“South Africa B2C E-Commerce Market 2019” is the title of the new report released by yStats.com, a leading secondary market research agency headquartered in Hamburg, Germany. The report summarizes the latest trends and developments in South African online retail, and contains a projection that further growth is expected through 2022. Local retailers dominate the market, but cross-border online shopping is a rising trend.
Online share of retail sales in South Africa is small
B2C E-Commerce accounted for around just 1% of South Africa’s total retail sales in 2018, compared to double-digit shares in the world’s top 3 digital markets worldwide, China, the USA and the UK. However, online shopping is gaining traction as online pure plays and store-based retailers are investing in developing the digital channel and winning consumers’ trust. By 2022, E-Commerce’s share of total retail sales could nearly double, according to a projection cited by yStats.com in the new publication.
South Africa’s online shopper numbers are rising
As of 2018, nearly one in two connected consumers in South Africa made purchases online. With Internet penetration on the rise, the number of online shoppers is also projected to increase. Furthermore, there is room for growth in terms of buying frequency: around two in three online shoppers buy once every three months or less often, according to surveys cited in the yStats.com report. The leading product categories purchased by South African shoppers digitally include books, fashion, beauty and personal care.
Local players dominate South Africa’s B2C E-Commerce
The yStats.com report also reveals that an increasing number of online consumers in South Africa shop via smartphone. Over the past two years, their share expanded by more than +20 percentage points, while the number of those buying via desktop computers declined. In addition to M-Commerce, another important trend is cross-border shopping. More than half of online shoppers in South Africa make purchases on foreign websites. The leading international online shopping destinations include the U.S., China and the UK. However, high delivery costs and import duties favor local platforms such as Nasper’s Takealot.