South Africa’s e-commerce sector experienced a boom under Lockdown, highlighting some important issues for technology resellers. From Takealot to Superbalist to Exclusive Books, consumers have become used to the advantages of shopping online. They are now demanding the same transaction experience from business-to-business resellers.

How do we do that as an industry? It begins by acknowledging that it’s critical to have a deep understanding of the end-user. Because if we don’t understand what their needs and requirements are, we are unable to meet them.

A recent webinar hosted by Tarsus Technology Group (TTG) and titled ‘Unprecedented Precedents’ got me thinking about the world’s most innovative companies and how their strategies can be applied in other businesses.

 Walmart, for example, is one of the largest businesses in the world but is also a nimble organisation that tests and implements new ideas all the time, every one of them aimed at improving customer experience. The company saw significant growth after it started offering next-day delivery for more than 200 000 items on its website. Changing just one small thing resulted in profit growth.

We used to describe digital technology as the future; the reality is that it’s here now. Businesses that want to make the shift to the new way of doing things have to embrace digital transformation to survive.

In the reseller space, to deliver on customers’ expectations, resellers will have to embrace e-commerce and take their businesses online. COVID-19 has shown us that being fast, lean, and tech-savvy are the qualities required for resilience in difficult times. It’s about having the flexibility to adapt quickly.

Value add is also becoming an increasingly important element in customer decision making. Technology resellers are likely to find that they will need to enhance their core product range by adding services and partnering with businesses that can enrich their product offering, like logistics companies, for example. These types of collaboration have enabled the innovation that is setting the likes of FNB and Discovery apart from their competitors.

The iPhone is perhaps the most famous example. When smartphones went mainstream, they created billion-dollar corporations, rearranged existing industries and changed the world – all because of the multiple services offered on top of the ability to make a call.

With Amazon looking to expand into African markets, there has never been a better time to focus on innovation. Technology providers need to develop customer value through solutions that meet new, or even unarticulated needs in unique ways.

[Photo by Snowing on Freepik]