The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have accelerated the adoption of social media and digital usage, both in South Africa and the rest of the world. Digital strategist at Gorilla Creative Media, Zahira Kharsany joins us on this episode to discuss some of her observations on how brands and individuals have been using digital platforms. The increased adoption of e-commerce and online shopping, notes Zahira, is one of the areas that most people are turning to. She also says brands have found smart ways to help alleviate the pressure on consumers, which has taken the lead across social media and digital platforms. Online shopping outlets that allow people to make purchases and pay on delivery have seen increased sales from users who were once less likely to shop online. This has opened up more possibilities for e-commerce brands and shoppers in South Africa. “Rural communities have taken to WhatsApp significantly with group buying and the stokvel model showed growth during the pandemic.” - Zahira Kharsany On the subject of influencers and digital content creators, Zahira has noticed that more brands are letting content creators take the lead on the creative aspect of content creation. Some include their communities in the curation process of idea generation.