Social e-commerce offers consumers a low-price lifeline

The Covid-19 pandemic heralded an explosive acceleration in online retail. Statista recorded a 24% increase in global e-commerce revenue in 2020, and a further 18% increase in 2021.

South Africa followed a similar trend, but our embrace of e-commerce in 2020 was even more pronounced, especially in certain categories. Food and beverages were the phenomenal success stories, showing 64% and 40% revenue growth respectively in 2020.

The global cost of living crisis that has struck in 2023 takes place in this environment of e-commerce maturity and heightened consumer comfort with online shopping. As inflation hits peaks last seen decades ago, and interest rates soar in response, consumers are embracing new models that make shopping more affordable and convenient.

One such model, which is proving transformative in several countries, is group buying, or “social e-commerce”. Social e-commerce platforms allow groups of individual consumers to easily coordinate buying activities, benefiting from group discounts.

Social e-commerce platforms such as Pinduoduo in China and Facily in Brazil have quietly scaled beyond expectations – Facily was valued at $850m in 2021, and Pinduoduo recorded revenue of $18bn in 2023.

In South Africa, the social e-commerce market is led by SOLshop. SOLshop connects wholesalers and customers in one friendly ecosystem, allowing individuals to conveniently access daily discounts on hundreds of products through the SOLshop app.

Jonathan Holden, COO at SOLshop, says, “In an economic environment of persistent low growth and high inflation, we’ve seen an explosion of interest in our ability to coordinate group buying and give everyday consumers access to extraordinary savings. The response to SOLShop has been exceptionally positive, offering consumers a glimmer of light in these challenging times. It’s interesting to note, as we celebrate Women’s Month, that 70% of our customers are female.”

SOLshop collaborates directly with local farmers and producers, allowing lower-than-wholesale prices on food, including fruits and vegetables, as well as household and beauty products. SOLshop users form groups of friends or other app users to access these deals. The more shoppers that collaborate, the bigger the savings.

SOLshop has a large and growing delivery zone and 15+ pickup points around Johannesburg. Currently, the delivery area covers Sandton, Bryanston, Fourways, Randburg Central, Roodepoort, Midrand, СBD & Soweto.

As well as the collective-buying mechanism, social e-commerce platforms often replicate the social experience of shopping, with personalised recommendations, promotions, and fun engagement mechanisms. They result in closer relationships between producers and consumers, and a rise in word-of-mouth advertising.

Holden concludes, “We anticipate that the group-buying model has the potential to scale significantly in South Africa. We’re a well-connected country with a high cellphone penetration rate, and we could all benefit from lowering our grocery and household-item budgets, while building networks and communities.”

Wrapping Up:

We at ShopShipShake have been working with businesses like yours with fulfilling experiences. We offer one-stop services, including an efficient supply chain, over 10 thousand of China’s suppliers, over 1,000,000 SKU and more. With a successful track record of over 100,000 clients, we are sure to deliver your orders requirements.

Let’s get in touch to build, sustain, and grow your businesses! If you would like to know more details about us, please contact us: If you are interested in cooperating with us. Please register on:

This article originates from: forges ahead despite Comp Comm’s requirements

The latest Takealot Competition Commission ruling seems unlikely to affect Amazon‘s long-term African expansion plans, and the market shouldn’t underestimate the retail giant’s ability to push back against requirements it deems unreasonable.

The latest Takealot Competition Commission ruling seems unlikely to affect Amazon’s long-term African expansion plans

The Competition Commission’s (Comp Comm) Online Intermediation Platforms Market Inquiry’s remedial requirements for Takealot have ruffled more than a few feathers in the retail space, but not e-commerce juggernaut,, which is forging ahead with its plans to enter the local market, albeit at a more leisurely pace.

“The building of warehouses and local hiring is ongoing, but the urgency is certainly no longer there,” comments Anouck van Rietschoten, head of operations (marketplaces) at Incubeta.

“These new remedial actions by the Competition Commission are also going to demand the full attention of the Amazon legal team and, even though they will definitely be on top of it, the company seems to be dealing with more hurdles than are immediately apparent,” she adds.

Van Rietschoten also says that South Africa’s greylisting would have also added complexity to the global marketplace’s expansion plans and says that while the Nasdaq heavyweight certainly has the resources to deal with the challenges, the postponement of its planned 2023 launch is very likely.

“If we see a Q1 2024 launch it would likely be a soft launch with some select big brands and most likely without the third-party (3P) model. What we have seen in other regions is that Amazon will onboard big brands, focussing on its first-party or 1P model.

“While they have historically opened their seller side at the time of launch, they have opened it to just a few select 3P sellers and have not actively recruited resellers. This allows them to get the platform going and the customers used the service before they begin with a vendor onboarding drive,” she explains.

Don’t expect Amazon to roll over

When it comes to the Competition Commission’s move against Takealot, van Rietschoten says Amazon is well-versed in dealing with regional trading anomalies.

“Amazon is used to dealing with these commissions and has shown that they can adapt their commissions and percentages as necessary.

“We also see some flexibility on their terms of agreement in each region to ensure they meet regulatory requirements.

“That said, they have also been known to rock the boat and because of their size and leverage, they can afford to push back a fair bit, as they did in France,” she shares.

Meet in the middle

The most recent concessions in the UK, however, also show the firm is able to meet in the middle, but van Rietschoten says she expects Amazon executives and legal teams to be working hard behind the scenes to ensure they get a fair play at cracking the local market.

“I believe Amazon is already in this conversation. Both with the Commission and with other players in the local market. They will certainly have some leverage in this conversation and may even be able to bend some of the rules, supporting Takealot in the process,” she shares.

Negative impact on the smaller players

Commenting on the Commission’s move to try and split Takealot’s retail and marketplace operations, van Rietschoten believes this may have a negative impact on the smaller players, rather than levelling the playing field as intended.

“You want one place where small retailers can also have an opportunity to compete against the big brands. The US has shown how small players can grow their businesses in an online-only environment and, with some clever strategies, can still be visible and compete against even the biggest players.

“Splitting the models will push the small players onto other platforms. The Commission’s efforts seem focussed on dismantling any monopolies, rather than enabling a platform designed to accommodate big and small players alike,” she explains.

Far-reaching impact

Summing up, Van Rietschoten says the outcome of any further negotiations over the next few months will have a far-reaching impact.

“Ultimately, the consumer would benefit from an e-commerce environment that offers as many products as possible at the most competitive price possible.

“So ensuring that the cheapest prices are visible in the Buy Box, for instance, makes good sense. And when all the players are governed by the same 3P and 1P rules it helps ensure a fair and safe retail experience.

“But any short-sightedness now will stop future e-commerce expansion. We expect players like to enter the market soon, and you can be very sure they will be watching these next moves with great interest.

“We’ve seen time and again, once Amazon has ironed out the kinks in a region, others will follow,” she says.

Wrapping Up:

We at ShopShipShake have been working with businesses like yours with fulfilling experiences. We offer one-stop services, including an efficient supply chain, over 10 thousand of China’s suppliers, over 1,000,000 SKU and more. With a successful track record of over 100,000 clients, we are sure to deliver your orders requirements.

Let’s get in touch to build, sustain, and grow your businesses! If you would like to know more details about us, please contact us: If you are interested in cooperating with us. Please register on:

This article originates from:

5 eCommerce Marketing & Business Mistakes to Avoid (Slidedeck & Video)

With so many affordable, accessible and customizable platforms, it’s never been easier to create an online store and sell through established marketplaces. But the growth of your eCommerce business depends on your ability to acquire new customers and increase sales from existing ones. Every eCommerce marketing channel costs time, money or energy, and it’s up to you to find the right balance for your business. Even for the most experienced eCommerce professionals, growing revenue and scaling up can be a challenge.

Mistakes are a natural part of all growth and can serve as excellent learning opportunities. That said, we can probably all agree we’d still prefer to avoid them in the first place. Being aware of the most common pitfalls that other entrepreneurs experience in eCommerce can help you avoid costly mistakes and missed opportunities.

5 eCommerce mistakes to avoid

To help eCommerce businesses avoid the most common pitfalls that new sellers make, I’ve drawn on the experience of the Wix team in running an eCommerce platform, as well as the experience of our network of over 500,000 online stores worldwide, to assemble these tips for the top 5 eCommerce mistakes to avoid.

  1. Not Knowing Your Target Audience
  2. Not Knowing which eCommerce Channels to Choose
  3. Not Investing in Your Product Pages
  4. Creating Poor Shopping Experiences
  5. Providing Poor Customer Care

01. Not Knowing Your Target Audience

One of the biggest mistakes a business owner can make is not clearly defining your target audience or taking the time to understand what makes your customers tick.

