Report: e-Commerce in South Africa

Effective Measures has released a report on e-commerce in South Africa. They surveyed over 10,000 internet users with desktop access in South Africa in order to ascertain their online shopping habits.

Some of the key insights they uncovered include:

  • 73.76% of online shoppers will use the internet to make payments, transfer money and pay utility bills, with 49% doing so at least once a week.
  • 38.51% of shoppers use their mobile phone for online banking and 23.17% use their mobile phone for online purchases.
  • Books, airline tickets, hotel reservations, event/concerts/sports tickets, music, and computer software are the most purchased items online.
  • The main reasons users do not purchase more online are a distrust of online payments systems and a desire to see and feel products before purchasing.

The report showed that the majority of online purchases in South Africa were from South African ecommerce sites with Kalahari, Amazon, Groupon, Bidorbuy, and Woolworths being the top 5 sites shoppers have actually purchased products from.

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When looking at the various payments methods that respondents use when shopping online, the report showed that credit card is the most common form of online payment, utilised by 66.68% of respondents followed by bank transfers at 39.91%.

Interestingly, while 19.32% of respondents claimed to utilise Paypal only 11.14% cited it as a preferred form of online payment. Conversely only 2.33% said that they utilise a ‘special bank credit card with a small limit designed for online shopping’ while 9.16% said this would be a preferred form of payment.

Moreover, when looking at the breakdown of bank cards used online only 4.84% are pre-paid cards but 41.68% of respondents said they would be interested in using a prepaid card for online shopping.

This shows that if prepaid cards become common in South Africa, there is great potential for them to become a preferred online payment method.

The full report can be downloaded here.

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