2019 promises, to once again be a year of opportunity and turbulence in equal measure. On the local front, South Africa will continue to emerge from the last decade of turmoil, with increasing hope for international investment, growth and stability. 2019 is also an election year, so our economy is likely to feel the impact of political shenanigans in the run-up to voting day. Internationally, economic changes continue unabated with the USA/China trade war and Brexit, to name a few, likely to create ripples throughout the global economy. Supply chains operate at the heart of most industry, and as such, are impacted by a plethora of trends. Here are a few we are keeping our eye on.
In December 2017, South African consumers spent over R100 billion in retail buying. Despite low levels of consumer confidence, the festive season remains a peak spending time within the country, and this increase in shopping translates directly into increased demand on supply chains.
2018 has seen a 19% upsurge in local online sales with South Africans predicted to spend in excess of R45 billion online before the end of the year. This trend is expected to escalate even more over the coming 24 months, with an estimated complete spend of over R60 billion in 2020, which will display a 36% increase as of 2018.
In just under 5 years Black Friday has come to be a major shopping phenomenon locally. This peak shopping day requires months of preparation to fulfil customer expectations when securing their special deals, whether online or in store. Black Friday is said to be the largest consumer day of the year in South Africa, with a record 4.7 million card transactions documented in 2017, of which over 250 000 were online transaction tallying up to over R 2.5 billion worth of credit and debit card retail transactions.
2018 has been an interesting year for local supply chains, perhaps most notably due to the impact of escalating costs, and the resultant adoption of advancing technologies. The volatile fuel prices in both crude oil and diesel have had an immense effect on the cost of doing business, and have therefore increased the need for more creative business models to remain profitable. One tactic being adopted is that of manufacturers shifting closer to their customer base, resulting in more diverse business locations and progressively flexible supply chains that allow companies to be more customer-centric to service client needs better and faster.