You can’t really expect the right people to just show up at your website simply because you have a product they might need or want. You need to let them know about your business and get them to notice your products. And to do that, you need to know who they are and how you can reach them.

Without a clear idea of who your target audience is, you’re essentially going into every single marketing initiative completely blind. Knowing your audience will help you figure out which images to use for ads, which words to use in descriptions, which social channels to aggressively maintain, and more.

So get hyper-invested on understanding your potential customers.

  • What are their problems or pain points?
  • What are they looking for?
  • What are their hobbies and interests?
  • Which groups or subcultures do they belong to?
  • What values are important to them?
  • Where and how do they engage with content online?

Defining and understanding your target audience will help you create a brand message that resonates with them and a shopping journey that entices them to buy time and time again.

02. Not Knowing which eCommerce Channels to Choose

It’s not enough to know who your target customers are; you also need to know how to reach them best. Are they on Facebook? Do they shop on Amazon or eBay? Do they read email newsletters? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, your products probably won’t ever be seen by relevant shoppers, no matter how valuable they may be.

eCommerce channels don’t all work the same or even cater to the same audience. Some are great for reaching shoppers who are actively searching for a product, while others work well for reaching shoppers who have previously interacted with your online store. Selling online is an endless process of trial and error, testing and optimization. Understand how new channels work and then don’t be afraid to try new ways of reaching potential shoppers.

Start by defining the ideal results for your marketing efforts.

Do you want to:

  • Attract potential customers who are actively searching
  • Re-engage your past customers
  • Reach out to totally new prospects
  • Increase traffic quantity and/or quality

Based on your goals, select the eCommerce channels best suited to connecting your business to potential shoppers:

  • Search Engines are excellent tools for targeting people actively looking for a product. These shoppers are already interested and tend to convert quicker. Search engines like Google and Bing offer many advertising options, like text ads, image ads, product listings, and voice search marketing. By optimizing your eCommerce website’s SEO, you can rank organically for related search terms and grow valuable unpaid traffic sources to your site.
  • Online Marketplaces are also a great way to reach actively searching shoppers who can easily browse through lots of products from different categories. Amazon and eBay are popular marketplaces that can provide exposure to many shoppers, but can also be very competitive. Smaller niche or local marketplaces might offer more visibility and generate sales at a lower cost.
  • Email Marketing is a great way to reach shoppers with great conversion potential. These are either past customers who already purchased from you or shoppers interested enough in your business to give you their email address, which makes them more likely to make a purchase from you in the future.
  • Retargeting lets you target shoppers who visit your website. Many shoppers abandon their carts, but are often still interested and easier to convert. Remarketing can be done through channels like Google and Facebook by adding a unique tracking pixel to your website so that site visitors can be served ads later on. Also make sure to set up automated emails for abandoned carts to remind shoppers about the products they are considering from your site.
  • Social Networks let you reach shoppers who aren’t necessarily actively looking for a product but are open to new ideas or content. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest are used by hundreds of millions of people around the world every day and offer very granular targeting capabilities based on lifestyle, demographic and behavior.

03. Not Investing in Your Product Pages

Potential customers don’t physically interact with your products before they buy them, but they do engage with your product pages. Your product pages need to convince shoppers to buy the product from your site rather than from somebody else.

Create great product pages that entice shoppers:

  • Provide accurate and tempting product descriptions, including features, specifications and benefits.
  • Display your products with high quality product photographs or videos.
  • Include product reviews and testimonials which are major drivers in converting buyers – but make sure that reviews appear valid and authentic.
  • Optimize the SEO for your product pages – include all relevant keywords, and make sure that you’re not copy pasting manufacturer or supplier descriptions as duplicate content will cause your pages to be penalized by search engines.

04. Creating Poor Shopping Experiences

Once shoppers make it through the initial steps of your sales funnel, it’s time to close the deal. Unfortunately, this is a time where a lot of eCommerce businesses see abandoned carts. If a shopper has decided that they want to buy your product, don’t put any obstacles in their way.

  • Simplify your Shopping Cart. If shoppers need to fumble through the checkout process, they are likely to get frustrated and give up before ever making a purchase. To increase conversions, make the checkout process as simple as possible and eliminate as many steps as possible from your shopping cart. Keep buttons big and text small, and remove any unnecessary fields.
  • Don’t require shoppers to set up an account before buying a product. Give shoppers a streamlined checkout to buy the product they want and give you their money. Then worry about adding them to your brand community or CRM lists.
  • Don’t surprise shoppers with unexpected fees. Making a purchase involves a degree of trust and you don’t want to give shoppers any reason to think that you’re not being upfront with them. Unexpected fees like taxes or shipping fees can drive away potential customers. This doesn’t mean that you should cover the cost of tax and shipping yourself – simply provide all of this information well before shoppers reach the checkout page.
  • Give shoppers enough payment options. You don’t want to lose a customer because they can’t functionally pay you. There are dozens of online payment methods, from credit cards to digital wallets and mobile payment solutions. You don’t need to offer all of the options, but find out which payment methods your target customers prefer and focus on those.

05. Providing Poor Customer Care

Your customers are the lifeblood of your business. Not only is it easier to and more profitable to keep an existing customer, but they’ll probably send you more business if you offer amazing customer service.

Poor customer care, from slow response time or showing impatience, to not offering refunds, is a sure way to lose existing customers and avoid getting new ones.

Customer care includes a lot different things – how you:

  • Respond to shopper’s messages on your website
  • Answer questions and comments on social media
  • Address customer complaints over the phone and via email

Be there when your customers need you and offer them your full attention and support.

Learn from these eCommerce Mistakes to Sell More and Grow Online

Understanding common mistakes made by both first-time and experienced eCommerce businesses alike is essential to your growth.

To start with, you’ll be able to better anticipate and avoid making these same mistakes. But you’ll also learn that making these mistakes won’t necessarily be the demise of your business either.

If you understand that you made the mistake and fix it, your business will continue to grow and thrive. Not only will your eCommerce website be optimized for success, you’ll also create a following of happy, loyal customers that are excited to buy your products again and again.

Wrapping Up:

We at ShopShipShake have been working with businesses like yours with fulfilling experiences. We offer one-stop services, including an efficient supply chain, over 10 thousand of China’s suppliers, over 1,000,000 SKU and more. With a successful track record of over 100,000 clients, we are sure to deliver your orders requirements.

Let’s get in touch to build, sustain, and grow your businesses! If you would like to know more details about us, please contact us: If you are interested in cooperating with us. Please register on:

This article originates from:

8 Best eCommerce Platforms for South African businesses

Choosing the best eCommerce platform is essential for any South African business or online store. There are a number of different platforms to choose from, each with its own set of benefits and drawbacks.

What is the best e-Commerce platform for South Africa?

The Short Answer, in most scenarios, if I was starting up an e-commerce brand or online business I would choose.

  • Wix (Best all-rounder for small business to medium business, good online store)
  • Shopify (Best Online Store)
  • Clickfunnels (Best for Digital Products and Service based business)
  • Woocommerce (if I already had a successful WordPress site)
  • Magento (If I had an extensive business)

In this blog post, we will take a look at the 8 best eCommerce platforms in South Africa. We will also discuss the benefits of eCommerce, and look at some of the trends that are shaping the future of e-commerce.

We’ll also compare:

  • The best website builders for small businesses.
  • The best free and cheap options.
  • The ones with the best SEO.
  • The best platforms with online store capabilities.
  • The best builders for agencies.
  • And the best options for photographers and artists.

Jump to Sections

Let’s get started.

Before we look at which eCommerce platform is best for you it is important to understand what type of products or services you want to sell.

Are you selling?

  • Physical goods
  • Digital products
  • Brick and mortar Services
  • Online Services


it’s also important to understand which stage of business you are in.

  • Are you a startup?
  • Small business?
  • Large enterprises?

This will help to guide your decision when it comes to choosing an eCommerce platform.

Now that we have a better understanding of the products and services you want to sell, as well as the business stage you are in, we can take a look at some of the best eCommerce platforms in South Africa.

Each e-commerce platform has its pros and cons, so it’s important to choose the one that best fits your specific business needs. The 6 platforms we will be discussing are:

  • Shopify
  • Wix
  • WooCommerce
  • Click Funnels
  • Magento (Now Adobe Commerce)
  • Prestashop
  • Opencart

Let’s take a closer look at each of these eCommerce platforms in the context of South Africa.

Shopify Store

The first platform on our list is Shopify. Shopify is a powerful eCommerce platform that is easy to use and provides a wide range of features for shopping online. It is also one of the most popular eCommerce platforms in South Africa, especially if you are looking to sell products.

