Cyber fraud remains one of the biggest challenges discouraging customers from shopping online. That’s the message from delegates attending the Digital Retail Africa 2023 conference held in Johannesburg on Thursday.
Retailers have been urged to utilise E-commerce efficiently to help attract more customers and increase revenue.
E-commerce is gaining momentum in South Africa, especially since the Covid-19 pandemic when many businesses were forced to transact online. And it’s estimated that by the year 2025, nearly half of all retail transactions in South Africa will take place on the internet.
Experts have called on companies to provide good customer service and monitor their E-commerce transactions to ensure efficiency. According to the Consumer Goods and Services Ombud, E-commerce complaints have increased by 300 % in the last year.
“When it comes to trust, we need to build this at a customer level and E-Commerce allows you to get a lot of data from those consumers but you also have to treat that data securely, you have to provide a service and with the growth of E-Commerce there will always be people trying to commit fraud and government has to support the ombudsman,” says Cisco South Africa’s Brendan Cuthbertson.
Experts say retailers have to ensure that their online shopping sites are secured for customers to transact.
“Someone can steal your identity and that is where fraud takes place, we are to ensure that everyone who transacts on the internet is protected and secure,” says MD of Impression, Carrie Peter.
E-Commerce is expected to enhance trade on the continent. But only about 50% of consumers in Africa have access to the internet. A lack of infrastructure and exchange rate challenges are also hampering E-Commerce growth on the continent.
“If I want to sell something from here to Zimbabwe or in pounds, that money gets delayed and e-commerce is meant to be quick,” says the CEO of E-commerce Forum South Africa, Alastair Tempest.
Delegates agree that E-Commerce can help businesses to access a broader customer base. But they have urged these companies to consistently monitor customer transactions and complaints online, in order to improve customer service.
VIDEO: Cyber fraud still major problem for online shoppers