It’s a new era of retail in South Africa thanks to these latest tech advancements

7 Sep

While the South African retail market has embraced technological advancements with open arms, industry experts say that there are more to be expected in the foreseeable future. The type of innovations anticipated are some that many of us could only once imagine and that means exciting times ahead for retail in SA.

Take Menlyn Park, a prominent shopping mall in Pretoria, as an example of how SA retail is truly embracing technology. The mall currently has the following tech innovations lined up for the very near future:

  • Electric and hybrid car charging stations
  • License plate recognition
  • Mobile app to help shoppers locate their parked vehicle
  • Head counter (as opposed to foot counter) with individualised tags to avoid duplicate counting
  • Smart-metering systems for tenants

According to Olive Ndebele, who is the General Manager of the mall, the tenants are fully embracing the changes as they see the positive impact on their businesses. The mall encourages shop owners to offer online shopping facilities and has also implemented energy efficient lighting and air conditioning systems. All of this is being done while the mall is negotiating a partnership with Google to ensure further technological advancements are made possible and readily available to the mall, its tenants and consumers.

Of course, it’s not only Menlyn Mall that has made tech changes and started reaping the rewards. Below are a few others that have followed suit:

V & A Waterfront (Cape Town) – There’s no more getting lost when seeking out a specific store in the V & A Waterfront mall. The mall now offers shoppers voice-guided location screens that work in conjunction with a mobile app.

Bedford Centre (Bedfordview, Germiston) – For almost a year now, this mall has been the proud host of the first virtual reality arcade in Gauteng. Most of the retail tenants also offer shoppers user-friendly online shopping platforms.

With 2017 being the year that pinpoints retailers changing the way they do things technologically, we take a look at the top 3 high-tech innovations to sweep the globe of late:


Many of you will be aware that Amazon already uses drones for deliveries. What you might not know is that they have applied for a patent to install drone charging stations on top of light posts within the cities where they offer a drone service. It’s not just an international trend though.

Drones have caught the attention of South Africans and are also used in several African countries at the moment. Take Rwanda for instance, where drones are currently used to collect and deliver blood samples!


E-commerce has been on the cusp of great things for both retailers and consumers for some time now. Many companies now offer their customers the opportunity to transact online or via mobile app and if your business doesn’t offer this sort of quick and convenient option, you could be losing business to competitors that do. With E-commerce, consumers can quickly and easily access product information, compare products online and have everything that they need, at their fingertips.


This seamless multi-channel sales approach is used to improve the customer experience. Through consistent and integrated messaging consumers are able to shop online and interact with a company on numerous social platforms. In this way, Omnichannel bridges the gap between physical and online shopping.

A new era of retail shopping has been realised on a global scale and it’s great to see that South Africa is embracing the technology of the future. If your local retail store offers innovative technology to enhance your shopping experience, let us know about it here!

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