Nedbank‘s Avo digital shopping platform will bring the long-established concept of a digital mall to one of the last holdouts: Sandton City, long a crown jewel of South African retail.
Nedbank described the new initiative as “an immersive mall experience all in the palm of your hand”. The difference between this and most online stores is that users can make a range of purchases from different stores, remotely, and collecting their products from a single, secure location.
“We aspire to enable our app users to do life differently,” says Vishal Maharaj, founding member of Avo. “The concept of a digital mall is broad and includes everything from gaming, clothing and groceries to tech, gadgets and home décor.
“We have onboarded more than 30 stores to date, and more are on the way, ensuring they are live on the platform for customers to start shopping. Avo is also open to any individual or business that would like to use the platform whether or not they are Nedbank clients.”
The digital mall is the first luxury shopping experience across multiple stores in Africa. Avo’s Click and Collect lounge feature lets users shop items from multiple stores in Sandton City, pay for goods on the app, and gives them the choice between home delivery or collection from Avo lounge lockers at Sandton City.
The Avo “super app” was first launched in June 2020, offering Nedbank customers and broader South African consumers access to online shopping, essential services and financial products on a single platform.
Using a platform ecosystem, Nedbank configured the digital solution to deliver comprehensive value propositions and personally-tailored experiences.
Nedbank’s move to become a digital-first financial services provider led to the successful launch of the Nedbank API_Marketplace, which it says is a first-in-Africa platform aligned to open banking standards. The bank says it creates opportunities to disrupt the traditional approach to banking and financial services while laying the groundwork for a client-centred, market-oriented and innovation-driven future in the digital world.
“The Avo super app was created to bring customers and businesses together, accurately matching customers’ lifestyle needs to product and service offerings through powerful artificial intelligence, safe and secure mobile payments, and bank-grade security.”
The term ‘super app’ refers to a large number of apps aggregated into one. This means that customers and businesses can manage their daily lives through one app, breaking through the digital clutter on mobile devices.
“Over the last few months, we have seen huge growth on our digital platform, and we are fast approaching the milestone of 200 000 downloads,” says Maharaj. “Avo is also increasingly attracting a significant number of merchants. ‘For individual users, we have introduced a get-it-on-credit’ option, underpinned by Nedbank Personal Loans, setting new standards in terms of record-breaking discounts and bundled prizes of the best in tech and the biggest brands.”
Key features of the Avo app for individual users, as outlined by Nedbank, include:
- Online groceries and food – Shop groceries, liquor, healthcare and more from leading retailers with convenient, free home deliveries.
- Professional home services – The app currently has over 20 000 verified service providers, from home repair to party supplies, with more being added.
- Digital home entertainment – Users can access a number of home entertainment options, including Showmax, Tidal and Deezer, as well as a range of gaming vouchers.
- Airtime, data and electricity – Users can easily top up and purchase airtime, data and electricity bundles.
- Avo points – The app has a built-in rewards system and users can earn 1% cash back in Avo Points on every purchase made on the platform.
- Holiday bargains – Users can stretch their budgets further through Avo’s local travel package deals.
- Business listing – Businesses can list for free on the Avo Business app. This lets them reach more potential customers. They can communicate easily, and send quotations and receive payments safely in-app.
- Lending – Users can get instant loans from R2,000 to help pay for goods when shopping on Avo. Users can also apply for personal, car and home loans.