In South Africa online shopping is forecasted to grow at 19%, with an estimated R18bn in sales projected for local sites and the majority of that growth coming from clothing sales*. Woolworths saw almost double this market growth in online sales at 34% increase, with four times the growth in Fashion, Beauty and Home online sales (at 77% increase) for the last financial year. Within this dynamic digital retail environment, mobile is experiencing the most significant growth. To leverage the dominance of mobile, Woolworths has recently launch in-app shopping on their integrated lifestyle app, making it the most comprehensive retail app in the country.
“Mobile is a crucial part of our digital strategy. More than 60% of the traffic to Woolworths.co.za comes from customers browsing on their mobile phones and over the last year alone we have seen 64% growth in mobile transactions. Our mobile phones enable us to interact with each other and with retailers directly. This means our customers want to be connected on-the-go and our Woolies App is designed to create a shopping community that is connected, with easy access to products and information,” says Liz Hillock, Woolworths Head of Online.
The Woolworths app is now the only fully integrated retail app in South Africa where customers can get daily inspiration for Food and Fashion, view their WRewards loyalty status, view and manage their Financial Services products (credit cards, store cards, personal loans), manage shopping lists, view in-store stock of the product they want and, of course, shop.
“Along with incredibly useful information at your fingertips, customers can also play with our new innovations, such as the ability to scan the barcode of products in your fridge or cupboard and add them to your online shopping cart. The check-out process has also been specifically designed for mobile which makes it super quick and easy,” adds Hillock.
Following the launch of its updated App on Android and iOS in 2016, Woolworths has seen an increase of 50% in app registrations year on year. The expectation is to grow this exponentially with the introduction of in-app shopping.
“The initial launch of in-app shopping has already exceeded our expectations from a sales perspective. We see mobile as the customer’s channel of choice and there is no doubt that mobile will lead the way towards an omni-channel retail experience,” adds Hillock.