What South Africans buy online

A recent study conducted by Ipsos, on behalf of PayPal and FNB, shows that South African consumers are big fans of coupons and promotions.

According to the study, 85% of online shoppers said coupons and special deals would encourage them to shop online more often.

The study also revealed the most popular products among local online shoppers. The most popular shopping categories for South Africans online are:

  • Digital goods – purchased by 52% of online shoppers in the past 12 months
  • Event tickets – purchased by 50%
  • Travel or transportation – purchased by 45%
  • Fashion, consumer electronics, and physical entertainment – purchased by 38%

Looking at future behaviour, 58-70% of online shoppers indicated that they expect to spend the same or more on those categories next year.

Increased use of mobile devices in the future

The research also suggests a future increase in South Africans shopping online using mobile devices.

About 50% of online shoppers who own a smartphone or a feature phone have used it to shop online, while an additional 21% expect to do so in the future.

Mobile phones are making shopping more convenient, with 70% of mobile shoppers using their phone to shop from home or the office.

Searching on mobile devices when shopping is also common, with 94% of mobile shoppers saying they use their phone to search for information about products, stores, or businesses.

In addition, 62% of mobile shoppers use their phone to compare product prices while shopping in store.

With regards to preferences, 45% of mobile shoppers prefer using an app – while 26% of mobile shoppers prefer a mobile browser.

Some barriers remain, though. 51% of online mobile shoppers said the experience is not user friendly, while 42% flag security concerns when shopping from mobile.

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What South Africans buy online