South Africa’s largest online marketplace, Bidorbuy expects its year-on-year growth in 2012 to be in the region of 30%. This growth will be fueled by mobile shopping and increased Internet usage in South Africa.
Bidorbuy CEO, Jaco Jonker said that Bidorbuy has seen a distinct year on year growth of about 30% in the past. This growth is not easy to maintain.
“However, for us that means that the growth has slowed down slightly. We have been around since virtually the beginning of the internet in South Africa, and as such, saw faster growth in the early days,” explained Jonker.
“In 2012, we expect our growth to remain in the region of 30%. We are still waiting for the undersea cables to translate into more internet connections, better speed and lower prices for South Africans. Those fundamentals are crucial for an online business such as bidorbuy.”
Online commerce growth in South Africa
The growth of online commerce in South Africa is on the rise. Jonker said that this growth is clearly visible in the number of new online stores opening up and joining Bidorbuy, as well as in the growing number of registrations and transactions on Bidorbuy.
Mobile commerce is another area which Jonker feels will fuel online shopping. “We expect a lot of growth in mobile shopping and this will be an important part of our strategy. As part of our mobile offering, we have launched a new mobile site and developed an iPhone app,” said Jonker.
“True, internet shopping is still very small in comparison to real world shopping. This is in part because South Africa has a bit of a ‘shopping mall’ culture, but a greater challenge to the growth of the online retail can be found in South African postal service and in the internet connectivity,” said the Bidorbuy CEO.
“As internet connectivity increases, and more courier companies offer competitive prices, these challenges have started to dissipate.”
“Currently, the main motivation for shopping online is price; people love bargains. As other factors also start to play a role, for example convenience, wide selection, online retail is poised to become one of the major driving forces of economic growth,” said Jonker.
“That is why online shopping deserves more attention from our government, particularly in terms of spreading the internet access and offering cheap and reliable parcel delivery services,” he concluded.