A new survey conducted by online retailer, Kalahari.com, indicates that mobile shopping using tablets is on the rise – but smartphones are still firmly in the driving seat of mobile commerce.
According to kalahari.com’s 2013 mobile shopping survey, tablet ownership has increased 10% amongst its customers, with 40% of shoppers using the platform to shop online.
The survey of 1,048 customers also revealed that 66% of respondents who do not own tablets indicated an intention to purchase one.
“Growth in tablet traffic to kalahari.com is growing at a slightly lower rate than that of mobile traffic, but we are seeing conversion rates that are four-and-a-half times higher,” said Caren Genthner-Kappesz, CEO of kalahari.com.
“We recorded a meteoric 70% increase in tablet traffic on kalahari.com over the last year and we predict that this growth will go up with the vigorous uptake of tablets by consumers,” the CEO said.
A majority of survey respondents (50%) use Apple‘s iPad, whicle 33.4% fall into the Samsung Galaxy Tab camp. While Apple still dominates, Genthner-Kappesz noted a decrease in the gap between the two rivals.
Recent research by World Wide Worx echoed the trend, finding that Apple dominates the South African tablet market with a 45% share – but Samsung is catching up quickly with a 39% share.
Smartphones still in the driving seat
Despite the growth of tablets in the market, the Kalahari survey notes that smartphones are still firmly in the driving seat of mobile commerce in South Africa.
According to Kalahari, smartphone ownership amongst its users increased by 7%, meaning 86% of online shoppers at the site own smartphones.
“Smartphones are still key players in fuelling e-commerce growth. A huge proportion of South Africa’s connected use the devices to access the internet and for online shopping,” said Genthner-Kappesz.
While the survey indicates that the number of shoppers that have made purchases using their phones has gone up by 26%, Genthner-Kappesz said the company has seen revenue from mobile sites increase 145% year-on-year.
“The proportion of traffic generated by smartphones on kalahari.com reveals just how key smartphones will continue to be in fuelling eCommerce growth,” the CEO said.
Mobile traffic as a proportion of total traffic increased by 110% between Q4 2012 and Q1 2013. It then increased again from Q1 2013 to Q2 2013 by another 129%, Genthner-Kappesz said.
“Clearly there is a propensity in South Africa to purchase goods via mobile device, the key is going to be in closing that loop,” she said.