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In just two years, hybrid shopping has become the primary buying method for South African consumers, with both online and in-store shopping holding sway. While online shopping numbers were high during the pandemic, traditional brick-and-mortar stores are still preferred by many shoppers due to their preferences and concerns over the effectiveness of online shopping.
According to research by IBM, 27% of consumers and a whopping 36% of Generation Z prefer hybrid shopping, while Vodafone’s studies found that 75% of businesses state that customers expect to interact with brands anytime, anywhere, via digital services.
Click-and-collect shopping is a major part of the hybrid model and continues to grow post-pandemic. Many shoppers prefer it as it offers multiple channels to get what they want with the least amount of hassle. Shoppers can simply collect what they’ve ordered online when they nip out to the store for groceries.
In South Africa, click-and-collect specialist Pargo has over 3 000 pickup points where shoppers can collect or return their parcels. Most of these are located at big-brand retail chains like Clicks, TFG stores, Sportscene and Totalsports.
Pargo CEO and co-founder Lars Veul states that offering a variety of delivery options, like click-and-collect, home delivery and returns, is now the minimum to make shoppers’ lives easier.
“That’s why hybrid shopping has become what it has – convenience. Even if you’re in a township area or places couriers find difficult getting to, there’s a pickup point nearby so you can simply collect your order when you go out to top up on bread and milk,” says Veul.
Click-and-collect also appeals to shoppers due to its cost-effectiveness, as Pargo, for example, offers a flat rate for deliveries and returns anywhere in the country, while costs are also brought down through consolidated deliveries.
Meanwhile, experts say hybrid shopping has become a game-changer in the retail industry in South Africa. With the rise of online shopping during the pandemic, retailers have had to adjust their strategies to meet the changing needs of their customers.
The convenience of being able to shop online and pick up in-store has become a popular option for shoppers, particularly with the widespread availability of click-and-collect services.
The data shows that consumers want multiple channels to get what they want with the least amount of hassle. As we move further into the hybrid age, retailers who fail to offer this kind of multiplicity and cost-effectiveness may find themselves left behind.