What South Africans buy and do on the Internet

Effective Measure’s August 2015 statistics show that the most popular online activities among South Africans are email, banking, and surfing the web.

Effective Measure is the official traffic measurement partner of the IAB South Africa, and provides accurate traffic and demographics statistics for South Africa’s top websites.

In August 2015, Effective Measure performed 265,500 demographics surveys on South African Internet users.

People were asked, among other things, what they do online and what online purchases they make.

The most popular online activities among local Internet users were email, banking, web surfing (research and obtaining information), reading news, and social networking.

Online shopping was the sixth-most popular activity, and the top products sold online were tickets for shows or sport events, travel tickets, and books.

The table below shows the most popular online activities and goods purchased online.

South African Internet users
Use the Internet for Percentage
E-Mail 89.70%
Banking 68.24%
Research / Obtaining information 63.67%
Reading news / magazine articles online 59.40%
Social Networking 50.71%
Shopping 33.97%
Job Search 29.03%
Directory Services 26.05%
Music downloads 24.38%
Instant Messaging 20.57%
Chat 19.71%
Listen to the radio online 15.12%
Watch TV and Videos online 14.54%
Podcast / Video downloads 12.33%
Blogging 9.36%
Share Trading 7.36%
Dating 2.94%
Gambling 1.47%
None of the above 0.89%
Items Purchased via Internet  Percentage
Tickets for shows or sport events 45.09%
Travel Tickets: Bus, Train, Flights, Boat 45.05%
Books 45.04%
Hotel Reservations 37.60%
DVDs, Videos, Music (CD, K7, MP3’s) 34.01%
None of the above 25.86%
Software 22.71%
Holiday package 22.56%
Flowers / Gifts 19.36%
Toys and games 14.69%
Clothes and accessories 14.08%
Health and Beauty Products 13.17%
Computers 10.22%
Food 10.20%
Domain names, hosting services 8.68%
Cars, Motorbikes, Bicycles 7.91%
PC or Console Video games 7.59%
Mass market electronics: TV, Radios, Mobile, HiFi 7.44%
Ringtones, games or Icons for Mobile phones 7.23%
Sport shoes, Sport Clothes 6.11%
Real Estate / Property 4.65%
Alcoholic beverages (beer, wine, spirits) 4.00%
Art objects 2.59%

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What South Africans buy and do on the Internet