South African online retailers are now able to sell their full range of products, following new regulations published by the Department of Trade, Industry, and Competition.
This is great news for both online stores and South Africans who would rather stay at home than visit physical stores for their shopping.
Couriers will be able to facilitate the delivery of these goods, provided they follow strict hygiene protocols as outlined by the Department of Health.
Following the reopening of local ecommerce, we spoke to a number of South African online stores about their most popular products.
Electronics related to working from home – such as webcams and microphones – have been in high demand. Exercise equipment is also extremely popular.
Feedback from major South African online retailers regarding their most popular products is below.
Wootware founder Rory Magee told MyBroadband that equipment related to remote working has proven very popular.
“In terms of new popular product categories, we’ve found that webcams and equipment for use with livestreaming have gained particular popularity,” he said.
“Any items that can assist with replacing the need for in-person meetings are gaining in popularity.”
“We do see people finding great utility in custom PCs and laptops for work, too, while they’re at home,” Magee said.
Magee said the majority of Wootware’s staff is working from home, and the company continues to monitor the situation and update its safety precautions appropriately.
“Globally, there are inevitable supply-chain disruptions, caused by the unpredictable situation the world is currently dealing with,” he said.
“International shipping rates are something that is continuously updating,” he added.
“I have been quite surprised by how quickly shipping rates have increased, even with the decrease in oil costs.”
OneDayOnly told MyBroadband that is has sold a lot of exercise equipment following the reopening of ecommerce.
“Exercise equipment has been in high demand, even bulkier and more expensive items such as treadmills have seen a spike in popularity,” OneDayOnly said.
“People are obviously keen to leave their lockdown laziness behind them.”
“Some higher value items include Serta beds as well as winter bedding, activity trackers, and cookware such as air fryers and instant pots,” the company said.
The company said it expects TVs and other electronics to be demand, as well as winter products such as duvets, jackets, and heaters.
“We’ve seen evidence of this already with excellent sales over the weekend.”
The retailer said that South Africans seem happy to convert their brick-and-mortar shopping to online ordering.
Raru founder Neil Smith told MyBroadband they have seen a big increase in the sale of equipment which aids people in working at home.
“The most popular items until the end of last week have been items to help people work from home,” Smith said. “Notebooks, headsets with microphones, printer cartridges, and webcams.”
“We expect sales in board games, books, and puzzles as well as Nintendo Switches to really pick up a lot.”
He said that if Raru’s sales trend continues at its current pace, he expects May to be the retailer’s biggest sales month so far this year.
“We may even end up beating last year’s Black Friday sales,” Neil said. “People are definitely looking to use online retailers more than ever before.”
“The easing of the restrictions on ecommerce was a long time coming, but we are really grateful that it has now happened.”
Takealot recently revealed the most popular products and search terms on its platform following the full reopening of ecommerce in South Africa.
When the ecommerce restrictions were lifted, Reid predicted that household appliances, TVs, PlayStation, and toys were likely to be popular. He was correct in his prediction.
“Considering the shift to homeschooling and working from home, most trends are expected,” Takealot said.
There were, however, a few unexpected items which made the Top 10 list, including exercise equipment and non-alcoholic beer.
- Vacuum cleaners
- Gaming consoles
- Treadmills and home gym equipment
- Media players
- SIM cards and airtime vouchers
- Face shields
- Ink cartridges
- White A4 paper
- Non-alcoholic beer