Growing the pie: tap into the next-gen consumer now

Businesses need to invest in targeting the next generation consumer for future growth, says i-Pay.

Organisations need to invest more in understanding their markets, targeting the spenders and not just the sources of the money, says Mitchan Adams, director, head of R&D and co-founder of i-Pay, an automated EFT solution provider.

i-Pay, whose customers include e-tailer Takealot, is enjoying growth in the order of eight percent month on month. Mitchan attributes some of this success to the company’s ability to “grow the pie”, expanding its reach beyond traditional customers.

Speaking on day two of Finance Indaba in Sandton, Mitchan said: 

“You need to understand the potential each customer uniquely possesses, understand the purpose that drives the customer daily, and appeal to their innermost desires. Any one person is linked to many other people, places and objects, all of which require a service to make their day run more seamlessly.”

Comparing organisations today to the characters in the Men in Black movies, Mitchan said many organisations saw customers the way MIB viewed aliens – as scary, unpredictable and good at hiding, while customers saw businesses as emotionless entities out to get them.

He said: 

“But consumers will spend their currency where currency has been spent on them – and this currency that includes time, effort and energy. To get their attention you need to look into their eyes – and their eyes are currently on social media like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and WhatsApp. You need to engage with the spenders of the future to foster loyalty and trust.”

Mitchan pointed out that in the online shopping space, only around 53% of the potential market was currently shopping online in South Africa. Across the continent, GDP is growing and a young consumer base is rising. “Throw away stereotypes and target this market now,” he said.

He said i-Pay’s healthy growth was supported by advertising, understanding client pain points, and solving problems. “For example, we noted that many lower income consumers weren’t able to shop online because they did not have credit cards, so we made payment solutions to cater for this, and negotiated lower or zero rates with telcos for online shopping customers.”