Victor Matfield talks about his upcoming book during an interview in Centurion. Picture: Phill Magakoe

Pretoria - Victor Matfield’s autobiography is more popular than Steve Jobs’s. Blackberry phones are more favoured than Apple’s iPhone, and the Fifty Shades of Grey series and the Bible are the most downloaded ebooks.

This is according to a mobile survey conducted by and Look&Listen.

The survey tracks spikes in seasonal shopping trends and provides insight into the decision-making process of online consumers.

The survey also reveals that peak shopping periods are Valentine’s Day, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, the festive season, entertainment award seasons and the death of a celebrity.

“We see a definite increase in sales in the periods around noteworthy dates or events,” says Anne-Marie Green, online manager for Look&Listen.

Green adds that the increase in sales is moderate across all product categories but varies when it comes to particular product categories.

Do the deaths of a celebrities such as Whitney Houston or Michael Jackson drive sales through the online roof?

“Nostalgia-driven sales are usually attributed to mass media coverage and not necessarily due to the online retailer’s promotions alone,” replies Green.

“What is great to note of these statistics is the growth and increased trust with which online buyers tackle gift buying online,” remarks Mark Chirnside, CEO of PayU, an online and mobile payment service provider.

Liz Hillock,’s head of marketing, says the must-have items for next year – apart from the gobii e-Reader, the e-tailer’s own version of Kindle – are the iPad Mini and the Google Nexus 7-inch tablet.

Green’s must-have items are Nintendo Wii Console video games, which cost R3 999.95, ventriloquist Jeff Dunhams’s live DVD show Minding the Monsters and Alicia Keys’ live performance DVD.

Hillock believes convenience and competitive prices have swayed the traditional shopper to try online shopping. “It is also safer. Nobody can swipe your card. Transactions and payment details are never seen by humans.”

Green agrees. She says people flock to the R39, R59, R79 and R99 price categories irrespective of product. She adds that consumers are more “time-starved, informed and choice-saturated than ever before, so several are moving towards online for instant information and immediate gratification”.

However, Green notes that there are product categories such as television sets that consumers may want to test in a store before making a purchase decision.

So, what items do e-tailing managers expect will be the hottest items on shoppers’ Christmas lists?

Green predicts video games such as Call Of Duty Black Ops II, the iPod range, Lady Gaga’s Heartbeats headphones, which cost R1 499.95 and Disney’s animated 3D movies, Brave and Ice Age 4

Hillock also puts her money on Call Of Duty Black Ops II. For books, she recommends The Hobbit, the cookbook Master Chef South Africa, Fifty Shades of Grey and for general items, biltong makers, Webers and booze hampers. - Pretoria News