Digital transformation has become a familiar term over the last few years as more businesses embrace digital solutions, technological advancements, and the benefits of taking businesses online. With Black Friday and festive season shopping almost upon us, Standard Bank’s innovative SimplyBlu offering provides the solution for small businesses to make the most of upcoming sales and boost their business.
Creating a digital presence and access to online customers
Standard Bank’s eCommerce-in-a-box solution – SimplyBlu – offers everything small businesses need to operate smoothly and efficiently online. As businesses adjust to new customer demands after months of pandemic-related lockdowns, a sustainable, cost-friendly, and future-forward business solution has never been more critical.
SimplyBlu includes no-code website building features, allowing business owners to customize their online store with built-in themes and templates, as well as e-Invoicing services, and various online payment options powered by MasterCard Payment Gateway Services.
As a bonus, SimplyBlu is offering free Google Ads to the value of R500 for first-time signups. This will help businesses establish a presence on Google to attract more customers, generate leads, and drive traffic to their online stores.
“Businesses are definitely realizing the benefits of operating online,” says Head of Card and Payments at Standard Bank South Africa, Nelisa Zulu. “During the COVID-19 period, our SimplyBlu platform has seen over 100% growth, with one of our customers – fashion designer Candy Smith – making more than seven times her initial daily sales after just three months on the platform. Even as lockdown restrictions ease, it’s crucial for companies to keep innovating and adapting to the new world of business. SimplyBlu allows them to do just that – all on one safe, secure platform.”
South Africa’s eCommerce boom
In a recent report, global business data platform Statista projected that the South African eCommerce market will reach over $5 million in revenue by the end of 2021. And that by 2025, there will be over 33 million eCommerce users in the country.
“It’s essential for businesses to be able to tap into this growing market and reach online customers on their preferred shopping platforms. Brick and mortar stores still have their place, but by giving customers the option to do business with you online, you’re increasing your chances of thriving in today’s increasingly digital economy,” adds Zulu. “Standard Bank is committed to breaking down the barriers to the online entry for small businesses so that every SME has the opportunity to grow and prosper after nearly two years of pandemic-related challenges.”
While consumers have also faced financial strain, this doesn’t seem to have diminished their appetite for eCommerce. Last year’s Black Friday results saw a 60% increase in online transactions, with local payment processing service PayFast reporting a 283% increase in total payment volumes that day, compared to normal peak shopping days, such as payday at the end of the month.
As lockdown restrictions ease and consumers start planning their festive-season gifts, increased economic activity can be expected in the coming months. By signing up on the Standard Bank SimplyBlu platform, businesses can be prepared for the potential sales boost to make it a truly prosperous time.