Benefits of using Shopify include its ease of use, its wide range of features, and its flexibility. Drawbacks of using Shopify include its monthly fees and the fact that it is not as widely used in South Africa as some of the other platforms on this list.

Shopify is best for businesses that are looking for an easy-to-use platform with a wide range of features. It is also a good choice for businesses that are looking for a platform that is widely used and has a lot of support.

Shopify Pros

  • Easy to create with Great Templates
  • Wide range of features for automation
  • Widely used- Good support Shopify
  • Great Conversion plug-ins
  • Affiliate marketing plug-ins
  • Can scale to a large online store
  • Inventory management
  • Drop Shipping integrations
  • All the basic features

Shopify Drawbacks

  • Shopify works best with physical products
  • Templates are good but can be complicated to customise
  • Updates might require a Shopify developer

Shopify is Best for

  • Shopify is best for Online stores as well as businesses with a physical presence that wants to sell online
  • Small Businesses to Large Enterprises
  • Online Retailers

Wix Online Store

Wix is a great choice for those looking to build their own site without any technical knowledge, with its drag and drop elements design.

They have over 100 million users and 500+ prebuilt templates that will help you design your website the way it looks best!

Since WIX offers so many options, there’s no limit on what kind of design approach or style might suit someone – whether they’re an entrepreneur selling products online from home via social media platforms like Instagram Stories; somebody running businesses across multiple states as well

However, it is a bit more expensive than Shopify but requires less professional development which saves you in the long run. Wix is becoming the website builder of choice in South Africa Currently, Yoco is the best South African payment gateway for Wix in South Africa

Wix Pros

  • Easy to use with Great Templates (Easily Create)
  • Best for Owner run websites (Create your own Website)
  • Easy to customise
  • Wide range of features for automation
  • Great Conversion optimisation widgets
  • New integrations make it more popular in South Africa
  • Excellent SEO Capability
  • No Web Development Skills Required
  • Powerful mobile editor
  • Easily turn your e-commerce site into an App.
  • Inventory management
  • Marketing automation
  • No Coding skills required
  • Third party apps
  • Great Ecommerce add on
  • Direct support
  • Local Support

Wix Drawbacks

  • Not as many payment gateways are set up in South Africa, however, more are being added constantly. Currently, we use Yoco as our payment gateway.

Wix is best for

  1. Service based companies
  2. Agencies
  3. Small Online Stores
  4. Online Magazines
  5. Affiliate Marketing sites
  6. Brick and Mortar Stores
  7. Restaurants
  8. If you don’t currently have an existing website or want to overhaul your current website

Click Funnels

Click Funnels is an eCommerce platform that is designed for businesses that want to sell digital products. It is a bit more expensive than Shopify and Wix, but it is also much easier to use. That said, it is not as widely used in South Africa as some of the other platforms on this list.

Click funnels specialised in lead generation (Thanks Russell Brunson) and the sale of digital products. What makes Click FUnnels exceptionally powerful is that your website behaves as a sales funnel. You can take a customer on a journey from awareness all the way to purchase without them ever having to leave your website.

The combination of Facebook ads pointing to a click funnel landing page is exceptionally powerful and something we recommend you explore if you are in the digital product space.

We have also seen examples of click funnels working well for brick and mortgage type businesses like gyms, restaurants, and dentists to mention a few.

Click Funnels Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Selling digital products locally and internationally
  • Can take payments directly on your website
  • The website behaves as a sales funnel
  • Can integrate with Facebook ads
  • Great conversion optimisation tools.
  • Integrated email strategy
  • State-of-the-art marketing integration

Click Funnels is Best for

  • Selling digital products
  • Attaining high conversions
  • Brick and Mortar stores
  • App Sales
  • Online courses

Click Funnel Drawback

Click funnels have an amazing workflow, however that workflow is very reliant on specific content as you journey through the Sales Funnel.

The website builder requires your company to have a lot of reviews from previous customers written and in video format. The funnel also works best when you have video content on your landing pages. With all that said, if you have this kind of content in place or can create it this platform can skyrocket your business.

WordPress + WooCommerce

WordPress site is a popular content management system that can be used to create websites of all types. WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin that turns a WordPress website into an eCommerce store. WordPress + WooCommerce is a popular choice for businesses in South Africa for a number of reasons. It is relatively easy to use, it is flexible, and it is very affordable. The main drawback of using WordPress + WooCommerce is that it requires a bit more technical knowledge than some of the other platforms on this list.


Another great eCommerce platform for South African businesses is WooCommerce. WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin that turns your WordPress website into an online store. It is extremely user-friendly, and provides a wide range of features. Benefits of using WooCommerce include its user-friendliness, its wide range of features, and its affordability.

Drawbacks of using WooCommerce include the fact that it requires a WordPress website, and that it is not as widely used in South Africa as some of the other platforms on this list.

Unless you have a great WordPress website and support team, I would not recommend this to new e-commerce stores.


PrestaShop is another popular eCommerce open-source platform that is widely used in South Africa. PrestaShop is a free and open-source eCommerce solution that provides a wide range of features. Benefits of using PrestaShop include its affordability, its wide range of features, and its flexibility. Drawbacks of using PrestaShop include the fact that it is not as user-friendly as some of the other platforms on this list, and that it is not as widely used in South Africa as some of the other platforms on this list.

Magento is Now Adobe Commerce

Magento is a powerful eCommerce platform that is used by many large businesses around the world. It is not as user-friendly as some of the other platforms on this list, but it provides a wide range of features. The benefits of using Magento include its wide range of features, scalability, and flexibility. Drawbacks of using Magento include its complexity, its high cost, and the fact that it is not as widely used in South Africa as some of the other platforms on this list.


OpenCart is a free and open-source eCommerce solution that is easy to use and provides a wide range of features. Benefits of using OpenCart include its affordability, its ease of use, and its wide range of features. Drawbacks of using OpenCart include the fact that it is not as widely used in South Africa as some of the other platforms on this list, and that it lacks some of the advanced features offered by some of the other platforms on this list.

Summary of e-commerce platforms South Africa.

These are just a few of the many different eCommerce platforms available to South African businesses. The best platform for your business will depend on your specific needs and requirements. We recommend that you take the time to research all of the different options before making a decision.

It’s important to keep in mind these are just platforms, or templates for creating a digital version of your business. The Best platform for your business should mirror the functions your business does in the physical world into the digital world.

What is e-commerce?

E-commerce is the buying and selling of goods or services over the internet. E-commerce businesses can range from small, family-run businesses to large, multinational corporations. The growth of eCommerce in recent years has been nothing short of phenomenal, with online sales increasing at a rapid pace all over the world.

There are many reasons why eCommerce is such a popular choice for businesses. Perhaps one of the most significant benefits is that it allows businesses to reach a much larger audience than they would be able to if they were selling through physical stores alone. With an eCommerce website, businesses can sell to customers all over the world, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Another benefit of eCommerce is that it is usually much cheaper to set up and run an online store than a brick-and-mortar store. This is because businesses do not have to worry about the costs associated with renting or buying retail space, hiring staff, and stocking inventory.

What is a Payment Gateway?

A payment gateway is an eCommerce service that authorizes credit card or direct payments for eCommerce transactions or online payments. A gateway encrypts sensitive information, such as credit card numbers, to ensure that it is secure when it is transmitted.

What is the best payment gateway for South Africa?

Some of the most popular payment gateways used in South Africa are PayFast, PayPal, SnapScan and Yoco

Running costs of an e-commerce website in South Africa

The running costs of an eCommerce website will vary depending on a number of factors, such as the size of the website, the number of products being sold, and the payment gateway being used. In general, however, businesses can expect to pay around R500 to R5000 per month for their eCommerce website. This includes hosting fees, domain name registration, and SSL certificates.

What is the future of e-commerce?

The future of eCommerce looks very bright. The global eCommerce market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.7% between 2018 and 2023, reaching a total value of $27 trillion by 2023. This rapid growth is being driven by a number of factors, such as the increasing popularity of mobile devices and the growth of the middle class in developing countries.

The future of eCommerce in South Africa looks especially promising. The South African eCommerce market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 17.6% between 2018 and 2023, reaching a total value of $8.5 billion by 2023. This rapid growth is being driven by a number of factors, such as the increasing penetration of internet users, the growing popularity of online shopping, and the increasing use of mobile devices.

So, what does this all mean for businesses? It means that now is the time to get started in eCommerce.

8-Step eCommerce plan

1. Define your business goals

2. Research your target market

3. Choose the right eCommerce platform

4. Set up your website

5. Stock your store with products

6. Promote your eCommerce store

7. Process orders and payments

8. Provide excellent customer service

A good e-commerce solution needs to offer a wide range of features and integrations that can be customized to suit your business’s specific needs. Some of the most important features to look for include:

What features do you look for in a good e-commerce platform?

