Three consumer trends shaping the packaging and printing market in 2019

 

Trend #1: Smarter choices with existing packaging options

“In 2018 we experienced unprecedented fuel hikes, a technical recession as well as a VAT hike. These costs are being passed onto the consumer as goods and products become more expensive, and the cost of living escalates. Yet, at the same time, consumers are demanding more from packaging, such as more sustainable and waste reduction options,” says Stewart.

A study conducted in 2018 by EcoFocus Worldwide found that grocery shoppers in 2018 have greater expectations of packaging than ever before – especially when it relates to healthy food and beverages. Consumers were demanding not only clean labels and food products, but also clean packaging.

Stewart says that while consumer concerns regarding reducing waste may drive new opportunities in the packaging space, many sustainable and waste reducing packaging alternatives are still in infant stages in South Africa; while those that do exist are more expensive to produce. The bulk of these costs are passed back to the consumer in the form of higher priced goods. This presents a catch-22 for consumers who are both cost-conscious and want their packaging to align to their environmentally-aware lifestyles.

“Consumers will need to make smarter choices when it comes to packaging. Take the plastic bag for example. Research by the Environmental Policy Research Unit at the University of Cape Town suggests that South Africans use about eight billion plastic bags annually. This means that plastic won’t be disappearing anytime soon,” says Stewart.

A smarter choice could be to use a 100% recyclable plastic bag.

ITB Plastics, a division of Novus Holdings, has produced a 100% recyclable LLD plastic bag that is also washable. This bag is made with recycled material; is thicker than an ordinary plastic grocery bag (a sturdier product with added strength – robust for carrying up to 20 kg) and; it can be used up to 200 times (before being handed in for responsible recycling). It can also carry frozen and wet products without disintegrating. It is also cheaper than cloth bags.

“It is up to us to use plastic bags responsibly rather than discarding it where it will end up as pollution. Using a plastic bag as a bin liner is one way that will allow it to enter the waste stream, where it is easily retrieved by recyclers.”

Trend #2: Convenience drives the need for more flexible packaging

According to research by consulting firm Deloitte, the global flexible packaging market is expected to grow by 5,2% annually through 2022 due to the very many benefits that this packaging offers such as aesthetic appeal, longer shelf life, lower weight and ease of use. This finding is echoed by LEK Consulting, a global management firm that in 2018 surveyed 200-plus brand managers who identified the increased need for flexible packaging.

“Consumers continue to have a great need for convenience solutions that can also guarantee the freshness of products, which is driving the growing trend for flexible packaging such as pouches and bags,” says Stewart.

Trend #3: More designer, personalised packaging and printing

Stewart says that more and more consumers are looking for personalised, bespoke options when it comes to labels, packaging and printed material.

“The trend toward mass personalisation is being driven by the advent of targeted online content, putting consumers in the driver’s seat. Consumers want something unique to them. Social media, the advent of digital content and how users interact with it have changed the type of experiences that people want.”

At the end of 2019 Novus Holdings launched a limited edition, bespoke gift wrap conceptualised by SA musician Jimmy Nevis to capitalise on the trend of consumers’ need for unique goods.

“In addition, we have seen that the humble label is being used as an extension of companies’ marketing efforts. Personalised labelling – the trend that sees brand owners and consumers personalise a label with a message or an image – will continue to gain traction in 2019,” concludes Stewart.

About Novus Holdings:

Previously known as the Paarl Media Group, Novus Holdings Limited services South Africa and the African continent through its print production of all short to long run requirements of educational materials, magazines, retail inserts, catalogues, books, newspapers, commercial work, as well as security and digital printing.

Novus Holdings is committed to making a sustainable difference in the communities in which it operates, as well as driving skills development and transformation within the industry.

