Woolies sees double-digit ecommerce growth

Local retailer Woolworths says its shopping app has seen significant growth, garnering 1.6 million users, as more South Africans take to its online shopping channels.

The retailer’s online sales have grown exponentially over the past year, reaching double-digit growth across all its categories – accounting for 4.3% of its total monthly sales.

Woolworths says over the last three years, it invested more than R1 billion in its digital capabilities in SA, providing new and innovative experiences that meet evolving customer needs and differentiate its services in the market.

In its trading update released in March, the retailer said its online sales grew by 22.4%, contributing 13.7% to the group’s total turnover and concession sales for the 26 weeks ended 26 December 2021.

“Our fashion, beauty and home sales track the highest contribution to total online sales in South Africa, and in our foods category, we’re building on an incredibly strong base, having been one of the first retailers to launch foods online with the Woolies Dash (food app) being our fastest growing channel,” says Liz Hillock, head of online and mobile at Woolworths.

“Our Woolies app has market-leading app store ratings, and with over 1.6 million users, it is really becoming a fixture in our customers’ lives. Over 50% of our ecommerce sales emanate from the app, but it also drives a considerable number of in-store sales, as shoppers are inspired by daily content to find what they’re looking for at the nearest store.”

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, there has been a massive shift to online shopping, and local retailers have been ramping up their digital transformation plans.

A World Wide Worx study revealed SA’s ecommerce sales reached a tipping point in 2020, growing by 66% from 2018.

According to Hillock, Woolworths provides a full suite of online delivery options, from scheduled delivery for its entire range, to on-demand delivery for fresh food, to click and collect options available at its partner stores.

“We are making sure the customer experience across all three options is as seamless as possible. There is also extensive work being done in the ‘phygital’ space, where we are using both existing and emerging technologies to allow an in-store shopper to augment their browse with online functionality,” she adds.

Last week, the retailer announced it is ramping up its social commerce strategy, to enable shoppers to make purchases via Instagram and TikTok.

In October last year, the retailer announced it was on the hunt for talent to help it build new digital services. The company wanted to recruit more than 100 specialists to take its digital strategy forward.

Republished with permission from ITWeb Limited
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