Jonathan Hurvitz
Jonathan Hurvitz

#NEXT2022: How retailers and brands can prepare for a post-COVID world

by Jonathan Hurvitz. COVID-19 offered businesses in every industry a lesson, a challenge, or an opportunity, but retail was most acutely affected.

by Jonathan Hurvitz. The optimism and energy that comes with a new year is always something that brands and retailers should embrace and leverage to their advantage. As we head into 2022 this is especially important, as it signals the start of yet another year in which the impact of a global pandemic continues to influence business decisions, consumer spending, and cultural trends.

COVID-19 offered businesses in every industry a lesson, a challenge or an opportunity, but retail was certainly among those most acutely affected. Now it’s up to us to ensure those learnings were not in vain, by applying them as part of a strategic approach to operational efficiency in 2022 and beyond.

The online acceleration

The rise of online shopping is a well-documented consequence of the pandemic, and shows no sign of slowing down. Online retail revenue is estimated to grow by 30% in 2022 to reach the R50 billion mark. As such, the lesson is a simple one. Brands which want to be competitive – and relevant – in the increasingly crowded online space simply cannot afford to neglect their online offering. What’s more, merely having an online presence also is not enough. A retailer’s online offering needs to be dynamic, relevant and, most importantly, user-centric.

User-centricity is an all-encompassing term, but it ultimately speaks to an understanding that meeting the needs and preferences of the user is the ultimate goal for any brand in the post-COVID world. Over-delivery on customer expectations – that unique ability to constantly ‘surprise and delight’ them – relies on a digital-first mindset. There is no way that you can simply copy and paste a bricks and mortar strategy and expect to see the same results online. Online retail success requires the operational ability (and will!) to change rapidly, to adapt, reinvent, and to react to market trends swiftly.

This sentiment is echoed in a study by Deloittes titled, The New Retail Operating Model of the Future,  which highlights that the goal for online retailers is to become more consumer-centric and to operate more efficiently.

Convenience is everything

Consumer convenience is and will continue to be the competitive brand advantage that any business wants to ensure it has. In 2022, convenience will be at the heart of what consumers expect from the products and services they use. Various factors, including rising internet penetration, faster paced lifestyles and challenging working hours, have “added layers of complexity to consumers’ lives”, as per this Nielsen report titled, The Quest for Convenience.

Simplicity is at the centre of convenience and brands need to ensure that they are able to address this need in a consistent way. And consumers are willing to spend more for the convenience they crave. A 2020 Deloitte report talks about convenience as the “new battleground”, one that was accelerated by COVID-19 but is surely here to stay.

Value is a verb

Over the past 22 months we have engaged extensively with the question of value and what it means in our business, as I’m sure many others have too. What we’ve concluded is that our value proposition is more than the products we offer – it’s the convenience, flexibility, access, and peace of mind that the products bring that offer real value.

Understanding your value proposition, beyond the obvious part of the offering, and communicating it as such will become increasingly important for brands and retailers looking to distinguish themselves in a sustainable way. The value proposition needs to be clear, relevant, measurable, and dynamic in that it can easily be adapted to meeting changing consumer needs.



Value is a verb: Our value proposition is more than the products we offer – it’s the convenience, flexibility, access, and peace of mind that the products bring that offer real value. Retailers need to be clear in adapting to consumer needs.


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Jonathan Hurvitz is the Group CEO of online retailer Teljoy and a registered Chartered Accountant in South Africa.




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