 

 

 

 

Extend your retail reach with Outdoor

Extend your retail reach with Outdoor

Innovative, practical and effective solutions to business approaches are essential elements in today’s retail environment. In November Shopping & Retail SA had the privilege to meet with a highly successful team in the outdoor advertising arena – and whilst sitting in the boardroom with this team the excitement and enthusiasm in the room was tangible. This is their story:

The innovative directors of SB Outdoor: brothers Daniel, Mendy and Chaim Sarchi

The primary key throughout outdoor retail advertising is: a) effective reach to the target demographic; and b) the ability to communicate effectively with your customer. Truly a science comprising many facets.” – Chaim Sarchi

Focused on one such communication field within the outdoor discipline is a family business which was established five years ago by three very dynamic and enthusiastic brothers. This company has grown rapidly from strength to strength and is now a respected and preferred supplier by media agencies in this segment, to some of the largest local and international brands.

We are of course speaking of SB Outdoor – fuelled, driven and enthused by brothers Mendy, Chaim and Daniel Sarchi.

[During our discussion it was absolutely enthralling to watch this team bounce the ball around the room, each picking up where the other left off – an amazing display of unity, ESP and like-thinking as I have never before experienced. What a cool and together young management team – Ed.]

Outdoor gives advertisers unprecedented control

over how and where their ad is seen

From humble beginnings

Back in 2012 on a visit to their alma mater in Johannesburg, Mendy & Chaim Sarchi noticed that the school sign was looking somewhat ropey. He and his brothers, who were all working at the time, undertook to have a new sign designed and manufactured.

And the rest is history…

The school sign was duly replaced and the resounding success of this first initiative was such that it spurred the trio on to explore other opportunities in outdoor advertising and communication. And so it began. Working from their kitchen at home these entrepreneurial brothers then actively sought out landlords, new shopping malls and retail property owners, offering a range of outdoor advertising options and innovative billboard solutions.

This range of solutions soon became the company’s main focus and hallmark, and was exactly what landlords, property owners and retailers alike were looking for – innovative ideas and professional service.

SB Outdoor honed in even more by concentrating specifically on billboards. And then the business really took off.

Mendy: Unlike TV, radio or print, outdoor is media that cannot be turned off or put down. Viewers cannot fast forward through an outdoor ad as it moves through their environment or they enter the viewing range of strategically placed displays – like billboards. With TV, radio, print and the Internet, consumers have the ability to change the channel, fast forward, turn the page (or miss the page) or close the browser window.

Outdoor is possibly the last place where consumers do not control the ad space. This gives advertisers unprecedented control over how and where an ad is seen. Outdoor is GIVING advertisers more control over their ad space through its unprecedented offering of different media options. This at a time when other ad media are offering advertisers less control.

The company’s first biggish contracts in smaller retail billboards were soon followed steadily by higher visibility billboards on highways and in retail parking areas. Bigger brands across a number of sectors came into the fold, including restaurants, food brands, fast foods, financial service providers, car brands, cell phone service providers and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG).

The first products developed by SB Outdoor were cable-frame signs, which require little or no capital. Production was, and still is, outsourced to appropriate professionals, whereas systems management and ad rotation sequences – the core of the business – are all managed in-house.

Mendy: We really got traction once one of the bigger property groups came in

with rotational contracts of three months and longer. It was at this point we decided we needed to focus on traditional formats of billboards and building wraps – from highway billboards to billboards in shopping centres. Once that focus happened, and it continues to date, we now continue to secure restaurants, fast food and FMCG clients.

Our Billboards and high impact Building Wraps offer supreme diffusion in a variety of markets and are perfect for both established and growing brands

Daniel: Retail parking areas are high spend environments. People are arriving at a shopping centre to purchase goods – from groceries to big-ticket items. Parking areas are close to where the buying power is – the point of purchase. They are the ideal point to communicate the retail offering of suppliers within and to generate direct income for both the retailers and the property owner.

By advertising within these retail property environs we’re able to give retail landlords what they were looking for, and their retail clients booking with us in turn find the concept very attractive and effective – directly due to the fact that that is where the consumer buying decision is made – right there.

We work very closely with the landlords and see our relationship as a partnership which is built on open and transparent communication, including joint review of monthly revenue reports – and we only take on opportunities that are likely to offer high returns for the landlords and not just sign up and have vacant sites.

SB Outdoor media solutions range from airport mediums through to highway billboards, large building wraps and our media packages. The most popular package the company has developed is a standard format 3×6 meter billboard for the retail sector. It’s versatile, is very easily rotated between locations, is relatively simple to install, and is easy to maintain.

