By 2025, eCommerce will expand by an additional $1.4-trillion, accounting for half the growth in the retail sector worldwide; this is according to global market research company Euromonitor International. Unpacking how local entrepreneurs can leverage the increase in online shopping due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the PayFast eCommerce Virtual Summit, will take place from 17 to 20 May 2021.

Hosted by The Insaka eCommerce Academy, the Summit will bring together industry leaders to help entrepreneurs start, grow and scale their eCommerce businesses. The online event is open to the public and free to attend. Last year’s event had over 10 500 participants, making it the biggest local eCommerce summit to date.

“From groceries to clothing and tech, South African consumers have embraced online shopping as a convenient means of retail. Despite the lowering of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, the variety of products available, and ease of online shopping has sustained consumer interest in the eCommerce sector. This presents an opportunity for more businesses and entrepreneurs to move online,” says Jonathan Smit, Managing Director and Founder of online payment gateway, PayFast.

“Due to the wide adoption of eCommerce platforms since the start of the pandemic, the barriers to entry for the industry are the lowest they’ve ever been. We want the Summit to encourage anyone who has considered starting an online store to take the leap of faith, while the industry is as established as it currently is,” says Warrick Kernes, Founder of The Insaka eCommerce Academy, a community-driven learning organisation for entrepreneurs.

As a keynote speaker at the Summit, Smit will speak to the trends and opportunities seen in the eCommerce sector. “We’ve seen many local retailers – big and small – launching successful digital platforms and eCommerce models over the past year. We want to encourage and support attendees to continue driving innovation in eCommerce and meet the increasing demand for local online businesses.”

Kernes will use his session to explore how entrepreneurs can find winning products to sell online. “With the increasing shift to digital, consumers still want a strong human-element to their eCommerce experience. The Summit aims to help merchants, big and small, with bringing that personal touch to their online stores covering everything from marketing, customer service, logistics and most importantly their products.”

Other key speakers at the Summit include Lauren Dallas, Founder of business network, Future Females; Prof Adheesh Budree from the University of Cape Town; Craig Lubbe, CEO of BidorBuy; Jaco Roux, Co-founder and Technical Director from uAfrica and Donald Valoyi, Founder of Zulzi.

To register for the free event, click here.