Women are SA’s most active online shoppers

Johannesburg - The majority of visitors to prominent shopping websites in South Africa are women, according to research from online measurements company Effective Measure.

The Effective Measure e-commerce report, which was released this week, surveyed over 11 000 internet users in South Africa about their online shopping habits over the December 2014 period.

“Females were the more prominent visitor to shopping websites, making up 55.0% of all visitors,” reads the research report.

For both men and women, the report reveals that all survey participants who are married or living together make up 60.62% of participants who shop online in South Africa.

Meanwhile, 27.82% of all participants who shop online said they were single, while 7.93% of local internet shoppers said they were divorced.

Those aged 25-29 are the most active online shoppers, making up 15.8% of all visitors to SA e-commerce websites. Those aged 30-34 are the second most active group as they made up 14.4% of all visitors to these sites.

In addition, 72% of participants who shop online said they have a tertiary education while those in the income bracket of R12 000 to R16 999 per month made up the highest percentage of those online shoppers who disclosed their income bracket.

The most popular products bought online are books (22.1%), airline tickets (20.1%) and music (17.1%). 64.8% of SA shoppers also chose local online e-tailers for their purchases.

Other results of the research indicate that Kalahari.com is the country’s top e-commerce website with an audience size of 2.28 million people, while Amazon.com and takealot.com ranked second and third with 1.99 million and 1.74 million visitors each for December 2014.

Shopping levels up but trust still an issue

The report revealed that the number of South Africans making online purchases once a week has grown by 94%.

The report revealed that 7.8% of online shoppers were buying online once a week compared to 4% in 2013.

But large numbers of locals still don’t trust internet payments.

The research did not reveal the exact number of participants who chose not to shop online.

However, it did say that 32.4% of those who do not shop online have trust issues with online payments while 48.1% prefer holding and touching a product before buying it. Other research has highlighted how issues of tangibility, in particular, are a major stumbling block for SA’s e-commerce space.

Results of a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) online survey, which received data from 1 000 participants in SA, was released earlier this year and showed that most South Africans prefer brick and mortar stores.

The study revealed that the value of online retail sales in South Africa was R5.3bn for 2014 - a figure that is just 1% of total retail sales in the country.

Moreover, the PwC survey revealed  that just 14% of South African respondents said they shop online.

However, the PwC report said the value of online retail sales was projected to rise to R9.5bn in 2018.

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