There is no doubt. The year 2020 was a tough year for most businesses. South African businesses, in particular, felt the impact of an extended nationwide lockdown. However, there were many businesses that took the opportunity to invest in their digital initiatives and subsequently experienced immense growth. This article is about sharing digital success stories with you so that you, too, can be inspired to thrive in 2021.
Flicker Leap has always strived to digitally mobilise our clients. Here are some examples of how we were able to assist some of our clients to achieve a measure of digital success in 2020 – from the obvious move to selling online to simply digitising business processes. Although we do not mention client names, we do mention the type of business to provide an idea of the industry they operate in.
South African digital success stories from 2020
Online store (non-essential items)
One of our long-standing clients runs an online store selling non-essential items. The store has been running successfully for a few years before the pandemic hit, but due to the lockdown, they were unable to ship any product purchases until the lockdown was eased on 16 April 2020. We had a look at the 4.5 months South Africa was in ‘Level 4’ lockdown (where shipping of non-essential items was allowed). Compared with the same period from the previous year and the results were astounding!
*May 2020 – when online shopping was allowed
The increase in users was across all ages, even in the 55-64 and 65+ category, who are traditionally more reluctant to shop online.
So did all this increased traffic cost them more money?
The short answer is yes, they did spend more money on digital advertising (Google Ads), as they saw the opportunity for exponential growth. The strategy paid off. Only about 10% more traffic was acquired from actual ads, but they enjoyed drastically increased traffic from organic, social, referral and direct traffic too.
Throughout the history of their ecommerce platform, we have continued to follow an agile approach. We make iterative changes and site performance updates, always striving to evolve the site into the most user-friendly and SEO-friendly version of itself.
We have helped manage the increased load on the site and continuously improve page load speed, which is key in maintaining online shoppers. This is especially true for Black Friday and Cyber Monday when the site experiences a massive increase in traffic and online purchases. Flicker Leap has also assisted the client by building out integration with their warehouse management software/ERP, which helps them successfully manage stock, pricing and audits.
The challenge for this store has been to effectively and efficiently manage stock and pricing, so we assisted in building a system that communicates between the global brand’s ERP (enterprise resource planning) and the brand’s website. There is now a unified place to manage and monitor stock and pricing. This stock and pricing synchronisation service has helped solve many past issues of overselling stock and pricing irregularities. The system now updates faster, thereby saving time and reducing costs for the client.
Online store (non-essential items)
Another of our ecommerce clients saw unprecedented (word of the year for 2020) growth in the number of users visiting their store during 2020. They started running Google Ads for a period to ensure they were able to capitalise on searches for their products.
16 April 2020 to 31 August 2020 compared to 16 April 2019 to 31 August 2019
Security services provider
Another long-term client of ours is a leading security services provider. As part of their business involves access control to buildings, homes and security estates, they needed to relook how data is captured. Flicker Leap assisted in digitising sign-in forms for visitors and daily symptom checks for security guards who are on-site at various clients, driving security vehicles and other non-office-based tasks. With admin staff at home, leave forms, contracts and other day-to-day operational paperwork were all made digital. These changes have inevitably improved operating efficiency and provide the company with all the data required under new COVID-19 regulations in easy-to-read spreadsheets.
NEW online stores
If you want to hear about some digital success stories then look no further than all the online stores that either sprung up or exploded last year. It’s a no-brainer that many businesses had to look at selling their products online as the global pandemic threatened traditional sales channels. The South African ecommerce industry certainly saw an increase in 2020. The Flicker Leap team assisted businesses with traditional sales models to add an ecommerce channel as a means to sell their products. While South Africans stayed away from shopping centres, even when non-essential retailers were again open, online stores continued to thrive.
Other digital success stories
There is no question about it – the world has gone digital. Virtual events and webinars are now fundamental for businesses to stay connected with their customers. It was exciting for the Flicker Leap team to assist our existing clients to get digital. We assisted with webinars, online church services, digital membership courses, click-and-collect delivery functionality and more. 2020 was a digital revolution for South African businesses big and small.
These are just a handful of digital success stories of how our clients actually thrived and progressed in 2020, despite the tough circumstances. Our team would love to help you navigate the digital landscape – why not get in touch with us to set up a virtual meeting with us to chat about your digital business needs?