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Tablets boost SA e-commerce take-up

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More than one-third of connected shoppers own a tablet device, with 73,4% of tablet owners using the device to shop online – and 60% of those who don’t have one yet are thinking of buying a tablet.

These are among the findings from the 2012 kalahari.com Mobile Shopping survey, which also found that Apple iPad is the most popular tablet followed by Samsung Galaxy.

In addition, 78.3% of connected South Africans own smartphones, and 74,2% of shoppers access the Internet via smartphones  everyday.

More than a quarter of these users are already shopping online using their phones, an 11,3% increase from last year, while 63,2% plan to shop on their phones in the near future.

Blackberry is the most popular smartphone, followed by Apple’s iPhone.

Close to 98% of online shoppers feel that accessing the mobile Internet is as safe as accessing it through a fixed line.

The survey analysed the behaviour of more than 4 000 connected South Africans.

“The  growth of mobile shopping in the last year has been fuelled by the vigorous uptake  of tablet devices,”says Liz Hillock, head of marketing at Kalahari.com. “Tablets  are portable and, with their touch screens and intuitive interfaces, they have become a more tactile and convenient way to access the internet and shop online. It comes as no surprise  that, according to GfK, tablets in the local tech market  have grown from claiming 18%  of the webbook and mobile PC market to a 26% share from February  2012 to March 2012.”

Hillock adds that a growing number of women are appearing to take advantage of convenience that the tablet has to offer: “From 2010 to July 2011, males were the predominant purchasers of tablets (64%) while the number of female tablet buyers was a mere 36%. This is changing, as from  August 2011 to date,  54% of tablet buyers are male and 46% female.”

The increase in access of the Internet via mobile co-incides with the growth of mobile shopping transactions recorded over the last year. “It’s interesting to see that when the mobile shopping survey was conducted last year , shortly after we launched our mobile shopping platform,  26% of respondents indicated that they had made an online purchase using their smartphones while 53% said they were considering it,” says Hillock.

“Shoppers are clearly becoming comfortable and confident with the idea of transacting through their cellphones. In fact, the survey also shows that 98% of connected South Africans feel that accessing the Internet on their smartphones is as safe, or safer than  accessing it via their computer.”