A user-friendly website builder

The platform you choose should make it easy to build a professional-looking website, even if you don’t have any experience with web design.

A comprehensive shopping cart

Your eCommerce platform should include a shopping cart that is easy to use and can be customized to match your branding.

A payment gateway integration

The platform you choose should offer seamless integration with the payment gateway of your choice. This will make it easy to accept payments from customers all over the world.

A customer management system

This will allow you to keep track of your customers’ contact information, order history, and preferences.

A shipping integration

The platform you choose should offer a shipping integration that makes it easy to calculate shipping rates and print labels.

Analytics and Reporting

The platform you choose should offer comprehensive analytics and reporting tools that will help you track your website’s performance and make informed decisions about marketing and product strategy.

When choosing an eCommerce platform, it’s important to consider your business’s unique needs. If you’re not sure which platform is right for you, our team of experts can help. We’ve helped businesses of all sizes launch successful eCommerce stores

Biggest e-commerce industries in South Africa

1. Retail

2. Fashion

3. Health and Beauty

4. Electronics

5. Cannabis

6. Home and Garden

7. Food and Drink

8. Gifts and Flowers

9. Toys and Games

10. Sports and Outdoors

11. Travel

So, What are you waiting for, Start Selling Online!

We hope you found this article helpful.

Wrapping Up:

We at ShopShipShake have been working with businesses like yours with fulfilling experiences. We offer one-stop services, including an efficient supply chain, over 10 thousand of China’s suppliers, over 1,000,000 SKU and more. With a successful track record of over 100,000 clients, we are sure to deliver your orders requirements.

Let’s get in touch to build, sustain, and grow your businesses! If you would like to know more details about us, please contact us: If you are interested in cooperating with us. Please register on:

This article originates from:

Are SA retailers ready to grab the country’s massive e-commerce opportunity?

One only need look at the success of the Shoprite Group’s Checkers Sixty60 grocery delivery service (87% growth in 2022 on the back of 250% growth in 2021) and the big push for same-day delivery from Game and Makro owner Massmart to see how serious they are about online retail, says the author. File photo

Amid general struggles for South African retailers (figures for March show that retail trade sales were down 1.6% year on year), the country is experiencing an e-commerce boom.

While the sector’s growth at the height of the pandemic was to be expected, it’s notable that growth continued in 2022, once most pandemic restrictions in the country had been dropped.

Now worth more than R50 billion, online retail saw a 40% increase in shopper numbers in 2022, having achieved similar increases in the previous two years. Some have gone as far as to suggest that local e-commerce will match that of more digitally mature countries by 2026.

Despite the sector’s recent growth, there’s some way to go before that’s the case. Online still represents just five percent of retail sales in South Africa.

That percentage shrinks even further when you remove dedicated e-commerce players.

Most traditional retailers only see between one and three percent of their sales volumes coming from e-commerce. Compare that to a country like the UK, where online shopping now accounts for more than a quarter of all retail sales.

That means that there is significant scope for growth (and that’s without even considering the potential to sell beyond South Africa’s borders). But if retailers are to take advantage of that and help ensure that South Africa reaches its e-commerce potential, they can’t simply set up an online store and hope for the best. They need to provide the best possible experience for customers at every step of the buying journey, including payment.

Understanding the advantages of online retail

Before digging into how online retailers can build those experiences, it’s worth taking a look at some of the advantages it offers.

Many retailers, for example, might look to open up in new markets in order to mitigate some of the difficulties associated with operating in an environment like South Africa. E-commerce affords them the ability to do so without having to set up physical stores. That, in turn, means that they can sell products at greater volumes without drastically increasing their overhead costs. Those new markets don’t just have to be in South Africa either. By going online, retailers can potentially reach customers globally, expanding their potential customer base.

Online retail allows for more flexibility in inventory management. Retailers can, for example, adopt drop-shipping models, where the products are shipped directly from suppliers or their retail stores (click and collect is a great model for this), reducing the need for storing inventory. Physical stores, by contrast, require dedicated space for inventory storage, potentially further increasing costs.

Small wonder then that some of the biggest retailers in the country have worked so hard on their e-commerce programmes. One only need look at the success of the Shoprite Group’s Checkers Sixty60 grocery delivery service (87% growth in 2022 on the back of 250% growth in 2021) and the big push for same-day delivery from Game and Makro owner Massmart to see how serious they are about online retail. The imminent arrival of Amazon’s marketplace shows that international players see the country’s potential too.

A growing number of services are also catering to specific niches, making it easier for them to build their own online presences. For example, Siteminder is a commerce platform for hotels, while Commerce7 boosts sales for wineries.

There are two factors at play here. The first speaks to the fact that different niches or verticals have very specific needs and services are spinning up for all kinds of businesses to help them do e-commerce. Whether you’re a winery or barber, simply having an e-commerce site isn’t enough anymore.

The second is how important it is for these niche services to understand the local context. While international players like Commerce7, for example, have played an important role helping wineries build increased lifetime value via e-commerce opportunities post-winery visit (boosting a R5.7 billion wine tourism business), local solutions are also addressing local needs. Octiv, for example, is making it easier to connect people that want fitness experiences with local gyms and The Local Edit is bringing together interesting brands in one community to win them business abroad, making it easier to find South African brands.

Building great experiences

What all of these platforms understand is the value of building great experiences at every step of the online retail journey. Remember, it takes a lot more effort to stand out online than it does with a physical location (your first customers in a new location may enter the store solely out of a sense of curiosity).

And that work doesn’t stop once a potential shopper’s entered your site either. On average, around 70% of online shoppers abandon their carts before making a purchase. While many are the digital equivalent of “real-world” shoppers who are just browsing, friction has a significant role to play too.

That’s especially true when it comes to payments. While stats for South Africa are hard to come by, research has shown that 88% of UK consumers will abandon purchases if faced with payment friction. That is, admittedly, a more mature market that offers customers a greater degree of choice but it’s far better to get the payment process right from the start. In South Africa, that should include giving consumers a broad choice of payment options, including instant EFTs, debit and credit cards, direct deposits, and debits.

Beyond that, it may also mean exploring less traditional e-commerce options, including those available on instant messaging platforms such as WhatsApp. Remember, you want to be where your customers are. And in a country with mobile penetration rates in excess of 187% that’s seldom likely to be on a PC.

Embracing opportunity

There is, at the end of the day, little doubt that South African retailers of all sizes should be exploring their e-commerce options. The potential opportunities for growth, even in a struggling economy, are simply too big to ignore. But, if they’re to make the most of those opportunities, they must ensure that they provide the best possible experiences for their customers at every step of the buying journey.

Wrapping Up:

We at ShopShipShake have been working with businesses like yours with fulfilling experiences. We offer one-stop services, including an efficient supply chain, over 10 thousand of China’s suppliers, over 1,000,000 SKU and more. With a successful track record of over 100,000 clients, we are sure to deliver your orders requirements.

Let’s get in touch to build, sustain, and grow your businesses! If you would like to know more details about us, please contact us: If you are interested in cooperating with us. Please register on:

The article originates from:

How to improve the user experience on your ecommerce website

In today’s busy ecommerce landscape, customers are spoilt for choice. A positive experience can be what sets your online store apart. 

What is user experience?

User experience (UX) refers to the overall experience that users have when interacting with a product, service, or system. In this case, your website.

Done correctly, good UX can positively affect your:

  • Sales
  • Customer satisfaction levels
  • Number of repeat customers
  • Customer lotalty
  • Competitor advantage
  • Brand reputation.

You want to create a seamless, positive experience for your website visitors. This involves structuring your website in a way that is logical and intuitive for visitors to navigate. For an ecommerce store, you want your customers to enjoy an effortless, hassle-free shopping experience.

What does a good user experience on an ecommerce website look like?

A good user experience on an ecommerce website can be acheived by looking at your customer’s journey across your website and optimising every step of that journey.

A good user experience would look something like this:

  • Clear and well-organised navigation, so your customer is able to find what they are looking for quickly and easily.
  • High-quality images and easy-to-understand copy that outlines the benefits of your product or service helps the customer make up their mind quickly. 
  • Consistent branding across your website builds trust with your customer, making them comfortable to continue.
  • Personalised recommendations based on their choice increases their chance of purchasing another product.
  • An easy and uncomplicated checkout process supported by visible security measures, such as SSL encryption, trust badges, and secure payment options. 
  • Accessible customer support options, such as live chat, email, or phone assistance. It also encourages and makes it easy for your customers to leave feedback and reviews, demonstrating your commitment to customer satisfaction.

How to apply these principles to your website

Creating a good user experience is not a once-off process, but involves continuous testing and improvement. That said, there are some basic starting strategies you can implement to lay the foundation of a good user experience.

