• Engaging with effective governance

      Giving South African municipalities access to the tools and technologies it needs to thrive, was the driving force behind BCX SOLAR. Giving South African municipalities access to the tools and technologies it needs to thrive, was the driving force behind BCX SOLAR.

      Mining Sector

      Increase productivity & build a culture of innovation

      Financial Sector

      Meet the challenges of disruption & cyber security

      Healthcare Sector

      Empower your patients & leverage data by deploying customised solutions

      Retail Sector

      Embrace the changing retail landscape & know your customer

      Government Sector

      Use digital transformation to grow the economy & build capacity

      Industries Overview >

    • Cloud
      Reimagine success

      Accelerate your business ambitions with cloud computing solutions from BCX.

      Digital Innovation Awards

      BCX Digital Innovation Awards


      Computing for today & the future

      Digital Transformation

      Intelligent systems upgrading


      Data that works for you


      Tools to streamline operations


      Strategies for efficient ICT
      Healthcare Solutions

      Healthcare Solutions

      Applications for healthcare
      BCX ERP Solutions

      SOLAR ERP Solutions

      Connect, integrate, and optimise


      Protection for your critical systems


      Processes & network foundations


      Connections within & without


      Partnerships moving business forward
      BCX HR and Payroll

      HR and Payroll Solutions

      Everything to manage people & payroll

      Solutions Overview >

    • Our Offices
      BCX Head Office
      1021 Lenchen Avenue North
      Centurion, Gauteng
      South Africa









      United Kingdom

      Our Global Footprint Overview >

    • Speak To An Expert
      We'll need just a few details from you, and one of our specialists will be in touch as soon as possible.

      Employee Entrance:

      1021 Lenchen Avenue North
      South Africa

      Visitors Entrance:

      1266 South Road
      South Africa
Home > Adapting to a new World

Adapting to a new World

14 April, 2021
Leveraging emerging technologies to get ahead in a changing retail ecosystem.

The current retail landscape in South Africa differs from global trends in a few important ways. Most notably, where retailers worldwide are moving towards omni-channel offerings, things are evolving differently back home. Marketing Intelligence research indicates that South African consumers still depend very much on brick and mortar outlets. Despite this, African countries across the continent remain ahead as early adopters of mobile technologies. Everything from tap-to-pay technologies to quick mobile money transfers have become every-day in this part of the world. This intersection of “old-meets-new” presents interesting opportunities and challenges.

The current pressure on South Africa’s economy is felt most keenly by retailers. Prices can only be adjusted so far, and many consumers are focusing more on essentials. Those in the luxury products or services industries are feeling the brunt of this recession. However, an interesting trend that emerges in times like this is the “Lipstick effect.”

“The Lipstick Effect is the theory that when facing an economic crisis, consumers will be more willing to buy less costly luxury goods. For example, instead of buying expensive fur coats, women will instead purchase expensive lipstick or luxury cologne” The intelligent Economist

What this means is that, although consumers are more careful about the non-essentials that they buy, they do still spend on smaller, less expensive luxuries. This may serve as an opportunity of retailers to find unique, affordable ways to surface their products and services.

How can we use emerging technologies to mitigate this changing landscape?

The very first step is to look at the shape of the current purchasing process. In many respects, speed and efficiency in the shopping journey have surpassed lower prices as value propositions. In individual outlets, this may simply mean an upgrade of the current point-of-sales system to accommodate tap-to-pay. It may also mean bringing in spatial planners to improve and speed-up the in-shopping journey. Loyalty programs and customer relationship management systems are also emerging as an excellent way to add value to consumers.
Research has indicated that sustainability and ethical corporate processes have become a a very real drawing card for consumers.

This means that although your business may not lend itself to an omni- channel retail experience, the online landscape has greater PR and branding potential than ever before; viz. Showcasing social responsibility activities in local settings, highlighting your company values and shining a light on the businesses you source from.

For retailers who have the potential or opportunity to establish online ordering, purchasing or delivery channels, the time is now. This does not necessarily mean a full online solution. If we look at the way companies like NetFlorist have adapted to changing demand (increasing food options when alcohol sales were temporarily banned,) there are a variety of ways to get started. Focusing on specific products or offerings as a starting point and branching from there also gives retailers the opportunity to test and refine the online journey and the logistical processes behind it. With the monumental up-take of e-commerce during the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a large amount of data drawn from countless case-studies to draw from.

Payment options are an additional entry point that can be explored in greater detail. With a bourgeoning variety of digital and mobile-based platforms becoming available, it is important for retailers to keep a close eye on where the market is going. QR code platforms present a good opportunity for lower purchases and there are movements in the Fintech industry towards WhatsApp-based money transfers. If the adoption is as fast in South Africa as it has been on the rest of the continent, retailers should take notice.

The real watch-word for retailers in South Africa at this point in history, is start anywhere, but get started.



 We'll just need a few details from you, and one of our specialists will be in touch.

Please read our Privacy Statement & Consent Clause to understand what happens to your personal information.