The roll-out of fibre optics across South Africa will come with direct benefits including increased internet speed, connectivity enhancement and generally improved reliability overall. But this drastically enhanced internet will have even further reaching impacts on the economy, and the retail market in particular. Here are a few ways fibre optics are changing the retail landscape.
1. Marketing techniques
The world of advertising and marketing has completely revolutionised with increased internet activity and online shopping. Web analytics allow retailers to literally track every move customers make and formulate targeted marketing initiatives for the individual. Everything from what a customer browses to the delay between selecting and paying are all carefully calculated. For businesses, this means more effective communication with the customer and the accessibility of consumer goods – just a click away – makes impulse purchasing much more likely.
2. Rise in online retail
There is a big emergence of solely online retail stores but the brick-and-mortar companies aren’t missing the boat either. Customers can now shop at their favourite store from the convenience of their own homes.
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3. Enhanced online security
This improved internet use and increase in monetary transactions is prompting widescale hacking and cybercrimes. This, in turn, has driven the cyber-security industry and online security is becoming as commonplace as locking the front door.
4. Emergence of crypto currency
The news has been awash with the dominance of leading crypto currency, Bitcoin, which has emerged following the rise in internet transactions. There is speculation as to whether the crypto currency bubble will deflate or whether it will continue its meteoric rise – either way, its existence itself is a result of enhanced internet connectivity and retail demand.
5. There’s an app for that
Mobile internet use has led to the emergence of apps and these extremely user-friendly online portals are perfect for the retail sphere. Where before people were opting for one bulk shop at a store once every so often, people are now shopping sporadically, as and when specials appear.
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6. Customers know best
High-speed internet allows for quick research into a range of products so before, where a customer would enter a shop and rely solely on the word of the salesperson, today’s customer may have more knowledge than the person selling the item. This should prompt a more dynamic approach to staff training and is driving more customers to online forums.
7. Social word-of-mouth
Part of the reason for the above-mentioned ‘customer knows best’ is the creation of online forums, product and service ratings and general digital discussion which have supersized the ‘word-of-mouth’ marketing technique. The first thing a consumer does before investing in a product is to check the online reviews so companies are working harder to keep their online reputation squeaky clean.
The rise of fibre optics is driving more and more businesses to the online platform and companies need to be ahead of the game or risk losing valuable customers. Clever marketing techniques, user-accessibility and specials will go a long way in gaining new customers as internet use increases.
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ECN is a leading telecommunications and business fibre partner in South Africa. ECN offers a broad set of cost effective voice, data and hosted services to meet our customers ever growing technological needs. Our market leading Fibre for business provides our customers with the option of replacing their existing voice service provider to substantially reduce their monthly telecommunications bill. Contact ECN today for leading telecommunications solutions.