These include:

  • Put your users at the centre of your design process. Keep their user journey in mind. 
  • Design a clear and easy-to-use navigation system that customers will be familiar with. 
  • Make sure your entire website reflects your brand identity.
  • Simplify the checkout process so customers who want to shop quickly can do so.
  • Establish trust with your customers by implementing security measures. 
  • Optimise your ecommerce store for mobile devices (78.6% of South Africans accessed the internet via their mobile device last year).
  • Optimise your ecommerce website to load quickly. 

Just remember, creating a seamless user experience is an iterative process and involves regular testing, user feedback, and data analysis that inform ongoing improvements.

WordPress makes UX even easier

A well-designed WordPress theme will do most of the UX work for you. xneelo’s Ecommerce Starter Site, available with Managed WordPress Hosting, is specifically optimised for creating a frictionless shopping experience and includes safe and secure payment processing with a trusted pre-installed payment gateway and product pages. Your user journey has been optimised for you, including the safe and secure checkout process. You simply need to drop in your own content, keeping in mind the principles outlined above.

Just remember, while a WordPress theme or Starter Site can provide a foundation for a good user experience, it’s essential to continuously optimise and improve.

Wrapping Up:

We at ShopShipShake have been working with businesses like yours with fulfilling experiences. We offer one-stop services, including an efficient supply chain, over 10 thousand of China’s suppliers, over 1,000,000 SKU and more. With a successful track record of over 100,000 clients, we are sure to deliver your orders requirements.

Let’s get in touch to build, sustain, and grow your businesses! If you would like to know more details about us, please contact us: If you are interested in cooperating with us. Please register on:

The article originates from:

Black Friday a key driver for e-commerce apps

November truly carries more gold in its pocket than any other month for e-commerce apps. The period from 25 to 27 November emerges as the prime time for app installs in the region, driven by the frenzy of Black Friday.

Source: © 123rf  Driven by the frenzy of Black Friday,, November truly carries more gold in its pocket than any other month for eCommerce apps

This period registers a marked increase across all platforms, with iOS numbers outpacing Android. On November 25th alone, Android installs rose by 30 % over any other day in the month in South Africa, while iOS saw a steeper climb of 78%.

This is one of a number of key insights on Africa’s e-commerce from AppsFlyer’s 2023 edition of its State of eCommerce App Marketing report.

The report provides an in-depth look at key global industry trends to guide retail marketers in building a mobile-first experience that drives engagement and sales for the second half of 2023, especially during the peak holiday season.

Black Friday

“Black Friday in South Africa last year once again showed its prowess in terms of app installs, with iOS installs rising by more than 30%, and Android installs increasing by more than 15% on this day, compared to the daily average in the month of November, showcasing the importance of this period in particular for e-commerce apps,” said Netta Lev Sadeh, managing director EMEA SANI, AppsFlyer.

“It is critical for app marketers to start their planning now leading up to this year’s Black Friday if they want to maximise this vibrant shopping period. Disruptive user acquisition campaigns could be paramount in the months leading up to Black Friday, and if executed successfully, could be the defining point in the increase or decrease in app installs.”

Key African insights from the 2023 State of eCommerce

In South Africa, e-commerce app installs on iOS devices surged significantly by 81.5% from Q1 2022 to Q1 2023, dwarfing the 15% rise seen on Android devices within the same period of time.

The report also found that in South Africa, non-organic installs rose by more than 60% during the summer of 2022.

South Africa’s remarketing share peaked at 76% in April 2022, but by February 2023, had dropped down to 65%, according to the Report.

South Africa’s share of paying users peaked in November 2022, a testament to the month of Black Friday, it says.

Nigeria recorded a 22.3% rise in total e-commerce app installs from Q1 2022 to Q1 2023 on iOS.

Surprisingly, in Algeria, there was huge growth in total e-commerce app installs from Q1 2022 to Q1 2023 on Android devices, recording a whopping 54% increase.

Wrapping Up:

We at ShopShipShake have been working with businesses like yours with fulfilling experiences. We offer one-stop services, including an efficient supply chain, over 10 thousand of China’s suppliers, over 1,000,000 SKU and more. With a successful track record of over 100,000 clients, we are sure to deliver your orders requirements.

Let’s get in touch to build, sustain, and grow your businesses! If you would like to know more details about us, please contact us: If you are interested in cooperating with us. Please register on:

The article originates from:

11 Best Ecommerce Website Builders for 2023

Illustration of a basket made out of bricks and mortar, showcasing how an ecommerce website builder can help you construct an online store

Starting an online store may seem like a daunting task, but it can be rewarding and insanely profitable when done right.

A good ecommerce website builder can help you tackle the hassles of ecommerce and get you set up with a beautiful online store, fast. That way, you can impress customers and start making sales immediately.

There are many easy-to-use website builders for online stores that can help you stand out.

This guide provides a list of the best ecommerce website builders available. Since you have specific needs for your ecommerce business, there’s also a rundown of each website builder’s most useful features to help you select the right one for you.

11 best ecommerce website builders

1. Shopify

Merchant view of Kinda Hot Sauce store showing homepage

Shopify makes it easy to build an ecommerce store with simple tools and attractive website designs.

Shopify is the easiest and most reliable way to bring your business online. As an ecommerce platform, Shopify makes it simple to build an online store without any coding skills or a big budget. Shopify powers millions of businesses and is known for its affordable pricing, beautiful website designs, and helpful marketing tools.

If you want to create a Shopify store, you can choose from more than 100 professional templates with built-in features, such as SSL certifications, domain hosting, custom domains, abandoned cart recovery, and other powerful tools to help you find customers, make sales, and manage your day-to-day operations. You can sell unlimited products through your ecommerce store and across multiple marketplaces, like Amazon, eBay, and Etsy, through Shopify’s native partner integrations.

Additionally, Shopify Payments makes it easy to take payments online. You can integrate with more than 100 payment gateways and options from around the world, including Bitcoin, PayPal, and Shop Pay. There are also more than 4,000 free Shopify apps you can use to extend your store’s functionality and sell more online.

Features include:

  • More than 100 professional themes created by world-renowned designers, such as Happy Cog and Pixel Union
  • Built-in mobile commerce shopping cart, so shoppers can buy on any mobile device or tablet 
  • Full access to your store’s HTML and CSS so you can customize every aspect of your ecommerce website 
  • Search-engine-optimized stores to help potential customers find you online
  • Simple inventory management to track stock counts and stop selling products when inventory runs out
  • No restrictions on the number of products you can sell in your store
  • Unlimited bandwidth, so you’re never charged based on the amount of traffic your store receives
  • Simplified reporting and analytics
  • Shopify POS system integration to connect in-person and digital storefronts
  • App store with over 4,000 marketing, sales, and customer support tools
  • Mobile app to manage your business on the go
  • Dedicated customer support team available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, through email, live chat, and phone 

Price: Start your Shopify free trial, no credit card required. Paid plans start as low as $39/month.

G2 rating ⭐: 4.4/5Email addressStart free trial

2. Shift4Shop

screenshot of Shift4Shop
Shift4Shop (forrmerly 3dcart) starts at $29/month.

Shift4Shop (formerly 3dcart) is a shopping cart for retailers who want to sell online. With sales reporting and mobile-responsive themes, it’s a builder aimed at store owners who need to create an online presence quickly.

While Shift4Shop has some ecommerce features, there’s limited creative agency over your stores. Templates have few customization options.

Features include:

  • 160+ payment options
  • 90+ free templates to get your website up and running
  • Built-in SEO functions to improve websites’ search visibility
  • Abandoned cart notifications to help recover lost sales
  • Zapier integrations to help extend your store’s functionality

Price: Paid plans start at $29/month.

G2 rating ⭐: 3.8/5

3. Square Online

Square Online is an online storefront builder, formerly known as Weebly. Anyone can build a website with Square Online for free, but you won’t be able to use your own domain name (or remove ads) until you buy a plan. The free plan offers features like real-time shipping and coupons, but advanced features will require you to upgrade. It also works with Square for payments.

Features include: 

  • Website builder and management platform for controlling inventory and orders
  • Bulk inventory functions to edit bulk batches of products and import/export information
  • Mobile-optimized websites
  • Coupon builder (for paid plans) to create promotions in your store
  • Drag-and-drop builder and media library to walk you through website creation

Price. Free. Paid plans start at $10/month.

G2 rating ⭐: 4.1/5

4. Squarespace

A Squarespace template for a home goods store with an image of a table, wooden chair and bowl
Squarespace offers starter layouts and drag-and-drop website building tools.

Squarespace is a drag-and-drop website builder that can be used for ecommerce sales once you upgrade your plan.

