Stitch Chief Operations Officer Andrew Ma details the various trends underpinning the growing South African e-commerce industry and how...
Stitch Chief Operations Officer Andrew Ma details the various trends underpinning the growing South African e-commerce industry and how Stitch LinkPay can enable seamless payment solutions from pay-ins at checkout as well as refunds to online stores of all sizes.
The way South Africans shop online has changed, and so have their expectations. The payments experience is a significant factor when consumers consider which online store to shop at, with 85% of surveyed consumers indicating that an effective checkout, and returns and refund process, play a crucial role in this decision.
Revenue in the e-commerce market is projected to reach R150 billion by the end of 2022, growing by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.81% on average from 2019 to 2025, resulting in a projected market volume of R242 billion in 2025.
For businesses looking to stake a claim in the fast-growing South African e-commerce space, payments innovation and access to actionable data and insights that empower consumer-centric decisions are critical. To remain competitive, merchants need to prioritise integrating payments infrastructure and methods tailored to their business models and the needs of their consumers.
Since the pandemic, South African consumers have become increasingly accustomed to online shopping and interacting with digital payment interfaces. A 2021 Deloitte report on Digital Commerce Acceleration in South Africa paints a promising picture for online retailers. Two out of three consumers indicate they plan to increase their online shopping in the coming years.
Here are some key considerations retailers looking to take advantage of this opportunity should keep in mind.
Typically, South African consumers choose an online store based on three main factors:
It’s no surprise that their primary concerns are centred around poor data and payment security, high delivery fees and cumbersome returns. The ability to instil trust and offer hassle-free payment experiences at the right price has immense potential to foster customer loyalty and attract new, returning consumers.
Additionally, two-thirds of respondents look for a cart function that remembers them when they return, highlighting the value of returning user experiences – such as one-click payments – that mitigate the need for shoppers to re-enter personal and payment information. When it comes to how they choose to pay, the majority of respondents indicated that EFT is their preferred payment method.
Consumers desire a seamless experience throughout their shopping journey, characterised not only by smooth checkout but also the ability to make easy returns and receive refunds as quickly as possible. Investing in a solution that boasts intuitive interfaces, with the ability to accurately dissect invaluable consumer data and insights to tailor experiences, can significantly enhance differentiation in a crowded marketplace.
With the protection of personal and financial data ranking as another fundamental concern across demographics, it’s equally as important for e-commerce stores to choose payment providers that prioritise digital security as much as quality user experiences.
Once a merchant decides to implement additional digital payment methods that meet the needs and demands of their customers, they may face challenges with many existing options. Card payments, for example, are more prone to fraud and chargebacks and eat away at retailers’ bottom lines due to higher fees.
Many e-commerce merchants are losing upwards of 11% of their annual revenue in chargebacks and other costs of payments in and out of their business. This is further exacerbated by additional charges due to fraud. “Gross losses due to fraud committed on […] debit cards amounted to R520.5 million in South Africa in 2020 – an increase of 26.5% compared to 2019.”
Many alternative payment methods offered by more contemporary South African payment providers are often heavily branded, which can impact the merchant’s brand and trust among end-users.
They also tend to be expensive and difficult to seamlessly implement into an existing checkout flow. For businesses looking to manage their own bank integrations, the process remains time-consuming and resource-intensive, simultaneously offering little access to real-time insights that businesses need to innovate and stay competitive.
Stitch enables e-commerce stores to build their own natively branded one-click checkouts.
Using instant bank transfers that are just as convenient as card, but at a fraction of the cost for the merchant, Stitch boasts a 95% conversion rate for returning users. By linking their bank account securely to retailers’ own customer logins, returning customers are able to pay in a single click anywhere on an e-commerce site, mitigating the need to redirect to a clunky checkout page.
Merchants that switched to Stitch LinkPay from other providers saw upwards of a 20% higher conversion rate thanks to the seamless user experience. Here’s how the Stitch API can make a difference for e-commerce businesses looking to scale quickly:
After linking, customers can use their bank account to pay once logged into your online shop. The ability to facilitate a payment anywhere on an e-commerce site – for example, on a product description page – allows the user to remain in the shopping environment and removes barriers to making the payment, giving that retailer a competitive advantage.
Stitch payment solutions are 30% cheaper than card and alternative EFT providers, and eliminate the risk of chargebacks associated with card payments.
The Stitch flow comes white labelled and can be customised to your brand environment, empowering retailers to keep their brands at the forefront, so they can maintain a consistent customer experience, and build trust and brand loyalty.
The ability to delight customers by remembering their personal and financial details so they don’t need to log in every time they make a payment, thus reducing the time it takes to make a payment, significantly improves conversion. Returning users convert at 95% with Stitch, vs the average of 40-60%. What’s more, a single payment takes seconds to complete.
Seamlessly automate refunds and payouts to vendors, suppliers and customers, and get instant payment notifications that reduce the burden of administration and engineering efforts.
Unlike card, LinkPay comes with built-in security against fraud. The ability to retrieve a customer’s name and account data when paying to verify their identity drastically reduces the risk of fraud and failed payments on the merchant side. For consumers, the stringent personal and financial data security practices involved in tokenising an account mean they don’t have to worry about the safety of their information or the potential for their card details to be stolen.
Leveraging consumer transactional data presents a variety of key opportunities to treat customers to a personalised online shopping experience, with tailored rewards and loyalty programmes based on their habits and preferences, whether on your platform or across their other spend categories.
The Stitch team of payment and design experts is available to help businesses get the most out of their Stitch integration. By gaining a deep understanding of their specific business needs and objectives, as well as their platforms, we offer white-glove support in the form of personalised UI/UX recommendations and technical integration assistance, every step of the way to ensure you see success.
Want to increase conversions and give your customers a better, more intuitive and safer way to pay? Get in touch with our team at firstname.lastname@example.org or access test credentials via our self-serve platform.