Chaim: We pride ourselves in this 3×6 meter format package. Our focus on this is what has made us a leader in outdoor advertising. The package that we offer our clients, property owners and tenants alike, includes moving these around (rotation) from site to site at two week intervals at no extra charge – for example from Sandton to Pretoria, to the West Rand and the East Rand. This regular rotation almost guarantees the landlord or property owner a fixed income off this structure in their centre; and the retail advertiser enjoys the high visibility and extended reach achieved through frequent rotation without having a high volume of bookings ‘everywhere’.

The success and demand for the 3×6 also enables us to keep the boards let at a high rate.

Daniel: In this short time frame of a few years our client base has grown to include many landlords and property owners from large listed companies to medium-sized and smaller businesses. We are there to meet their needs, advise on their requirements and arrive at a correct solution.

Our solutions hit the spot for both parties, property owner and advertiser – adding value all the time. We make sure that eyeballs are seeing our billboards right outside the shopping centre, with reach, with rotation, and with relevance – in areas that suit the required demographic. Shopping centres see the value of having good brands out there all the time, which in turn brings them good value. We need to get the eyeballs to see these boards – so it’s about marrying the two together… we aim to meet the needs of the landlord and we discuss most strategic positioning – which is why they choose SB Outdoor.

Research shows that static billboards on – for example – a highway route are less effective after two weeks. Rotation every two weeks is most effective, whereas after two weeks the reach “flat-lines” and loses effectiveness.

Geographic footprint

Presently operational in Gauteng and Bloemfontein, SB Outdoor is poised to expand into all regions of South Africa. With initial focus on Cape Town and Durban the company plans to roll out this working model to large and small shopping centres in these regions.

We have a very active sales team,” says Mendy. “And in line with our standard approach of running a lean operation we will work with local professionals in these areas, including print, production, manufacture and site maintenance.”

Daniel on technology and operations:

We will definitely be investing in digital billboards in the immediate future and have already begun negotiations in this regard. There are pros and cons to this technology and we expect to digitalise a few existing sites initially. One advantage is that digital screens anywhere in the country will be managed directly from this office.

With our core staff of nine here in Johannesburg we manage all aspects of sales procurement, site management and accounts. We run a tight ship using a sophisticated, efficient and fully automated operations solution in the office – and we never drop a call.

SB Outdoor is a premier out-of-home advertising company, specialising in billboard and large format communication. The company operates out of well-appointed yet conservative offices in Melrose, Johannesburg.

SB Outdoor’s mission is to provide the most advantageous locations and outdoor solutions which provide the greatest value and return on the client’s advertising investment.

The company takes pride in providing an exemplary level of service by meeting the needs of its clients and providing the most pertinent outdoor communication packages to suit their brand communication requirements and to best complement their vision.

For an assessment to generate additional revenue on your property call SB Outdoor on 011 268 1211 or 083 387 2661

Survey reveals the favourite brands in South African townships

Survey reveals the favourite brands in South African townships

The top brands in South Africa’s townships were revealed in a Daily Sun supplement on 16 May 2017.

Market research company, Ask Afrika, conducted a comprehensive nationwide survey with a sample that is representative of the township population comparing brand usage across 144 product categories and ranking 2 996 brands.

This year 36 Ask Afrika Kasi Star Brands and 59 potential Kasi Star Brands emerged from the study. Kasi Star Brands are woven into the fabric of vibrant South African townships.
The overall 2017/2018 Kasi Star Brands winner and favourite township brand is Coca Cola, with KFC in second place, Kiwi shoe polish third, Koo beans fourth and Mageu No 1 fifth. Coca Cola has been the top township brand for two years running.