It offers templates to start designing your store. Once you choose a template, you can customize the colors, text, and images to align with your brand.

Squarespace only accepts payments through Stripe, PayPal, Apple Pay, and Afterpay. The Commerce Advanced plan allows you to sell gift cards and subscriptions.

If you don’t want to deal with setting up Squarespace ecommerce functions, you can always turn your basic website into an online store with the Shopify Buy Button. For $5 per month, you can add a small embedded piece of code to any Squarespace website and get access to more than 100 payment options, sales and growth tracking, simple shipping integrations, currency support, and more.

Features include: 

  • Drag-and-drop builder with templates and starter layouts
  • Responsive web designs and image scaling
  • Custom WYSIWYG editing to support content types and complex layouts
  • Ability to sell an unlimited amount of products
  • Automatic post-purchase email sequences
  • Finance, marketing, shipping, and sales extensions

Price: Three-day free trial. Basic Commerce plan starts at $27/month.

G2 rating ⭐: 4.4/5

5. BigCommerce

The BigCommerce page builder with page elements widgets and a beauty brand website being built

BigCommerce uses a visual editor tool to design ecommerce stores for enterprise-level companies.

BigCommerce is an online storefront builder aimed at enterprise-level companies. It offers web hosting and customization options. You can’t register your domain name through BigCommerce, so you’ll need to buy a domain name elsewhere and connect it to your store.

BigCommerce’s features include international selling capabilities, SEO apps and optimized stores, and multichannel sales capabilities on social and online selling sites.

Features include:

  • Visual editor to edit website pages with a drag-and-drop tool
  • Customizable themes built with HTML, CSS, and Javascript
  • Checkout customization with server-to-server checkout API and SDK
  • Digital wallet payment options with wallets like Amazon Pay, Apple Pay, and more
  • Cross-channel commerce with marketplaces such as Amazon and Google Shopping
  • Multi-currency and multi-language support for international sales

Price: 15-day free trial. Paid plans start at $29/month.

G2 rating ⭐: 4.2/5

6. Wix

The Wix website building showing feature widgets and a jewelry business homepage
Wix has simple tools and various templates to build a customized ecommerce store.

Wix offers a nontechnical website builder to create online stores.

Users can build an ecommerce website using the drag-and-drop builder for free, but must upgrade to a paid plan to start selling.

Wix has a few tools to manage your ecommerce business. It allows users to track orders, accept online payments, sell on multiple channels, and build abandoned cart campaigns. Wix’s basic plan lacks some inventory management features, such as low-stock alerts, tax calculators, and dropshipping capabilities. Stores with big inventory may want an ecommerce software with different inventory-tracking tools.

Features include:

  • Editing interface to build online stores
  • Templates to tailor a site from storefront to checkout
  • Integrations to help sell on Facebook, Instagram, Google Shopping, and eBay
  • Free SSL certificate to protect customers’ personal information and payments
  • SEO-optimized product pages to rank higher on search engines
  • Ability to import CSV files of store inventory

Price: Business Basic plan starts at $23/month.

G2 rating ⭐: 4.2/5

7. GoDaddy

A preview screen of the GoDaddy store builder demo
GoDaddy has more than 100 mobile-friendly templates for online stores available as part of its website builder.

GoDaddy is known as a website builder, but it can also be used to create an online store.

GoDaddy offers built-in tools for search engine optimization and email marketing campaigns. Retailers can sell up to 1,500 products on a GoDaddy website.

Features include:

  • More than 100 mobile-friendly templates to build ecommerce sites
  • Integrations with social media sites like Instagram and Facebook
  • Automatic sales and inventory management across all marketplaces and channels
  • Multiple payment options such as Google Pay and Venmo 
  • Integration with Square Point of Sale to connect retail and online businesses

Price: Ecommerce plan starts at $16.99/month.

G2 rating ⭐: 3.9/5

8. WooCommerce

A WordPress website back end showing the WooCommerce page template
WooCommerce is a WordPress plug-in that adds ecommerce features to a website. Photo courtesy of: Ninja Team

WooCommerce is an open-source platform for sellers using WordPress. It’s not an independent website builder, but a WordPress plug-in that adds ecommerce features to a website. A developer might be needed to use this ecommerce website builder.

WooCommerce allows users to manage website features such as inventory and tax management, secure payments, and shipping integrations. Like WordPress, WooCommerce’s features can be extended with plug-ins and themes.

Features include:

  • Exclusively built for WordPress, with connection to its ecosystem
  • Mobile-friendly stores make products shoppable on any device
  • Complete control over customer and business data—no third-party software has access
  • Worldwide community with more than 350 contributors
  • 100% open source for control over website appearance and operation

Price: Free with other WordPress products and services.

G2 rating ⭐: 4.4/5

9. Volusion

A woodworking storefront in Volution with content blocks
Volution’s website builder allows for customized layouts, with content blocks for text, images, and feature widgets.

Volusion has site-creation tools that let users create a homepage and product pages, integrate with payment gateways, and sell unlimited products.

It offers inventory and analytics features to monitor shop performance, and sports a native “suggested products” feature in its stores. Physical products can be sold with Volusion, but digital products like ebooks, music, or art aren’t supported.

Features include:

  • Customize page layouts with drag-and-drop content blocks for images, texts, reviews, and more
  • Zero transaction fees on any of Volusion’s plans
  • Responsive themes for mobile shoppers
  • CSS editor to tailor select website elements to business needs
  • Recurring pricing options for subscription businesses

Price: Plans start at $35/month. 

G2 rating ⭐: 3.2/5

10. Zyro

The Zyro website builder tool showing elements available to be added to a page
Zyro offers a drag-and-drop website builder that allows users to customize their online stores. Photo courtesy of: SEO and Switch

Zyro lets users create a lightweight website with ecommerce tools.

It offers integrations with Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, and Facebook ads so you can learn about your customers and improve marketing and advertising efforts. Zyro doesn’t have a free plan—users can build a store after paying upfront.

Features include:

  • Drag-and-drop editor and grid feature to add, edit, and remove web elements
  • Designer-made templates can be customized for business needs
  • CRM to manage emails, discounts, and coupon codes
  • Reporting and integrations with tools like Kliken, MoneyData, and Google Analytics
  • Marketing and SEO tools to launch campaigns easily 
  • One dashboard for everything from inventory to tracking and customer service

Price: Plans start at $11.99/month, with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

G2 rating ⭐: 4.4/5

11. Selz

Selz is a platform with beginner-friendly features. Photo courtesy of: Selz

Selz is an ecommerce builder that caters largely to beginners. It offers themes that can be customized via a drag-and-drop store builder. Selz gives users the option to add Buy buttons to a standard business site or create full-on stores to sell products.

It offers a dashboard to manage social media channels, along with web hosting, an SSL certification, and payment processing.

Features include:

  • Built-in blogging platform
  • Drag-and-drop store builder
  • Ability to manage all social channels from one dashboard
  • Accept major credit cards through Selz Pay (powered by Stripe)
  • Built-in shopping cart
  • Real-time sales analytics

Price: Starts at $26/month.

G2 rating ⭐: 5/5

How to choose an online store builder

Whether you’re a startup or building your 10th ecommerce store, keep these elements in mind when considering a platform:

  • Budget, business plans, and pricing. How much are you willing to spend each year on your store? What are your plans for growth? Some site builders charge more as you add more products. Think about what your business needs to launch today, but also consider how many products you’ll offer down the road.
  • Website-building skill level. How much technical skill do you have? Many builders use drag-and-drop technology to help you create the best ecommerce site, but you’ll still need basic skills to create product pages, add products to your store, and set up any apps or plug-ins. Consider how much experience you have working with software and back-end builders.
  • Customization. Do you want a simple website to showcase your products? Or do you need more advanced features like adding size charts to product pages and adding a live chat window? Think about how you want your website to look and feel and what extra features you need to make it happen.
  • Support. If you’re newer to building an ecommerce website, you’ll likely need some help. Does your desired site builder have live support and tutorials? Consider a platform that can help you solve problems quickly and easily so you can get your store live and start selling online.
  • Payment gateways. You need payment gateways to accept payments from customers securely and to make payments easy for shoppers. For example, Shop Pay’s express checkout feature can increase checkout speed by four times and help customers get what they want, faster. Shopify also offers integrations with over 100 payment gateways, so you can offer the best options for your shoppers, no matter where they are in the world.

Find the best website builder for your business

Now that you know your options when looking for the best ecommerce website builder, it’s time to test them out. Each option comes with its own pros and cons, but hopefully you have a better idea of which store builder is best for your business.

A professional ecommerce website can take your business to the next level. With all these free website builder options available, there’s no doubt you’ll find the best one to build an online store that you’re proud of, impresses customers, and makes sales for you automatically. 

