The research indicated that 62 percent of online shoppers have used their mobile device for their purchases, resulting in an estimated R14.9 Billion spend in 2018. Photo: Reuters

CAPE TOWN – A report by PayPal in partnership with Ipsos revealed that 69 percent of active online adults shopped online in the past 12 months, bringing the total estimated spend in 2018 to R45.3 billion.

This reflected a 19 percent increase from 2017.

PayPal in partnership with Ipsos, conducted a global 31 market survey with around 34 000 consumers to examine how people shop online and across borders.

This is their fourth annual cross-border eCommerce and South Africa was one of the 31 countries included in the report. 

Online shopping continues to rise in South Africa    

The research shows that online shopping and eCommerce are on a steady rise.

Efi Dahan, General Manager for PayPal Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa said: “Advances in technology, such as mobile technology and access to data, have made it easier for South Africans to shop online.”

The three most popular online shopping categories for South African consumers for 2018 are:

1. Clothing/Apparel (53 percent),

2. Entertainment/Education (digital/downloadable) (51 percent) and 

3. Event tickets (51 percent).

The report also stated that 62 percent of South African online shoppers purchased something from an overseas retailer in the last 12 months.

This was a 19 percent increase compared to the previous year which was at 43 percent. 

“South African online shoppers have realised that buying from overseas is not the hassle it once was, and that they can purchase must have items, often at a better price,” adds Dahan.

According to the report, South African online shoppers purchasing from overseas chose the US as their online shopping destination of choice (34 percent) due to better prices.

Other countries were China at 28 percent and the UK at 16 percent. 

Mobile purchasing 

The research indicated that 62 percent of online shoppers have used their mobile device for their purchases, resulting in an estimated R14.9bn spend in 2018.

“Mobile technology is transforming eCommerce in Africa, and consumers are more likely to have a mobile device than a bank account. South Africans are becoming more comfortable with mobile shopping due to easy-to-use apps for ordering car rides or food becoming commonplace", said Dahan.

Future Outlook

Online shopping is expected to increase even more over the next 24 months, with a forecasted total spend of R61.9bn in 2020, which will showcase a 36 percent increase from 2018. The reason – 75 percent of adults interviewed indicated the convenience of shopping online.

The report also states that by 2020, purchasing goods via  a mobile device will increase and is estimated to grow to a R30.4bn by 2020, doubling in value from 2018.

“Through our research, it’s clear that the online shopping industry is growing and is set to grow even more in the coming years. It is also clear that consumers will choose online payment partners they can trust, and that provide peace of mind that the security of their financial information will be a priority,” concluded Dahan.