Ask Afrika Kasi Star Brands are defined as brands that are used most loyally by South African township consumers. These brands encapsulate a common experience and Kasi consumers are committed to them. The Ask Afrika Kasi Star Brands benchmark is a powerful tool for brand owners to measure return on investment (ROI) in the township market.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 36 Ask Afrika Kasi Star Brands 2017/2018

Rank
Kasi Star Brands
Category Name
1
Coca Cola
Non-Alcoholic Cold Drinks: Colas And Other Fizzy Drinks
2
KFC
Fastfood Outlets
3
Kiwi
Shoe Polish
4
Koo (Beans)
Tinned Beans/Vegetables
5
Mageu No 1
Milk: Mageu/Maheu
6
Shoprite
Food Retail (Supermarket)
7
CTM
Tile Retail Stores
8
All Gold
Condiments And Sauces: Tomato Sauce
9
Lucky Star
Tinned Fish
10
Sta-Soft
Fabric Softners
11
Clover
Milk: Fresh
12
JC Le Roux
Wine Sparkling
13
Huletts (Sugar)
Sugar & Sweeteners
14
Dettol
Liquid Antiseptics
15
Black Cat
Spreads (Peanut Butter, Jam, Savoury and Sweet Spreads, Syrup, Honey)
16
McCain
Frozen Chips and Potato Products
17
Colgate
Toothpaste (Normal)
18
Knorrox
Stock Cubes
19
Dulux
Paint
20
Defy (Stove)
Stoves / Ovens / Hobs
21
Bostik
Adhesives
22
MTN
Telecommunications ( Cell Main Network Provider )
23
Bull Brand
Tinned Meat
24
Gillette
Razors (Male)
25
Huggies
Nappies
26
BP (Express)
Garage Convenience Shops
27
Fatti’s and Moni’s
Pasta
28
Frisco
Hot Drinks: Instant Coffee
29
Colgate
Toothbrushes: Manual
30
Always (Pads/Towels)
Female Sanitary Products
31
Avon
Eye Make-Up
32
Doom
Insecticides / Insect Repellents
33
Elastoplast
Medicine: Sticking Plaster
34
Ultra Mel
Custard
35
Tastic
Rice (Rice And Couscous)
36
Rama
Margarine / Butter

Methodology
Three criteria were used to define a Kasi consumer in 2017/2018: he or she has to live in a South African township, fall into the socio-economic level (SEL) 3-5 and not have a post-graduate qualification.

This is aligned with Sandeep Mahajan’s definition of a “regular township resident” and excludes the more affluent consumers that make townships their homes. All nine provinces were included in the sample of 4,403 Kasi consumers interviewed, representing the view of 9.3 million Kasi consumers across South Africa. The results were independently audited by BDO and Dr Arianne Neethling and verified by township market expert, GG Alcock.
What drives brand loyalty in the Kasi?
Nothing for mahala, siyazama zama (nothing is free so we make a plan). The Kasi market largely remains a price sensitive market. Kasi consumers are excellent with budgets and they are receptive to special offers. They live in an unreliable and in many cases an unsafe environment, an investment in high quality brands provides a sense of reliability and assurance to the Kasi household.
The top line trends of the Ask Afrika Kasi Star Brands survey reveal a number of loyalty drivers that brand owners and marketers should bear in mind when targeting this market.
Brands are a ‘cheap price’ for aspiration
“I know where every cent goes, every cent is put to a cost, the money is like water through my hands, it touches them then it washes off someone else’s hands.” (GG Alcock 2015: 138)

Kasi consumers, on the whole, spend money more carefully than they used to and say that it is worth spending more money for quality goods. The Kasi shoppers always look out for special offers, but if they like a product they will buy it regardless of price. They are open to trying new brands to see if they like the product, but once they find a brand that they like, they tend to stick to it. Kasi consumers will, however, try out a different brand if it is on special offer.
An investment in brands is seen as a ‘cheap price’ for aspiration. It is important for Kasi consumers that they care for themselves and the people in their household by giving them the best their money can buy.
“Kasi consumers expect quality and usually have a brand repertoire within their loyalty spectrum which they will compare in terms of price points and special offers. They understand the advantage of choice and will choose the best their money can buy. If a brand consistently delivers quality at the right price point, it will be used by Kasi households,” says Dr Amelia Richards, Account Director at Ask Afrika.
Proudly South African

