provide clear calls to action, such as “Buy Now (with one click)”, to increase sales.

“A relentless focus on creating a frictionless customer journey, including a simple customer-centric payment solution offering, will significantly reduce abandoned carts and increase sales, for both Black Friday 2019 and every other day of the calendar too,” says Cikes.


Second-hand smartphone market booms

The worldwide market for used smartphones is forecast to grow to 332.9 million units, with a market value of $67 billion, in 2023, according to IDC



International Data Corporation (IDC) expects worldwide shipments of used smartphones, inclusive of both officially refurbished and used smartphones, to reach a total of 206.7 million units in 2019. This represents an increase of 17.6% over the 175.8 million units shipped in 2018. A new IDC forecast projects used smartphone shipments will reach 332.9 million units in 2023 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.6% from 2018 to 2023.

This growth can be attributed to an uptick in demand for used smartphones that offer considerable savings compared with new models. Moreover, OEMs have struggled to produce new models that strike a balance between desirable new features and a price that is seen as reasonable. Looking ahead, IDC expects the deployment of 5G networks and smartphones to impact the used market as smartphone owners begin to trade in their 4G smartphones for the promise of high-performing 5G devices.

Anthony Scarsella, research manager with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, says: “In contrast to the recent declines in the new smartphone market, as well as the forecast for minimal growth in new shipments over the next few years, the used market for smartphones shows no signs of slowing down across all parts of the globe. Refurbished and used devices continue to provide cost-effective alternatives to both consumers and businesses that are looking to save money when purchasing a smartphone. Moreover, the ability for vendors to push more affordable refurbished devices in markets in which they normally would not have a presence is helping these players grow their brand as well as their ecosystem of apps, services, and accessories.”

Worldwide Used Smartphone Shipments (shipments in millions of units)

2018 Market
2023 Market
North America39.022.2%87.226.2%17.4%
Rest of World136.877.8%245.773.8%12.4%

Source: IDC, Worldwide Used Smartphone Forecast, 2019–2023, Dec 2019.

Table Notes: Data is subject to change.
* Forecast projections.

Says Will Stofega, program director, Mobile Phones: “Although drivers such as regulatory compliance and environmental initiatives are still positively impacting the growth in the used market, the importance of cost-saving for new devices will continue to drive growth. Overall, we feel that the ability to use a previously owned device to fund the purchase of either a new or used device will play the most crucial role in the growth of the refurbished phone market. Trade-in combined with the increase in financing plans (EIP) will ultimately be the two main drivers of the refurbished phone market moving forward.”

According to IDC’s taxonomy, a refurbished smartphone is a device that has been used and disposed of at a collection point by its owner. Once the device has been examined and classified as suitable for refurbishment, it is sent off to a facility for reconditioning and is eventually sold via a secondary market channel. A refurbished smartphone is not a “hand me down” or gained as the result of a person-to-person sale or trade.

The IDC report, Worldwide Used Smartphone Forecast, 2019–2023 (Doc #US45726219), provides an overview and five-year forecast of the worldwide refurbished phone market and its expansion and growth by 2023. This study also provides a look at key players and the impact they will have on vendors, carriers, and consumers.

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Customers and ‘super apps’ will shape travel in 2020s



Customers will take far more control of their travel experience in the 2020s, according to a 2020 Trends report released this week by Travelport, a leading technology company serving the global travel industry.

Through independent research with thousands of global travellers – including 500 in South Africa – hundreds of travel professionals and interviews with leaders of some of the world’s biggest travel brands, Travelport uncovered the major forces that will become the technology enablers of travel over the next decade. These include:

Customers in control

Several trends highlight the finding that customers are moving towards self-service options, with 61% of the travellers surveyed in South Africa preferring to hear about travel disruption via digital communications, such as push notifications on an app, mobile chatbots, or instant messaging apps, rather than speaking with a person on the phone. This is especially important when it comes to young travellers under 25, seen as the future business traveler, and managing their high expectations through technology.

Mobile takeover

With the threat of super app domination, online travel agencies must disrupt or risk being disrupted. Contextual messaging across the journey will help. Super app tech giants like WeChat give their users a one-stop shop to communicate, shop online, book travel, bank, find a date, get food delivery, and pay for anything within a single, unified smartphone app. Travel brands that want to deliver holistic mobile customer experiences need to think about how they engage travellers within these super apps as well as in their own mobile channels.

Retail accelerated

In the next year, research shows, we will see an accelerated rate of change in the way travel is retailed and purchased online. This includes wider and more complex multi-content reach, more enriched and comparable offerings, more focus on relevance than magnitude, and an increase in automation that enables customer self-service.

“How customers engage with their travel experience – for instance by interacting with digital ‘bots’ and expecting offers better personalised to their needs – is changing rapidly,” says Adrian Roodt, country manager for Southern Africa at Travelport. “We in the travel industry need to understand and keep pace with these forces to make sure we’re continuing to make the experience of buying and managing travel continually better, for everyone.”

Read the full 2020 Trends report here: 2020 Trends hub.

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