SA's online festive spending patterns revealed

FNB's eBucks. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)
FNB's eBucks. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

Cape Town – As the festive season rolls around, South Africans are migrating to spending cash online with partners the main beneficiaries, a survey has revealed.

According to an eBucks Rewards survey, e-commerce in SA is growing with 21% of South Africans electing to do shopping online, up from 14% in 2014 and 10% in 2013.

The rewards programme offered by First National Bank, found that 46% of subscribers saved up their virtual currency for the end-of-year period.

“The amount we spend on our partners specifically has increased, for instance 26% of us will spend R1 000 or more on our partners, compared to 19% last year,” said Jolandé Duvenage, chief executive of eBucks Rewards.

While 78% of shoppers go to physical stores, at least 40% of locals spend their rewards online, compared with 21% who spend in physical stores and 39% who do both.


“When it comes to spending this festive season, it is clear that the South African online community is as generous about giving gifts as ever,” Duvenage said about the spending habits of South Africans.

However, the survey also revealed that locals are increasingly using internet technology as part of the buying process. Fifty-four percent of consumers browse websites to compare prices before making a purchase, 19% browse using a computer and purchase in-store and 12% browse on a mobile device before making a purchase at a physical store.

Here’s the list of who South Africans are buying gifts for:

My partner66%
My immediate family 63%
My children 49%
Friends 29%
My extended family 15%
Secret Santa with friends 10%
Secret Santa with family 7%
All of the above 5%
Other (please elaborate)4%

In terms of spending, here’s what South Africans buy online:

Electronics and gadgets 60%
Clothing 35%
Vouchers 33%
Appliances 27%
Tickets to live entertainment 27%
Books/eBooks 26%
Kids toys 25%
Music, movies and box sets 24%
Jewellery 13%
Beauty products 12%
Fitness or sporting equipment 9%
Groceries and beverages 6%
Other 4%

Duvenage said that e-commerce is on an upward trend among the online community

“Flexibility and choice is a common theme in this year’s survey, with 48% of us saying we’d like to receive vouchers as a gift, ensuring we can buy things we really want or need, in our own time, either online or in-store.”

What and for whom will you be buying online this year? Let us know.

- Follow Duncan on Twitter

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