New Vodacom online store in the works

Vodacom is in the process of developing a new e-commerce platform targeting the country’s youth.

The mobile operator has selected e-commerce software solution provider Vaimo to deliver Vodacom 4U’s new online platform, which is expected to go live the first quarter of 2013.

Vaimo will utilise eBay‘s sophisticated platform, Magento, for the new initiative.

“The e-commerce store design will appeal to the informed tech-savvy youth of today. The user-experience is highly interactive and intuitive, allowing users to find and compare suited mobile packages, phones and accessories,” Vodacom said.

Once they have chosen a phone and contract pairing, the application process, order confirmation and payment is a “frictionless experience without the grudge factor of buying a handset in a store,” said Kevin Clarke, managing director for Vaimo.

Vodacom 4U’s new online presence will integrate with four sales and supplier channels, with a strong focus on social media integration, the group said.

“Most of what we offer is so dependent on technology that we have had to come up with a more technological way to sell to our growing tech savvy customer base. Our bricks and mortar stores are great but we needed to position Vodacom 4U for the online revolution happening in South Africa,” said Jarryd Chatz, executive head of sales and marketing: product & e-commerce at Vodacom 4U.

“For years our customers have been engaging online with us, but it was mostly limited to customer service. The Magento platform enabled us to evolve our service offering to online contract applications and selling devices online,” he said.

Vodacom has not enjoyed much success through its value-added services in recent times, with its mobile social network, The Grid, having shut down on 1 December 2012, while Zoopy, the Vodacom-owned video and media platform, currently offline for an overhaul, with a targeted relaunch set for 1 April 2013.

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New Vodacom online store in the works