Net shopping is booming
South African online spending was set to continue growing in strong double digits this year and next year, Efi Dahan, PayPal’s regional director for Israel and Africa, said this week.
This compared with western Europe, where growth was in the single digits, he said.
Total local online spend was expected to reach R46 billion this year – up 24% from last year.
Next year, domestic online spend is set to climb by 17% to R54 billion, according to PayPal and research specialist Ipsos’ third annual cross-border commerce report.
Local mobile spending is projected to rise by 48% this year to R14.2 billion, while, next year, mobile spend is forecast to reach R21.4 billion – up 51%.
Dahan said that the survey didn’t determine how many local internet shoppers there were.
However, the survey estimated that 1.4 million South Africans were expected to shop internationally this year, and they were forecast to spend R8.8 billion.
Cross-border shoppers from South Africa are making purchases mostly from the US. China and the UK are the second and third most popular online sales countries, respectively.
The survey found that 58% of South African adults with an online presence shopped in the past 12 months. The report also found that 53% of respondents to the survey planned to increase their online spending in the next 12 months.
The reasons for the planned increase in online spending include the following: the convenience of shopping online; a way to save money; a change in disposable income; and the expectation that shipping will become faster and cheaper.
The most popular online categories for South African consumers are downloadable digital entertainment and education items, event tickets, as well as apparel or footwear.