Coca Cola the international giant is continuing to enable a customised approach for their brand. The ability of a global brand such as Coke to merge local vernacular with a personal intimate occasion between two potential lovers, is the ideal recipe for loyal consumption of Coca Cola to celebrate special moments.
Kasi consumers are proudly South African and opt to buy goods that are produced locally, believing that South African products are usually of high quality. They think that it is important that brands act ethically and refuse to buy products from a company that they disapprove of. Kasi consumers support brands that empower previously disadvantaged South Africans.
“The Target Group Index (TGI) data has shown that Kasi consumers are very loyal to South African heritage. Tradition and community is important in the Kasi where people take care of one other. They expect the same from brands that they pay money for,” says Richards, “There is a misconception amongst those that don’t know the market that when Kasi consumers become more affluent they become westernised.”
According to GG Alcock this is not the case, greater affluence does contribute to modernisation, yet township residents often stay close to their cultural and local South African heritage – they become Afropolitan. Brands that want to be successful in this space must first understand the culture and then contribute towards it in a meaningful way.
Never underestimate the Kasi consumer
“eKasi was once a swear word, a place to be feared, but is now a place where life is shared with brands and people that inspire hope, celebrate a multitude of entrepreneurs, community leaders, responsible proactive citizens of both the Kasi and the Emalalini, the rural villages.” (GG Alcock 2015)
Living and doing business in African market places require an ethos and connection to the informal, invisible and intangible. It is vital that marketers targeting this market have an in-depth understanding of this continually changing environment and lifestyle. It is important to talk to aspiration, yet to remain within reach. Many Kasi consumers travel into the cities for work and see the way that brands are being advertised there. It is vital not to denigrate the Kasi consumer through inconsistent brand messaging and tone of voice in cities versus townships.

Sharing and CSI
Brands that share what they achieve in empowering and uplifting disadvantaged communities through their CSI initiatives will garner loyalty from the Kasi consumer.

Not only did the KFC “Add Hope” campaign feed 5 million children during World Hunger month, but it feeds 110 000 children every day. In 2016 the KFC initiative included the unveiling of the wall mural on Vilakazi street in Soweto, increasing awareness for the campaign. The residents can collect seeds from the tree mural on the wall encouraging them to grow their own vegetables and fruit.
“Brands that connect and identify with the language, the culture and local style will win over the hearts of Kasi consumers. Respect is inherent in the Kasi culture as are ethics, caring for the past and present, hope and a belief that we will all build a better future, as a collective – brands are expected to be part of this ethos,” concludes Richards.
Research reports
In-depth Ask Afrika Kasi Star Brands research reports assist with brand planning and marketing strategies, competitive intelligence, consumer profiling, product enhancement and client pitches. There are various reporting options that look at what is driving loyalty in the township market or which are tailored to media and marketing strategies that target the township consumer.

Primedia Unlimited Malls pumps up its re-branding

UnionPay International, the bank card utilised at Standard Bank and First National Bank ATM’s around the country, has enlisted the expertise of Primedia Unlimited’s mall advertising specialists Primall Media to encourage its Chinese cardholders to utilise their cards in shopping malls and receive substantial discounts in the process

Primedia Unlimited Malls pumps up its re-branding

“Creating smarter malls”

Primedia Unlimited Malls (PUM) have announced the implementation of a year-long re-branding project in response to changing markets, ensuring they still deliver on unmatched value through their ability to optimise how brands engage with shoppers.

Molefi Moloantoa, CEO of Primedia Unlimited Malls

“As the leaders in the industry providing integrated mall media, shopper marketing, activation and digital solutions in South Africa, it became evident that we needed to re-evaluate and enhance our offering to stay relevant in this ever-changing industry,” said Molefi Moloantoa, CEO of Primedia Unlimited Malls. “This will ensure we continue to meet the needs of the shopper. This re-brand is part of our coming of age and is pivotal to our growth and expansion.”

Operating since 1996 and building a monumental presence in the retail environment PUM realised in order to stay ahead they needed to evolve. A primary drive of the evolution was moving away from being an offering focussed business to a solution based business.
“Our experience and success of mastering shopper engagement and meeting the expectations of property owners was achieved through providing unmatched offerings that connects brands to shoppers whilst maximising the ability to integrate and foster relationships with shoppers while maximising non-GLA opportunities,” continued Moloantoa.

