Strong SA e-commerce growth expected

New research by the Boston Consulting Group predicts that South Africa’s Internet economy will grow from R51 billion in 2011, to R103 billion in 2016. If local e-commerce growth is anything to go by, the Boston Consulting Group’s predictions are likely to come true.

Kalahari.com said that they have experienced solid growth in e-commerce over the past year, both in terms of revenue and new shoppers.

“Kalahari.com drove an 89% increase in new shoppers over festive season 2011, compared to 2010. This is a huge achievement in what is essentially still a nascent market,” the company said.

Kalahari.com added that the first quarter of 2012 has started well, and they predict further growth in the next few years, particularly in mobile commerce.

“Since the launch of our dedicated mobile site, we’ve already surpassed initial expectations and have seen 100% growth in the last 6 months alone,” said Kalahari.com.

Takealot also continued their strong growth in 2012.  “The first three months have shown encouraging signs and we expect this to continue this year and in the years to come.  Growth this year has been in the high double digit range,” said Donna Stephens, head of marketing and customer service at Takealot.

Online retailer, Wantitall also experienced strong growth over the last twelve months. “We see our turnover up 10-15% year-on-year,” said Wantitall CEO, Justin Drennan.

Drennan is cautiously optimistic about their future growth despite growing competition in the local e-commerce market.

“Things have become a lot more competitive over the last few years, and unless businesses are willing to put some serious money behind their online retail play, or have a large brand to leverage, they should expect a tough time online,” said Drennan.

“With more players entering the space, marketing costs have increased dramatically, which means businesses have to rely on more inventive methods to acquired customers.”

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Strong SA e-commerce growth expected