Consumer Goods Council of South Africa Annual Summit will focus on Consumer Goods and Retail in the Digital Age

Johannesburg, 17th August 2015 – Latest global trends in the digital age and how they can benefit the consumer and retail sector will be discussed at the annual flagship summit of the Consumer Goods Council of South Africa (CGCSA) from 17-18 September 2015, at Vodacom World, Midrand.

  • Over 500 local and international delegates will discuss latest trends in retail and digital developments
  • Speakers from companies such Facebook, McKinsey, Nielsen, Vodacom, Roamler, WiGroup, Imperial, and Coca Cola to unpack how retail sector can maximise digital opportunities
  • Mobile and digital channels are increasing rapidly in Africa, and many African consumers now open to mobile marketing
  • South Africa now almost 25 million internet users, with almost 12 million active social media accounts, and of that number, 10.6 million are accessed via mobile.

Johannesburg, 17th August 2015 – Latest global trends in the digital age and how they can benefit the consumer and retail sector will be discussed at the annual flagship summit of the Consumer Goods Council of South Africa (CGCSA) from 17-18 September 2015, at Vodacom World, Midrand.

The summit brings together about 500 local and international speakers and delegates who are Sector CEOs, Supply Chain and Commercial executives, Marketing and Brand Management executives, and Heads of customer care and call centre managers amongst others. Delegates and speakers will engage on the latest trends in the retail, digital developments and hear how the digital age is transforming business models in the consumer and retail sector as more and more people adopt mobile technology and social media to purchase or make on-line transactions.

The digital age has also opened opportunities for companies to use platforms such as social media to engage with customers, respond to complaints, monitor consumer buying and spending behaviour and accumulate data that can be used to influence purchasing decisions.

Speakers have been confirmed from such global and local companies such as Facebook, McKinsey, Nielsen, Vodacom, Roamler, WiGroup, Imperial, and Coca Cola.

Gareth Ackerman, co-chairman of the CGCSA, says the summit is particularly interesting given the theme the council has chosen which is centred on the digital revolution sweeping across the world.

Ackerman says the potential benefits and opportunities presented by the digital age can no longer be ignored nor under-estimated.

For example, he says recent statistics from the international market research firm eMarketer show that global e-commerce sales will eclipse $3.5 trillion within the next five years, and the web will account for 7.3% of global retail sales this year, growing to 12.4% by 2019.

The fast-growing Asia-Pacific market is expected to fuel a 25% year-over-year increase in global e-commerce in 2015, and consumers worldwide will spend $1.672 trillion online this year. That figure represents 7.3% of overall global retail sales, which are expected to be $22.822 trillion this year. By 2019, eMarketer projects online purchases will more than double to $3.551 trillion, or 12.4% of total retail sales of $28.550 trillion, as more people come online around the world.

“On the other hand, estimates show that the number of social networks users in 2016 will exceed 2.13 billion up from 1.4 billion in 2012. Market leader Facebook was the first social network to surpass 1 billion registered accounts, now has over 1,4 billion users. Microblogging network Twitter had over 316 million users in the second quarter of this year, up 15% year-on-year; blogging service Tumblr has more than 420 million active blog users and Instagram hosts more than 300 million users.

Ackerman notes that in South Africa, on-line retailing continues to grow and more people are feeling more comfortable moving away from traditional purchasing habits to adopt the more interactive on-line environment. Social media and internet usage is also rising.

He also quotes latest figures from social media marketing and communications agency, We Are Social, which shows there were now almost 25 million internet users in the country, with almost 12 million active social media accounts, and of that number, 10.6 million are accessed via mobile.

“These statistics clearly show that the digital age is truly upon us and is changing and even upending business models as companies try to understand how to respond, take advantage of, and exploit the opportunities the digital age is presenting,” Ackerman says.

Therese Gearhart, also co-chairman of the CGCSA says international and local speakers and experts will speak about how local companies in the consumer goods and retail sector can adopt to new and disruptive technologies.

“This is particularly important as South African consumers are now increasingly becoming technologically savvy and demanding. We have therefore asked the experts to share with us latest global trends that we can learn from – and even adapt – for our business growth and survival,” says Gearhart.

Gwarega Mangozhe, CEO of the CGCSA says some of the topics to be discussed include:

  • Turning digital platform and advertising channel into a competitive and sustainable business advantage
  • Crime and risk management and how technology can help catch criminals
  • Digital developments influence on way of work… what impact does it have on retail activities for manufacturers
  • Cybercrime – Social engineering and its impact on digital transactions
  • Choosing the right mobile platform for you. Mobility a catalyst in the digital enterprise transformation
  • Expectations to respond to customer complaints round the clock, how to deal with this practically, workforce realignment and how businesses are adapting to the changing needs and expectations of the digital consumer.
  • Deliver change in the digital economy… Supply Chain Collaboration in SA FMCG Supply Chains

“You will see from the topics that it will be a packed two-day programme which we believe will provide a rich insight into how South African consumer and retail companies can use the digital revolution to their business and commercial advantage. Digital has made the world a much smaller place and companies have no choice but to change business models to exploit opportunities presented,” Mangozhe says.

In this Summit there are opportunities to exhibit, which provides an exciting and unparalleled platform, where you enjoy high and visible exposure for your brand over a two-day period.

For more information, visit our Summit Website