Wrapping Up:

We at ShopShipShake have been working with businesses like yours with fulfilling experiences. We offer one-stop services, including an efficient supply chain, over 10 thousand of China’s suppliers, over 1,000,000 SKU and more. With a successful track record of over 100,000 clients, we are sure to deliver your orders requirements.

Let’s get in touch to build, sustain, and grow your businesses! If you would like to know more details about us, please contact us: If you are interested in cooperating with us. Please register on:

The article originates from:

Can South Africa embrace electric delivery bikes for a greener scooter economy?

Purchasing groceries or a hot meal through a preferred delivery smartphone application has rapidly become a typical aspect of daily life in Mzansi.

Bongani Mthombeni-Möller, Director: Smart Mobility Royal HaskoningDHV | image supplied

But how many of us take a moment to think about the delivery men and women, often on their small 150cc motorbikes, weaving in and out of traffic to get us that latest online order of ours in 60 minutes or less?

Increasingly, this army of delivery agents is becoming a crucial part of the supply chain of a booming local e-commerce market.

Research published by FNB Merchant Services last year highlighted how the size of the South African e-commerce market is expected to double in size from just under R200bn per annum in 2022 to over R400bn in 2025. In 2019, the size of the e-commerce market in South Africa was just R90bn.

In turn, the motorbike delivery economy is creating much-needed jobs in a country where unemployment is at record highs, with a driver being able to earn around R2,500 per week according to some reports.

It’s been estimated that there are up to 50,000 delivery bikes on our roads in South Africa right now. However, this figure is still small when considering that there are over 11 million registered vehicles on our roads.

Nevertheless, we must start to think now about how we can adopt a smart mobility approach with our scooter economy. And doing so requires that we need to get our roads, regulatory environment and law enforcement services ready to deal with a growing number of e-commerce orders.

Smarter use of lanes

Driving along South African roads today presents growing risks with potholes, traffic light outages and increased load shedding. Throw into the mix delivery scooters weaving in and out of traffic and you have a recipe for chaos.

A key question is how do we make our roads better fit for two-wheel motorbike deliveries? The answer may lie in Exclusive MotorCycle Lanes or EMCLs, which have been successfully implemented in countries such as Malaysia, Taiwan and Indonesia.

According to research published by Science Direct, Malaysia managed to reduce motorcycle accidents by 39% after implementing EMCL along Federal Highway-2 in Malaysia. Science Direct has reported that EMCLs ranging from 3.3m to 5.2m in width further resulted in three times the benefits of reducing accident costs.

A key question here is whether traffic volumes of delivery motorcycles on our roads right now justify the need for exclusive lanes. Already, dedicated bus lanes have become a regular feature across Johannesburg, Tshwane and Cape Town.

It may take time for scooters to replicate the same kind of priority as buses. However, with a growing e-commerce economy, we may need to start thinking now about how to make the most of existing lanes so as to prevent further problems in the future.

Smarter regulation and sustainability

The saying that regulation lags innovation has never been more relevant than right now, with tech taking over every aspect of our lives.

In this environment, it’s important that regulation helps keep our society safe as well as creating a more sustainable future.

Whatever regulation we implement, we must ensure that delivery motorbikes are road-worthy and safe. Large supermarket retailers and others may own their own fleet of bikes and even check them for roadworthiness. But it is essential that all companies and drivers take on the responsibility of regularly conducting road-worthiness checks. Traffic officials, such as the JMPD, can partner with the private sector to ensure the safety of everyone on the road.

Moreover, with the move towards a green economy, there is a massive need for electric bikes, electric vehicles and charging stations. This creates an opportunity to tap into the e-mobility sector and phase out petrol bikes as much as possible. Legislation can help regulate the entire EV electric micro-mobility sector and the private sector can provide input into policy and legislation to help support the industry.

We’re still in the early stages of our e-commerce revolution, but there’s no doubt that the scooter economy is going to become a bigger part of our daily lives. The motorcycle delivery economy is agile and versatile. These bikes cut through traffic quickly and deliver goods and services in a short period of time. Gone are the days when customers would have had to wait more than 24 hours for deliveries to arrive via a minivan.

The men and women on these bikes play a huge role in revolutionising the e-commerce space in South Africa. And the more that we can do to enable them and ensure their safety and sustainability, the better this industry will become over the long term.

Wrapping Up:

We at ShopShipShake have been working with businesses like yours with fulfilling experiences. We offer one-stop services, including an efficient supply chain, over 10 thousand of China’s suppliers, over 1,000,000 SKU and more. With a successful track record of over 100,000 clients, we are sure to deliver your orders requirements.

Let’s get in touch to build, sustain, and grow your businesses! If you would like to know more details about us, please contact us: If you are interested in cooperating with us. Please register on:

The article reference:

Psychological Design: 8 Tactics To Turn Leads Into Customers

What compels someone to buy one t-shirt over another seemingly identical garment from a different brand? The customer may not realize it, but there is science at play. Many brands tap into psychology to understand how the human brain makes decisions. 

When a potential customer lands on a website, that brand has several opportunities to influence their behavior. From first impression to conversion, every design decision matters.

Here, learn how psychological design can inform everything from your website theme to your brand colors to the copy on your Buy buttons. And explore the basic principles of psychology through tactics used by some of the world’s top brands.

The role of psychology in design

Academics’ opinions differ slightly on the actual number, but it’s believed that 95% of human decision making is subconscious. Why does that matter for brand design? It means that understanding psychological principles (like the emotional triggers that motivate people to act) will lead to more informed design decisions.

Understanding behavioral psychology can help brands ask the right questions about their target audience. Beyond their basic demographics, what are their deeper motivations? How can you meet their basic needs? Or their desire to belong? What imagery and language helps them feel a sense of security or nostalgia?

Screen grab of the homepage for pet bran Finn
Finn’s homepage uses copy, photography, and design decisions to create positive feelings in its dog-owning target customers. Finn

While every audience is different and it’s important to cater your design to their preferences and behaviors, there are a set of widely accepted basic principles of psychological design. These include Gestalt Principles, cognitive load, Hick’s law, mental models, and color psychology. (Later in this article, you’ll learn more about how these principles can be used to influence user behavior.)

In the past few years, many designers have transitioned into UX design (short for user experience design) roles. That’s because design plays an important part in attracting and converting customers. UX designers use psychological design to create relevant and meaningful experiences that compel customers to visit, engage, follow, and buy. This user-centric framework is called design thinking.

Why it’s important to learn psychological design strategies 

A person organizes color swatches on a table

A beautiful design means nothing if it doesn’t evoke the right emotion or meet the needs of those who see it. 

Applying design psychology tactics means the difference between going with your gut and making deliberate design choices based on science. This measured approach will save a brand time spent in trial and error, and help them better understand their target customers.

A website design built with human psychology in mind can make the experience more intuitive and reduce friction. This gets your customer to where you want them, faster and without frustration.

Psychological design: 8 tactics for brands 

1. Humanize your business

Three people hang out in the wilderness on a coffee tableIt may seem obvious, but designing for humans is an effective tactic in design psychology—and some brands often overlook this basic concept. When building your brand, it’s important to stick to your values and design around your tastes, but it’s even more important to center the user experience in every decision.

Remember: Just because something appeals to you, it doesn’t mean it appeals to a potential customer.

Brands often redesign websites or even go through a full rebranding process. The best ones do so to meet changing consumer trends and address feedback. Yet, some websites stay the same forever. Take Craigslist. The popular buy-and-sell site has looked largely the same since the 1990s. Why? It works. The design is familiar and functional and serves the needs of the target customer. Implementing simplicity and ease of use means putting humans first—and is a proven conversion rate optimization strategy.

Trigger a positive feeling

Another way to humanize your design is to use real smiling faces in your website design and marketing. The smiling part is important. One study has found that smiling can be contagious—that humans often react to seeing a smiling face with a smile of their own. This is important because smiling has health benefits. The simple act of smiling can reduce stress, boost your mood, and release endorphins. 

In the example below, Nugget uses smiling children in its product page photos to induce a positive feeling—and connection—with customers.

Screen grab of product page for Nugget furniture

Using the right faces in your design is also crucial. Reflect the faces of your target customer back at them so they feel “This is a brand for someone like me.” Other tactics include using photos of people looking at the visitor (to engage them) or sharing photos of the real people behind the brand (to build trust).

Dream Pops customer reviews also feature photos that trigger a familiar feeling with customers who resemble the presented ideal customers. 

Screen grab of a website for Dream Pops with three customer reviews

Nopalera’s founder centers her own story in the brand’s messaging, and including her photo builds trust with audiences.