“The shopper is the heart of our business, we are a shopper-centric business. We needed to better understand the shopper in order to engage with this profile in a different non-direct way. This is why we have invested in data and research to better understand this market and how we can effectively communicate with them.”

With the ultimate vision of creating smarter malls, Primedia Unlimited Malls puts the shopper at the heart of the business.
Furthermore, digitising the business and the environment was critical for the growth of PUM and was one of the biggest challenges faced. PUM needed to ensure innovation and enhancement in their space and environment. Supporting this need with their commitment to providing creative and forward thinking solutions meant a new and improved presence.

“In order to keep ahead of the market and industry, our new branding has enabled the creation of a consistent and recognisable brand, without losing the prominence of our individual centres of excellence, led by experts.”

“To this note, we have transformed our business to include Product Managers. This new structure will focus on ensuring we provide bespoke and creative solutions for clients, in which we have seen a very strong uptake from brands and mall owners on providing solutions rather than services,” explains Moloantoa.

All the keys to PUMs development were within business. Their investment in insights and data analytics, addressing innovation through tailored product offerings only further enhanced the expertise within their integration of services.

Crucial to PUM’s re-brand project was the emphasis on creating value, PUM’s new brand promise of creating smarter malls, re-positions and re-enforces the company’s guarantee, offering to provide innovative solutions and integrated services to those seeking advertising platforms applicable to media, activations, shopper marketing and digital areas of the retail landscape.

As Moloantoa asserts, “Above all, this re-brand is a behaviour change, in the way we speak, engage, deliver and are perceived. Smart is our core promise and philosophy that will be evident in all our offerings and services.”
Additionally, declining consumer confidence and fluctuating low economic growth have proven to be challenging for the retail industry, PUM’s timely re-brand highlights consistent growth of the company and the maturation of the business as they adapt to the changing environment, optimising client experiences.
“Initially, re-branding the business had to be accepted and achieved internally before we made it public. We needed our staff to be engaged internally and externally. We had to create meaning beyond our individual roles, building connectivity, camaraderie, a sense of belonging and purpose within each of our 160 employees.”
“Knowing that change always begins from the inside out, one of the initiatives which was catalyst in achieving change, was utilising our own people, our own capabilities and capacities. This came in the form of an internal staff manifesto video, which was conceptualised, created and executed by our own staff.”
The video features every single staff member of PUM, from all regions, who came together to make this visual illustration of their common purpose and what they represent, further entrenching how their individual roles play a part in the bigger picture of the business.

“This re-brand has been one of the most transformational undertakings and journey’s we have been on. The next step for PUM, is to align with property owners in the creation of a common vision for their business and malls so that together, we can deliver the smart malls that the shopper wants,” concludes Moloantoa.

 

Cresta’s new “family room oasis”

Cresta Shopping Centre’s state-of-the-art family room facility sets it apart from any other shopping mall in the country

Cresta’s new “family room oasis”

Cresta Shopping Centre recently launched an oasis for parents and their little ones at an intimate breakfast setting in the lower level of their newly renovated food and entertainment court.

This state-of-the-art family room facility sets the Centre apart from any other shopping mall in the country.

In the picturesque, clean setting of the family room oasis you will find well-appointed rooms with lockers, pram and trolley stations, a kitchenette with microwave ovens to warm up bottles or food, an interactive playroom with toys, a nappy changing room with comfortable changing stations and dedicated basins, a family bathroom and the much-coveted breastfeeding room complete with rocking chair .

Nikki Bush shared her “10 Commandments When Taking Your Children Shopping” with the audience

The breakfast launch was hosted by content producer, presenter and mom of two, Kim Jansen and featured a special keynote address by renowned parenting expert, author, motivational speaker, regular TV and radio guest presenter Nikki Bush. Bush who is co-author of three best-selling books: Future-proof Your Child, Easy Answers to Awkward Questions and Tech-Savvy Parenting, enthralled the audience with her latest on The 10 Commandments When Taking Your Children Shopping.

Virginia Bester, General Manager of Cresta Shopping Centre explains: “In a world where everything is on the go and digitized and parents are becoming more mindful of being present with their children, we saw the creation of this beautiful family room as more than just a facility, but rather as a parent-shopper’s dream.”

