Fin24 users go online to escape crowded malls

SA online shopping is gaining momentum. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)
SA online shopping is gaining momentum. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

Cape Town – South Africans are warming up to online shopping, despite some challenges, Fin24 users say.

Fin24 reported that The Foschini Group (TFG) [JSE:TFG] data shows a strong performance from online stores in SA as the shopping season gathers pace.

“We are trading at 106% to target at half year, before the Christmas rush hits,” Brent Curry, TFG chief information officer told Fin24.

For Fin24 users, the crowded shopping malls are a turnoff.

“I am more comfortable buying online than at the physical shops. The shops are often too crowded, I tend not to know what to do, where to go in crowded places, I sweat and find myself standing in the middle of the shop and can’t wait to get out of there running. This means I have to just grab whatever is in front of me,” wrote Fin24 user Matsepo.

“With online shopping, I can allocate myself enough time to make a decision, Yes, with clothing and shoes it’s a gamble because the sizes differ with every shop and brand. But the return/exchange policy makes it bearable.

“I personally would prefer EFT/ COD but there are few online shops that allow that form of payment,” Matsepo.

For Fin24 user Hendrik there was only one concern with online shopping: “Safety.”

A recent eBucks Rewards survey found that 21% of South Africans are electing to do shopping online in 2015, a seven percentage points increase, with 60% spending money on electronics and 35% on clothing.

READ: SA's online festive spending patterns revealed

For Fin24 user Mike, the choice is clear: “Tech, music, bicycle components.”

Globally, Juniper Research reports that mobile e-commerce sales amounted to $1.5trn in 2013, and are projected to hit over $3.2trn by 2017.

TGF has partnered with Naspers-owned [JSE:NPN] PayU to build a more secure platform and the company is working on a mobile site as people increasingly transact on smartphones.

“The development of our mobile sites is under way and will be launched within the next few months. Currently less than 5% of all online transactions in SA are completed on mobile devices so we have timed this enhancement for when we felt it most appropriate,” said Robyn Cooke, TFG head of eCommerce.

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