The “Online Retail in South Africa 2019” report:
Local online retail goes mainstream and is set to pass the R14-billion mark this year, marking 1.4% of total retail
Online retail in South Africa is due to pass the R14-billion mark in 2018 as e-commerce begins to go mainstream. This is a key finding of the Online Retail in South Africa 2019 study.
The 2018 figure, which represents 25% growth over 2017, comes as a surprise, given predictions that online retail growth would slow down to below 20% by 2018.
Forecasts have been beaten as a result of massive investments in online retail, aggressive marketing, and the rapid uptake of new shopping channels like mobile shopping and Instagram.
Further, most established online retailers have enhanced their digital presence, and refined their fulfilment models, while many traditional retailers are starting to see significant growth in their online offerings. It is not unusual to see growth rates of between 25% and 50% reported by individual online retailers, with slightly more tempered expectations for 2019 and 2020.
Key online shopping highlights:
Online Retail Growth Speeds Up
Growth in Apparel Accelerates
China Rules Global Online Retail
Customer Centricity Wins
Online tracking tool, Narratiive, has released its South African eCommerce report for 2018. The data is based on a survey of 7,909 South Africans between July and August 2018, with respondents asked questions focusing on their online purchasing frequency, their most commonly purchased products, and what stops them from shopping online.
The data showed that online shopping continues on an upward trend in the country, with 44% of offline shopper survey respondents saying that they anticipate making an online purchase in the next 12 months. In addition, 73% of online shoppers say that they’ve either maintained or increased their online shopping habit in the last 12 months.
What people are buying
The report found that books (10%), travel tickets (10%) and tickets for shows and sporting events (9%) were some of the most frequently bought items in the last 12 months.
Other popular purchases include:
- Clothes and accessories – 7%
Hotel reservations – 7%
DVDs, videos, and music (including CD, K7, MP3’s) – 6%
Health and beauty products – 5%
Software – 5%
When asked how much they spent on their last purchase, 22% said that they spent between R200 – R499, while 19% said that they spent between R500 – R999 and R1000 – R2999 respectively.
When asked how long it took for their last purchase to be delivered:
- 27% said between 3-5 working days
27% said that their delivery was instant
21% said between 1-2 working days
15% waited for longer than 10 days
10% said between 5-10 working days
While some consumers indicated that they were unsatisfied with these delivery times, the majority said that they were ‘very satisfied’ (61%) or ‘fairly satisfied’ (24%).
Part of this satisfaction is likely to stem from the fact that 58% of these customers were charged no fee for this delivery, while just 14% were charged a fee of R50 or more