The family room oasis is the perfect retreat within the centre for parents to feed their babies, change nappies, or offer them a clean and beautifully decorated area to take a break from shopping. The new facility definitely sets a new standard.

“We know that the family room oasis will make it a little bit easier for parents and caregivers to connect with their children on their shopping days out,” says Bester.

Boasting over 250 stores and an immense variety of quality offerings, and a newly launched three level Food and Entertainment Court which includes over 25 local and international restaurants encompassing fast food and casual dining as well as cinemas, bingo, and entertainment offerings, and now the family room oasis, Cresta Shopping Centre knows that parents will enjoy their experiences at the Centre a little bit more with the benefit this safe haven offers them and their little ones.

“We are passionate about making sure our customers are able to shop in a pleasant, safe and secure environment at Cresta shopping Centre and that is why every step of our renovation process is so carefully thought through keeping our shoppers’ needs at the heart of everything that we do,” concludes Bester.

Starbucks SA launches its feature-packed Rewards programme

Starbucks SA launches its feature-packed Rewards programme

Starbucks launched its much-anticipated loyalty reward programme at a function in Johannesburg in February.

Joining the growing South African digital landscape, Starbucks Rewards will allow customers to not only redeem rewards for their purchases but also conveniently pay at stores through the Starbucks mobile app.

Carlo Gonzaga, CEO of Starbucks licensed partner in South Africa, Taste Holdings

“This is a significant milestone for us as we launch this much-awaited loyalty programme in South Africa. Starbucks Rewards is a great way to thank our valued customers and at the same time, enhance the in-store experience and deliver value through an innovative digital solution, says CEO of Starbucks licensed partner in South Africa, Taste Holdings, Carlo Gonzaga.

Starbucks Rewards consists of two levels, Green and Gold, with each tier offering value-added benefits to customers. Customers start on the Green level and earn one star for every R2 spent; when customers have earned 250 stars, they unlock rewards such as free hand-crafted beverages and food. Members also enjoy exclusive offers such as early access to seasonal beverages. To get to the Gold level, customers need to earn 750 stars when they can access even more benefits, like free coffee on your birthday, free refills on freshly brewed coffee and tea, as well as invitations to member-only events. Customers can join the programme by registering directly on the app or through a Starbucks card available from stores.

The Starbucks mobile app offers more than a loyalty programme – it is a complete cashless payment solution that allows customers to pay for their purchases using an innovative ‘shake and pay’ feature. “Alternative payment methods to cash are on the rise, and there’s not much that’s more convenient than simply shaking to pay. A further benefit is never having to worry about carrying around your wallet or purse, as you pay directly from the app. Convenience and ease of use is paramount and we are confident that our app will deliver for our customers,” says Gonzaga.

The Starbucks mobile app is available for iOS and Android devices.
Key features:

Earn Stars: earn one Star for every R2 spent in Starbucks, when paying with a registered Starbucks account.
Starbucks Card: conveniently pay using the digital card with ‘Shake to Pay’ feature. A complete ecosystem that allows customers to top up from their credit card, selectively auto-reload, track rewards, view balances and account history.
Store locator: find and navigate to your closest Starbucks store including the trading hours, product offering and amenities offered, and even hail a cab directly from within the app.
eGifting: the perfect way to say Happy birthday or Congratulations. Send a voucher directly from your app and receive notifications once your gift has been delivered. The Starbucks gift card can be spent on anything at Starbucks stores.


Since 1971, Starbucks Coffee Company has been committed to ethically sourcing and roasting high-quality Arabica coffee. Today, with stores around the globe, the company is the premier roaster and retailer of speciality coffee in the world.

Taste Holdings is a South African-based management group and a leading licensor of global brands in the Southern Africa region. It owns and licenses a portfolio of franchised and owned, category specialists, Quick Service Restaurants (QSR) and retail brands currently represented in five countries in Southern Africa. Its food division has a 30-year master license agreement for Domino’s Pizza in Southern Africa. It also owns, operates, and franchises Zebro’s Chicken, The Fish & Chip Co. and Maxi’s Restaurants.

