VMLY&R South Africa And Nando’s Take Home Apex Award


VMLY&R South Africa walked away with a bronze win in the launch category, for Nando’s e-commerce platform from the 2019 Apex Awards.

VMLY&R’s e-commerce platform for Nando’s was recognised for meeting and exceeding the client’s KPI of a 3% conversion rate with an actual conversion of 4.4%.  Additional KPIs included R18 million of sales through the platform within 15 months that was exceeded by R9 million. The agency’s self-imposed target of 22 718 downloads from launch actually reached 56 000 and e-commerce orders have been 20% higher in value than those placed through the call centre.

Since inception by the ACA in 1995, an APEX Award has been considered the profession’s highest – and only – award for communication campaign performance excellence, with the criteria to win is based on an entrant’s ability to prove that their campaign achieved a measured return to a client’s bottom line

Head of Strategy at VMLY&R SA, Ismail Jooma commented, ‘When considering cannibalisation at a rate of 20%, the project has already paid for itself one-and-a-half times. We’re always thankful for clients like Nando’s who trust us with their valuable brands and allow us to do what we do best and we’re always thrilled to demonstrate real results.’
Nando’s in South Africa launched its e-commerce platform during the second half of 2018. While the brand’s PERi-PERi ingredients have not changed, the world has, and it became evident that Nando’s was lagging behind in e-commerce with global and local competitors eating into the brand’s market share.

‘We had to answer the questions of how could Nando’s make it even easier for South Africans to get their hands on their favourite PERi-PERi chicken while at the same time offering the same experience as visiting a Nando’s restaurant,’ commented Jooma.

The platform offers deep customisation and intelligent search functionality that recognises natural language, voice recognition and the cheeky Nando’s tone. The result is:
• Orders can be placed via voice or text.
• Search is easy with the system recognising menu options by name, localised synonyms and/or nicknames.
• Autoconfiguration capabilities so a customer can ask for a ‘Hot chicken burger meal with fries and coke’, and it configures the order accordingly to be added to the basket with one click, ready for checkout.
• An ability to remember favourite orders for one-touch delivery based on user behaviour.
• Customers can plan their day by ordering for delivery ASAP or a specific time in the future on that same day.
• Orders can be collected in-store or delivered to a location of choice.
• Delivery can be tracked with the same Nando’s brand of humour South Africans love.
The final result is an award-winning e-commerce platform unique to Nando’s; slick, smart, funny that has produced 160 000 orders – that’s more than 700 orders per day – in less than a year.
‘The Nando’s win is a huge step in recognising the contribution of technology in aid of creativity and business effectiveness. This is a proof point for our philosophy of orchestrating Connected Brands,’ concluded Jooma.