Online sales: e-Readers for girls, tablet computers for boys

2011-12-24 00:00

ONLINE shoppers across the country are stuffing their Christmas stockings with hi-tech goodies this festive season, complementing their mall-crawling activities.

Interestingly, e-Readers, like Amazon’s Kindle, appear to be the most sought-after product for female online shoppers, while male online shoppers tend to buy the more multi-purpose tablet computers.

From Apple iPods, iPads and iPhones to big-screen television sets and digital cameras, shoppers appear to have an insatiable demand for tech products and gadgets.

Two major online shopping players, Kalahari.com and jump.co.za said sales and interest levels have spiked this festive season.

Kalahari.com CEO Gary Novitzkas said the online retailer expects a 30% year-on-year rise in revenue over the holiday period.

Hot sellers at Kalahari.com include the Sony Playstation 3 console, various Apple products, e-Readers and tablet computers.

Indeed, Apple appears to be the flavour of the season, with Walter Isaacson’s biography of the late founder of Apple, Steve Jobs, at number three on Kalahari.com’s list of top selling books this season.

Interestingly, the South African online shopping market has lapped up at least one major locally-published, sports-related book over the festive season.

“Every year, there’s always one big South African book that sells extremely well. A few years back it was Herschelle Gibbs’s biography, and then one on John Smit, and this year, it is Victor Matfield’s autobiography,” Novitzkas said.

Kalahari.com’s average order purchase is about 12% higher year on year.

Kirsty Henderson, PR and marketing manager at jump.co.za, told Weekend Witness that the most searched-for products this festive season have been Amazon’s Kindle, the iPad2, the Asus EeePad Transformer, the Samsung Galaxy Tab, the iPhone4 and the Playstation3.

“We feel we need to give credit to the online retailers for this boost as the quality and standards of websites and services has significantly improved,” Henderson said.

Lyndsay Webster-Rozon, general manager of E-tailing at Pick n Pay said the iPad2, as well as console games, DVDs and CDs have been the most popular items in shoppers’ e-trolleys.

“Online sales growth is accelerating year on year as the offering improves and customers look to the convenience of the service to save them time,” Webster-Rozon said.

The online shopping platform has served to enhance and complement the retailer’s physical store-offering — rather than pulling sales away from the physical stores.

• kavith@witness.co.za

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