More shopping online in SA - survey

2012-04-18 11:17

Johannesburg - Online shopping in South Africa is on the rise, with the majority of active internet users saying they do so, according to a survey released on Wednesday.

"Among those shopping online, a majority 89% of respondents are satisfied with their overall online shopping experience, with 73% likely to make a purchase in the next six months," general manager of South Africa MasterCard Worldwide, Anna Jones, said.

"While these responses have remained static since last year, they show that the level of satisfaction has remained consistent as the number of online shoppers has grown."

The survey measured consumers' tendency to shop online. It was conducted across 25 markets between December 5 last year and January 6 2012. It surveyed banked consumers who accessed the internet at least once a week.

Managing director of World Wide Worx, Arthur Goldstuck, said: "We have shown that, once people are experienced internet users and go online regularly, their propensity to shop online increases dramatically.

"The key is to convert that propensity into shopping behaviour, and this survey pinpoints where and why that conversion is happening."

World Wide Worx conducts annual studies on the size of the online retail market.

According to the survey, consumers chose their online retailer based on lower prices (91%), payment convenience (90%) and secure payment facilities (90%).

The most popular purchases made online were products and services related to coupon or deal sites, online gaming, applications, music downloads and tickets to arts or music events.

South Africans who shopped online said they did so because they found it convenient and easy, and the wide range of goods appealing.

The survey showed that 78% of online shoppers looked at online reviews before they purchased, while 73% said that they investigated online reviews of the retailer themselves before buying.

Seventy-four percent of respondents said they would return to an online retailer they had already used.

Goldstuck said: "Many people now conduct product research online before making a purchase in-store. Retailers that avoid the virtual option for fear of cannibalisation of customers are in fact missing out on a powerful driver of traffic through their physical stores."

However, the survey showed that South Africans prefer not to shop online for their groceries. Only 9% purchased groceries online to avoid "the chore of grocery shopping".

"We've also found that online grocery shopping has declined, mainly because people want to choose fresh products personally, delivery schedules are too inflexible and too many mistakes are made by in-store stock pickers," said Goldstuck.


  • tednhet - 2012-04-18 12:57

    We used to, but you tend to get all the products that expire today, like mike and bread.

  • adriaan1990 - 2012-04-18 18:50

    Online shopping has still some way to go in South Africa. I can't order from Pick n Pay because they won't let me change my address on their website, I can't order from Woollies because for some reason the local store ignores the delivery instructions and delivers the goods as soon as they receive my order (my groceries have stood at the reception of my building for an entire day due to this - and it happened twice!). I've ordered from Amazon usually without a problem, but recently I ordered a book that could only be shipped through the postal office, and this book has disappeared in the system. Amazon has sent a free replacement copy, but I am not optimistic since my mother had something shipped to her and her parcel lay in a room in Pretoria (we live in Cape Town) for weeks without anyone thinking to put it on its course for delivery, and my one friend ordered a camera remote control on e-Bay which also disappeared in SAPO's system, after which he ordered a free replacement which only arrived months later. The concept of internet shopping is great but there are just too many things that have to run smoothly in order to make it work, and it seems we sit with a lot of incompetence on our side of the delivery system. You are basically forced to use expensive shipping methods if you want your parcel on time, or if you want to be sure it will be delivered at all. I'm sure, however, many people receive their parcels from SAPO every day, and I praise those who make this work.

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