Online retail in South Africa will reach 1% of overall retail during 2016, according to the Online Retail in South Africa 2016 report by World Wide Worx.
The report shows that online retail continues to grow at a high rate, having maintained a growth rate of above 20% since 2000.
In 2015, the rate of growth was 26%, taking online retail to the R7.5-billion mark.
“While 1% represents a very small proportion of overall retail, it is also a psychological barrier for investment in e-commerce initiatives by physical retailers,” said World Wide Worx’s Arthur Goldstuck.
Goldstuck said online retail in South Africa is characterised as being undeveloped, lagging behind Western markets.
Goldstuck noted that much of the growth is a result of an increase in the number of Internet users in South Africa who are ready to transact online, rather than the retailers convincing shoppers to spend more online.
According to the report, there were 3.225 million online shoppers in SA at the start of 2015.
This represents 60.8% of the Internet user base that World Wide Worx has established is ready to shop online.
World Wide Worx predicts that from 2016 to 2020, local online retail sales will double.