E-commerce growing in SA

 ·23 Jan 2014
e-commerce online shopping

A preliminary report on financial services company, PwC’s global survey of online shoppers, has revealed that South Africans are making online purchases more frequently and through more channels.

For its 2013 total retail survey, PwC asked 15,000 consumers from 15 territories – including South Africa – about their purchasing preferences, use of different shopping channels and expectations of retailers.

According to PwC, collectively, consumers “have set a high bar for retailers” in terms of what they expect from them, by indicating that they want more in-store technology, real-time insight into stock, consistent prices and offerings, and an “always-on,” 24-7 service mentality.

The report, due out in February, also notes that consumers prefer optimised mobile sites for mobile shopping over dedicated apps, while over 80% of respondents favoured free delivery over bundled shipments and appointment deliveries.

Looking at South Africa, PwC noted a strong response toward mobile commerce, with large percentages of respondants indicating they had made purchases via mobile (phone and tablet) devices.

Key highlights from the pwc report include:

  • 13% of South African respondents shop online weekly;
  • 68% made their first online purchase less than 4 years ago;
  • 48% buy products on social media;
  • 49% shop on mobile phones;
  • 40% shop on tablets.

Growth of m-commerce in SA

Major online retailers in South Africa have indicated massive growth in mobile commerce channels in 2013.

On Thursday (23 January) ecommerce fashion website Zando.co.za, announced the celebration of its two year anniversary.

The group said that in 2013, it satisfied online shoppers with a 98% on time delivery rate for their several hundred thousand customers.

Zando notes that it now offers 20,000 different products online, attracting 1.5 million people to the site each month.

Speaking at the uAfrica eCommerce Conference in September 2013, Jaco Jonker (CEO of Bidorbuy), Daniel Guasco (CEO of Groupon SA) and Liz Hillock (Head of Marketing at Kalahari.com) noted a significant uptake of customers making purchases through mobile means.

Jonker revealed that the Bidorbuy had seen 100% growth year-on-year in terms of mobile traffic to the site, but pointed out that average revenue per user (ARPU) still significantly trailed customers who bought through the web interface.

A survey conducted by Kalahari in June 2013, revealed that purchases made by customers accessing the site on tablets had seen “meteoric” growth of 70% year-on-year.

Hillock, speaking to Kalahari’com’s figures, said that, while the e-retailer had noted an increase in mobile users, there was still a significant gap between PC and tablet users, and mobile.

According to Hillock, Kalahari has invested over R1 million on opening and developing its mobile platforms.

More on e-commerce

Mobile commerce faces uphill climb in SA

MTN pumps R4.27 billion into e-commerce

Who loses out in the rise of e-commerce?

Kalahari boosts e-commerce platform

The future of e-commerce in SA

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