The findings of the latest market report by Germany-based secondary market research specialist yStats.com, “South Africa B2C E-Commerce Market 2016”, reveal that consumer demand and wider mobile Internet access encourage online retail growth in this emerging country, while payment security concerns and lack of trust in delivery are among the main barriers to overcome.
South Africa is one of the largest B2C E-Commerce markets in Africa and also among the regional leaders in Internet and mobile phone penetration, the new report by yStats.com shows. While only about half of South Africa’s population has Internet access and just one third of Internet users made purchases online in 2015, the demand for online shopping services is growing. The share of Internet users who plan to make purchases online is nearly twice as high as the share of those who already buy over the Internet. In 2016, B2C E-Commerce sales in South Africa are predicted by multiple sources to grow at a double-digit rate and break the threshold of 1% of total retail sales.
Faster and more flexible delivery are cited among the top five factors that could help drive Internet retailing in South Africa still further. The lack of trust in delivery is reflected in the ranking of the product categories most purchased by online shoppers in South Africa in 2015, as cited in yStats.com’s report. This ranking is topped by digital and small item purchases, such as ticket reservations and books. Payment safety is another online shoppers’ concern, as safer payment is desired by two-thirds of them.
Some of South Africa’s prominent E-Commerce companies include online mass merchant and marketplace Takealot.com, which joined forces with another online retailer, Kalahari.com in 2015, according to yStats.com’s findings. Specialist online retailers, such as consumer electronics merchant Makro and clothing merchant Zando are also among the leaders. Moreover, foreign E-Commerce platforms such as Amazon.com, Ebay.com and Alibaba.com are among popular destinations for South Africa’s Internet users, indicating further potential for the cross-border online shopping trend.