More KZN consumers shopping online

2014-10-11 00:00

THE trend of shopping online has seen a spike in KZN, with some online stores reporting an increase in traffic of 179% from the province’s users.

The dangers of online fraud and scams on the Internet seem not to have deterred users, who trust online stores’ claims that their visitors are protected.

Spree’s brand manager Kim Hawkins said they have seen a 179% year-on-year growth in their KZN shoppers and a 19% month-on-month growth in visits from Durban-based shoppers.

“Half of our Durban shoppers shop from desktops [51%], while 28% use mobile devices and 21% tablets,” she said.

Hawkins said 32% of KZN shoppers do so after 5 pm, but more than half (55%) shop during office hours (8 am-5 pm), while 13% are early-birds, shopping before 8 am.

“This is most likely owing to the tropical weather. The most popular selling category in the province is dresses, while home décor, kitchen and dining departments show nice growth, compromising almost five percent of sales.”

Online entity, PriceCheck aggregates products and prices from a range of physical and online stores, offering users the ability to view the price of products, without going from store to store.

Hendrik Laubscher, product manager for PriceCheck, said KZN was their third biggest province for traffic following Western Cape and Gauteng, making up about 10% of their entire traffic.

Laubscher said that all shops were vetted before they appear on PriceCheck.

“We have criteria that enable us to ensure that our shops are operational and providing a good service. Our customers are able to review any shop that has products on PriceCheck. Thus, shops that don’t provide products post purchase or that sell second-hand products will be notified that they need to reply to the customer,” he said.

Spree makes use of PayU, a Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) compliant vendor to securely process all transactions and payment details are always encrypted and transmitted securely over Secure Socket Layer — a protocol for submitting secure documents or information over the Internet.

“The PCI-DSS is a set of comprehensive safety requirements to ensure that all cardholder data is always stored, processed and transmitted securely. Customers can rest assured that there’s no risk in using their credit card when purchasing from, but for those that are still concerned — we also offer the option to make payment via EFT,” she said.

Online shopping in the country is now going beyond just the sale of non-perishable items. Major retailers have cottoned on to the trend, which is contributing to the rise in the market as a whole, in the province.

Pick n Pay’s online shopping has also shown growth in KZN, in line with the rest of the country.

“We have recently expanded our delivery coverage to include Amanzimtoti to Ballito. We are starting to see growth in fresh produce and general merchandise. We are also seeing more businesses making use of online shopping through Pick n Pay,” said Michael Cotterell, head of online at Pick n Pay.

Arthur Goldstuck, top SA media analyst and managing director of World Wide Worx, said what was striking about the most recent stats he worked with was the increase in the amount existing shoppers were spending.

“Existing online shoppers are spending 35% more online.”

He said electronics were the most purchased products online, followed by clothing, groceries and then books.

“The most shopped on websites in the country are Kalahari, Groupon, Take­alot and Bid or Buy,” he said.

Goldstuck said the only danger with shopping online was if consumers didn’t shop with precaution. “If you yourself are not careful of where you shop, that is the only danger,” he said.

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