A Kalahari.com survey reveals that 49% of mums have less than two hours to themselves per day and an additional 19% state that they bear the burden of single parenthood. Same-day delivery may be the real driver in moving more mums to online shopping Candice Kriger, Health24 IT specialist, a mother to a two-year-old boy and an expectant mum, says: “I only shop online for things I cannot find locally." "For example, I recently ordered Buzz and Woody dolls for my son at www.takealot.com, and I also use www.amazon.com to buy books for my son. "Though I prefer buying from a physical store, I had to order my maternity dress from 36 Boutiques because I could not find it in physical stores.” Kriger says if the delivery of the item was immediate, she would do most of her shopping online. “The waiting period for the delivery is a problem for me. If I’m buying my son a toy, he wants it now. Also, for food stuff. If I need baby formula, I need it now and don’t have time to wait for a few days.” Kriger’s experience may explain the results of a recent Baby shopping survey by Kalahari.com, South Africa’s largest online retailer, which found that mums are slow to adapt to the convenience of online shopping when it comes to purchasing baby products. Only 4% of the 200 respondents revealed that they shop online for these items. In comparison, the 2011 Mastercard survey revealed that the number of South Africans shopping online had steadily increased over the past two years, with 58% of active internet users saying that they use the internet for shopping – up from 53% in 2010 and 44% during 2009. With 49% of mums revealing that they have less than two hours to themselves per day, and an additional 19% stating they bear the brunt of single parenthood, they should take advantage of online shopping – not only to save time for themselves, but to take advantage of the “cost saving” online shopping provides as online retailers tend to be cheaper than physical stores. Says Liz Hillock, head of Marketing at Kalahari.com: “It’s easy to compare prices online and retailers such as kalahari.com pass on savings to the customer, so financial cost saving is in reality a compelling reason to shop online. “The survey also shows that while mums have the financial means and willingness to spend on their baby, time is something they do not have. Online shopping is a perfect solution for this.” Hillock believes that a previous lack of variety and availability of baby products online are the main reasons mums have, in the past, preferred malls. But she believes the gap will soon be closed as Kalahari.com recently launched a dedicated Baby category to make life easier for mums. As many mums will attest, same-day delivery may be the real driver in moving more mums to online shopping. AccessWhile online shopping is growing exponentially in South Africa, it is mobile and tablet shopping that are now taking hold. Many South Africans own a smartphone and use it to access the internet every day. There are no longer barriers to shopping on your mobile phone, and mums can purchase items from home or from play group. You really can shop from anywhere. Cost savingBecause online retailers do not have physical stores and their associated rents, many online retailers are cheaper than the mall. ConvenienceIn comparison to a brick and mortar store with fixed hours, mums can choose any time of the day or night to shop. Online shopping is definitely tailored for mums with small children with unpredictable waking hours. Unlimited choiceWhile brick and mortar stores have a finite amount of space to feature products and hold stock, online stores host millions of products on their virtual shelves. There is a world of kids’ books and movies, for example, that is now only available online. Safety measures for shopping online » Look for the website security certificate before making any purchase to ensure that it’s a reputable site. Many websites have a certificate that will ensure the customer’s information is encrypted into HTML, which makes it difficult for a third party to access. The identifier for Kalahari.com is VeriSign, so when you visit their website for the first time, or as a regular user, always look for this sign. » A website should never ask for your pin code as this is verified by the store to the bank. » Kalahari.com verifies new customer details with the bank to prevent fraudulent transactions. » Also shop on your mobile phone – it’s safer. A survey conducted in June 2012 confirms this. » Read the terms and conditions properly on refunds and the exchange policy before making any purchase to avoid hurdles.