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The Seller

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The Situation

Brick and mortar retail stores have been feeling the pinch of a reduction of sales in the recent past due to several reasons beyond their control. And to add to their misery, a pandemic grabbed hold of the world, killing off hopes of a recovery to this retail sector.

The founder of V Mall was also a proud owner of a retail store, until he had to close down operations for reasons beyond his control. In doing so, he swore to himself that he would start a retail revolution that will save this retail sector. He understood that there were several big players in the market that were slowly eating away at their market share, making it difficult for the survival of the brick and mortar retail sector

With a belief that it would take something special to be the saviour to the retail sector, the entrepreneur in him awoke, with the idea that complete collaboration of all stakeholders would be needed, to create a retail revolution, in order to claim back market share that was taken away.

This led to the birth of V Mall, a Virtual Mall, created for the brick and mortar retail sector to be able to showcase their stores virtually, to reclaim their sales via an online portal, and grow their businesses once again. This collaboration shall assist in starting a retail revolution, with stakeholders grouping together to be a force in the market, which otherwise would not be achievable individually. Together we shall march towards prosperity and success.

The Solution

The creation of an online Virtual Mall, the first of its kind in the world, dedicated to brick and mortar stores, in order to revitalise this part of the retail sector, to try and save whatever was started, for the love of retail. WIN WIN

The platform was fashioned to put together a perfect blend of stores to give a look and feel of a shopping mall, a Virtual Mall, identifiable by the individuals that frequent these malls to do their daily, weekly, monthly and leisurely shopping. We’ve anticipated the market trends towards online shopping; therefore, our idea was to follow this trend and create a shopping mall where people would be able to shop from the comfort of their home, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. So, you can be selling your products while your stores are closed. WIN WIN

Our aim to is to combine the best of both worlds, online and offline, creating an unforgettable experience for the shopper. There are thousands of products that are not available online, but can be obtained exclusively from offline stores, and it is these products that we want to make available to everyone. An individual store normally caters for a specific portion of the population, dependent on their geographical location, creating an opportunity to sell a certain number of products per month. We want to ensure that your products are available to the whole country, increasing your presence, and sales at the same time, creating an opportunity to sell 10 times the number of products that you would normally sell to your segment of the market. WIN WIN

Consumers are looking for ease of use, superior customer experience and product assortment. The research shows that this far outstrips pricing and the search for discounts. This is exactly what taken into consideration in the creation of V Mall. Join us to create success for yourself.

The Numbers

The stats unfortunately paint a bleak picture for brick and mortar retail sales in South Africa. Sales have depressed by 12% year on year in May 2020, recovering slightly from the April figures which showed a 50.4% decrease in sales. The huge decrease is mostly due to the lockdown, but the figures were on a downward spiral in any event, due to the boom in online sales.

Economic Futurist, Daniel Silke said, “The Covid-19 pandemic has boosted online retail and e-commerce is now on steroids.” He went on to say, “Shopping was heading this way even before the pandemic, but the lockdown gave the move an added sense of urgency to make it more compelling for the consumer.”

Even though the lockdown in South Africa spurred online retail dramatically, the trend was already moving in that direction. Online retail sales have grown by 20% in 2017 and 2018, and has increased by 25% in 2019. People have found new ways of shopping in this “new normal” way of life and this has boosted online retail sales in 2020. The data shows that once consumers delve into online shopping and have good experiences, they are normally there to stay. That spells good news for online retailers, as consumers start spending online, as opposed to offline. The customer experience and convenience will ensure that these consumers are retained in the virtual world.

As of January 2020, the number of active internet users in South Africa reached 36.54 million users, with 34.93 million active mobile internet users, making it 56% of the population. By 2025, this number will increase to 62.3%. This number has increased to this level dramatically in the last few years, showing the trend towards living life online. This means that there is a huge number of potential buyers to be tapped into.

The numbers generally do not lie, and it assists us in decision making. The decision that we make now will determine our survival in the market. That decision is none other than – WE NEED TO MIGRATE ONLINE – for the survival of our businesses.

Why Choose V Mall?

Virtual Stores

Imagine a replica of your brick and mortar store, allowing customers an experience of shopping online, but having the feeling of shopping in your store. Customers will be able to browse, shop and pay for items seamlessly, without any efforts by you, in a safe, secure and trusted environment.

Easy to use Dashboard

You will have access to the backend of your online store via a simple dashboard to load your products, manage your stock levels, and create sales and promotions with ease. Full history reporting and statistics are provided to manage your store according to best selling items, most viewed items, etc.

Sales Growth without any Effort

Even though customers may not visit your store, and purchase from another virtual store within the mall, your products could have the opportunity to be upsold or cross sold. Our platform is optimised to promote complementary products to what a customer chooses to buy, and this could potentially sell your product without your store being visited.

Accessible via all Platforms

Our offering shall be available and accessible to each and every internet user as our website shall be compatible with desktop/laptop computers, tablets and mobile friendly; and will also be compatible with all browsers. Further to that, V Mall shall have a registered App which will be accessible on the Apple Playstore for iOS, as well as the Google Playstore, for Android.