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What we learned at Ecommerce Live

September 21, 2023

The xneelo team were out in force at Ecommerce Live – one of the largest in-person events for online business owners in South Africa that attracts more than 2000 visitors annually. 2023 saw a bumper turnout of 2497 attendees. 

Our delegation included members of the support, marketing and product teams, to ensure that no matter what questions came our way, we could provide the best advice possible.

Entrepreneurs are keen to get going and grow

After engaging with members of the small business community, we took away several key insights:

  • Entrepreneurs want to get their business ideas out into the world quickly
  • Many do-it-yourselfers struggle with the technicalities of creating an online store with e-commerce software and find aspects like calculating VAT, and integrating payment gateways and couriers complicated
  • Many website owners struggle with performance issues that slow their sites down
  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a key focus for website owners

The team were able to provide on-the-ground advice for some common website problems, such as ways to improve performance and how to use a CDN to improve page load speed. 

Entrepreneurs are intrigued by WordPress’s e-commerce capabilities

One topic we were more than excited to chat about, was WordPress, which at xneelo, we consider the small business owner’s secret weapon. WordPress is an easy-to-use content management system (CMS) that can be used to build any type of website – including e-commerce stores. Even beginners are able to customise and grow their stores quickly and easily. 

“Most attendees had heard of WordPress, but were not that familiar with its e-commerce features. Many of the attendees I spoke to were excited to hear that we offer a hosting product that’s been specifically optimised for the platform,” explains Marketing Product Specialist Anne-Rika Giliomee.

“It was such a valuable opportunity for us to introduce Managed WordPress Hosting to visitors to our stand, and take them through all the features they need to start their online journey that are bundled together for their convenience.”

Easy-to-use Managed WordPress Hosting features include Starter Sites, email, and a temporary domain.  The product also includes dedicated web hosting, security and backups.

“One aspect of Managed WordPress Hosting that attendees were especially excited about was the free WP101 training material included with the product,” said Anne-Rika. “Website owners really want to dive deeper into the ins and outs of WordPress. This really excites us because we want to enable business owners to learn and grow.” 

Entrepreneurs are keen to learn 

The advice kept on coming. 

xneelo’s Head of Product Kerry Nesbitt participated in a panel discussion about choosing a domain name and web hosting partner for an online business. Kerry took the audience through choosing a domain name and hosting plan, and what to consider when scaling your business. During the panel, she was more than willing to draw on her years of experience to answer business owners’ most challenging questions.

It is always an honour to be able to share our expertise with the small business community and to help entrepreneurs realise their e-commerce goals. With over 80% of South Africans using the internet and more than 27 million active e-commerce shoppers, we’re proud to do our part to grow the e-commerce industry in South Africa. 

From everyone at xneelo, we wish to extend our thanks to the Ecommerce Live team, and to all the entrepreneurs and online business owners we had the pleasure of meeting during the event.

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