Its luxury goods division is underpinned by three owned retail brands – NWJ, Arthur Kaplan and World’s Finest Watches. NWJ is the third largest national jewellery chain by store numbers in the region. Arthur Kaplan and World’s Finest Watches are, together, the leading retailers of luxury Swiss watch brands in the region.

Taste is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) under the symbol “TAS”.

Black Friday: The key to retail success is ensuring a positive shopper experience across all relevant channels

Taj Elkhayat

Black Friday: The key to retail success is ensuring a positive shopper experience across all relevant channels

By Taj Elkhayat, Regional Vice President Middle East, Turkey and Africa for Riverbed Technology

In the build up to this year’s November 25 Black Friday – and the lesser known Cyber Monday – experts predicted that shoppers would spend double the amount they did in 2015. And they were right! In some instances (see news reports below) this year’s retail shopping bonanza exceeded 300 percent.

At the same time PwC forecast that online sales would account for 77 percent of spending, versus 17 percent in stores, meaning that competition for stores to attract and retain as many shoppers as possible will be all the more fierce.

However, in order to stand out, as customers’ expectations for optimal service continue to grow, it’s no longer enough to simply offer the best prices. The key to retail success is ensuring a positive shopper experience across all relevant channels.

For traditional brick and mortar stores, this means ensuring having the latest pricing database, staff have the latest training, and customers have the latest messaging about special offers. It also translates into being agile and flexible – for example, being able to react to local demand by quickly setting up fully outfitted “pop-up” stores just for the duration of the sale period.

Most important, it’s about guaranteeing shops remain open for business and are able to serve customers even if the network to the head-office or the Internet is down. In the cloud, staying ahead is about scaling up resources in order to support an increased demand from online shoppers, and being able to quickly update applications in order to correct problems, or add new features so that customers and retail staff receive those updates automatically, wherever they are.

This is why most retailers have turned to cloud technologies in order to improve employee productivity, increase time and cost savings and improve customer satisfaction. Today’s businesses are storing information in the cloud as well as on local systems – creating what are known as hybrid environments – with 93 percent of retailers using cloud-based enterprise apps at work today.

Just about every business operation is enabled and mediated by applications, so it is easy to see why 96 percent of retailers believe app performance plays such a relevant role in productivity. However, business applications do not always perform optimally. 62 percent of retailers say the poor performance of enterprise applications has negatively impacted their work on a weekly or more frequent basis. This can lead to retailers’ failure to meet customers’ demands for a reliable, time-effective experience. Slow apps present retailers with a number of pitfalls which can have serious repercussions for a company’s bottom line, including dissatisfied customers (36 percent), contract delays (35 percent), critical deadlines missed (35 per cent), and loss of clients or customers (29 percent).

The risk of application performance failure is particularly high with flash and anticipated online sales such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, where retailers have been unprepared for the spike in website traffic from the increased volumes of shoppers visiting their sites. If a store doesn’t have the monitoring and diagnostics systems in place to detect where network issues lie, it can take much longer to resolve and have the website back online as normal, frustrating customers and employees alike.

To deliver superior application performance in today’s hybrid environments, retailers should consider using technology that provides end-to-end application visibility, optimisation and control, allowing them to quickly – and remotely – detect, analyse, and fix any network and application performance problems before they impact business revenue and customer experience.

In times where online shopping is the norm, companies cannot afford to lose customers over poor application performance. Only by optimising and monitoring the end-to-end performance of their applications and websites can retailers deliver the seamless service that shoppers expect – and ensure they make the most of the upward trend in sales.

Takealot’s website crashes on Black Friday

In a TMG Digital report by Roxanne Henderson, the newsline states that although the Takealot online shopping website went down in the Black Friday frenzy it still predicts its current sale will be the most successful in its history.

According to Henderson, although Takealot had planned for five times the usual traffic the site still experienced checkout problems as the payment gateway was affected by nationwide Black Friday pressure and slowing down checkouts.

In her report, Henderson notes that IT company Snapt says that site crashes such as Takealot’s‚ caused by high traffic volumes‚ can be avoided with proper IT infrastructure.

Takealot however, remains upbeat, as web traffic continued to grow throughout the day. Exceeding 300 percent of the usual traffic expected on a Friday in the festive season.