Screen grab of Nopalera's about page


  • Create an About page for your website that includes photos of the founder and employees. 
  • If you’re just starting and haven’t shot lifestyle photos, use stock photo websites to include smiling people in your design.

2. Use color psychology

Portrait of a person leaning on a bright blue bust sculpture

Color psychology is a challenging topic muddied by varying takes and a mishmash of Google search results. It’s easy to get caught up in misinformation. Often certain colors will be associated with emotions or reactions, like blue and calmness, or yellow and energy. But not everyone has the same connections with each color.

As behavioral scientist Brian Cugelman writes, “In the Western world, people describe red for its emotional connections to danger and passion. But in China, red is assigned emotional associations to happiness and fortune.” Culture and diversity add nuance to color psychology that cannot be summed up by a single framework.

One study confirms this assertion, finding that although there are patterns across cultures and regions (high association of the color yellow with joy, and black with sadness), these differences matter.

Consider age and learned experience, too. An older audience may have an affinity for colors that remind them of their childhood, like the muted autumnal palette of the 1970s. And a younger audience may be influenced by trends (think “millennial pink”). 

Design psychologist Sally Augustin advises designers to consider the attributes of color, too: hue, saturation, and brightness. “Colors that are not very saturated but are relatively bright relax us,” she says. 

Screen grab of a website for the brand Fly By Jing

The example above uses highly saturated, energetic, and warm colors to reflect Fly By Jing’s bold brand. Below, Salt & Stone opts for low saturation to remind the visitor of a peaceful, high-end spa experience.

Screen grab of a website for the brand Salt & Stone

These examples show how different approaches to color can change the mood of a website. However, don’t apply broad color psychology principles to your branding exercise. Research your target market, use focus groups, and understand the specific cultural or demographic differences that might affect a user’s perception of color.

3. Reduce the number of options

A manicurist shows a number of nail polish colors to a clientHave you ever stood in front of a shelf of dozens of flavors of soda or shapes of pasta, completely immobilized by this seemingly unimportant choice? It turns out there’s science behind this phenomenon. The paradox of choice, a concept popularized by psychologist Barry Schwartz, observes that when humans are given more choice, the result is not a feeling of happiness or freedom, but one of stress and dissatisfaction. 

Choice can also lengthen the time to decision making, according to Hick’s law. Using Hick’s law in design means reducing the number of options and removing barriers to decision making.

When a visitor lands on your site and they are presented with a multitude of options, from products to variants to shipping rates, they may become overwhelmed and leave without making a choice at all. 

As you design a website for your brand, consider what’s absolutely necessary and strip out the distractions. Do your customers need 48 color options for one t-shirt? Maybe pick the 10 most popular according to your data or market research. Are there too many CTAs on your home page? Focus your customers’ attention toward the path you want them to take.

Screen grab of a website for the brand Deeps

Deeps is a single-product brand selling natural sleep patches. The brand’s website is uncluttered and focused toward a clear call to action (CTA).

4. Optimize for ease of use

A young person uses a mobile phoneAnnual mobile ecommerce sales in the US alone are projected to reach $710 billion in 2025. As mobile use continues to increase, it’s important your website is optimized to improve user experience on smartphones.

It’s vital to find a balance between ease of use and functionality. You may want to offer customers plenty of choice, but if it affects the usability of your mobile site, the experience may be off-putting. 

Analyzing data, such as information gained from heat mapping, can help you understand how potential customers navigate your mobile site, where they get stuck, and when they drop off. A seamless experience with your website can influence a potential customer’s overall feelings about your brand. 

5. Use Gestalt principles

A row of glass Coca-Cola bottlesThe Gestalt principles, introduced in the 1920s, are a set of ideas that can help designers create pleasing and functional designs based on an understanding of the human brain. Our brains naturally organize and find patterns in information to better consume and understand it.

This research led to a set of psychological principles that tend to vary in number and name but often include: proximity, similarity, continuity, closure, connectedness, perception, organization, symmetry, continuation, and figure/ground.

A diagram of 6 Gestalt principles with descriptions
A few Gestalt principles explained. UX Hints

Here are a few Gestalt principles. Learn how they apply to designing a brand and ecommerce site.


Research suggests humans are attracted to symmetry in faces and objects. Expert Alan Lightman explored this idea in his book The Accidental Universe, where he writes, “The search for symmetry, and the emotional pleasure we derive when we find it, must help us make sense of the world around us, just as we find satisfaction in the repetition of the seasons and the reliability of friendships. Symmetry is also economy. Symmetry is simplicity. Symmetry is elegance.”

Humans equate symmetry with harmony, and using this device in your website design can influence a user’s comfort in navigating it. Here’s a great example from beverage brand Avec.

On the other hand, asymmetry can also be effective in design depending on the feeling or action you are trying to influence in your customer. If used carefully, this can be a tool to emphasize a certain aspect of the page.


The principle of figure/ground is about the relationship between object and background. It encourages designers to make a clear distinction between what is considered the backdrop (the “ground”) and what you want the user to focus on (the “figure”). In this example from the Noah’s Box homepage, the brand uses solid boxes to emphasize the important content (text and CTA) and overlays it on a darker, busier backdrop. 


The principle of proximity is another useful way to understand how humans consume information. Because our brains want to find order in the world, people tend to organize information into buckets. Ease this strain by mimicking this human behavior and visually grouping related information. 

Navigation bars, dropdowns, and footers are great examples of how design can help organize similar ideas and objects to create a seamless experience for customers. Take a look at this classic example from Loisa. The designer uses proximity to reduce chaos and clutter in its multiple links and pages.

6. Guide the user’s eyes 

An older woman uses a laptopThe average person landing on your website for the first time may need a nudge to navigate to the pages and solutions that meet their needs. You can help guide them through this navigation using design psychology. 

Graphic elements (like arrows or curved lines) and animation on scroll both use the Gestalt principle of continuity to help a user connect objects and follow a path. You can also use emphasis through color, size, or design elements to draw a user’s attention to a focal point. 

See how your eye travels to the orange elements on this product page by Petaluma. By highlighting the subscribe option they are nudging customers to become repeat buyers. This also creates a visual hierarchy, using color to indicate importance.

The example below from Dippin’ Daisy’s guides the eye with a strategically cropped image and strong graphics.

7. Use confirmation bias 

Two people lay on a couch relaxing with cucumber slices on their eyesConfirmation bias is the human behavior that sees us seeking out information that confirms our own beliefs, while ignoring that which doesn’t. While you want to try to avoid the trap of confirmation bias in your market research (that is, ignoring data that doesn’t jibe with your existing beliefs about your audience), there are ways to use it as a design tool.

Diagram illustrating the concept of confirmation bias

Taking a strong opinion as a brand means that while you alienate some, you attract others by confirming their beliefs. It’s a mistake for a brand to try to be everything to everyone—it’s impossible. Instead, define your target customer in sharp detail and be clear about your values.

8. Reduce cognitive load

A mesh bag full of oranges casts a shadow on a beige wallPut simply, cognitive load is the amount of available space for memory in a human brain. Too much information or a cluttered design can overload the mind. Miller’s law, created by George Miller in the 1950s, states that a person’s working memory can process and hold around seven pieces of information at one time.

Ways to reduce clutter in your design include stripping out redundant links or info, converting large blocks of text into an infographic or another visual descriptor, organizing a lot of info into smaller chunks, and building on existing mental models. 

This example from Heist strips down the top navigation to three options and centers a single CTA button atop an uncluttered video of models wearing the brand’s products.

Screen grab of a website for the brand Heist

Mental models in web design refer to beliefs users have about the way websites should work based on design patterns. These are founded upon a user’s previous experience and expectation that certain elements will appear consistently in the same places or function the same way. For example, placing a menu in the top left or right corner of a website, indicated by a stack of lines, can reduce cognitive load—the user doesn’t have to find the menu because it lives where they expect it to be.

Use psychology to improve your design—and customer experience

By employing the tactics above and conducting your own research, you can make more informed decisions about the design of your brand and your website. The first step is having a clear vision, a well-defined target audience, and a concrete set of measurable goals. These are the foundations of great design—and they will help you remain focused.

Data and feedback will then help you scale. Pay attention to how users are responding to and moving through your design, and use these insights to constantly tweak and improve your design around the needs of the customer. Tapping into what makes your customer tick makes it easier to build better experiences and drive conversion.

Wrapping Up:

We at ShopShipShake have been working with businesses like yours with fulfilling experiences. We offer one-stop services, including an efficient supply chain, over 10 thousand of China’s suppliers, over 1,000,000 SKU and more. With a successful track record of over 100,000 clients, we are sure to deliver your orders requirements.

Let’s get in touch to build, sustain, and grow your businesses! If you would like to know more details about us, please contact us: If you are interested in cooperating with us. Please register on: