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SA shoppers take to e-commerce

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SA shoppers take to e-commerce

South Africans have shown a growing confidence in e-commerce, with a notable 56% of respondents in a new survey indicating that they have shopped online between December 2015 and March 2016.
The Effective Measure E-commerce Industry Report 2016, sponsored by Visa, focuses on those who shop online as well as those who don’t and the motivating reasons behind both decisions.
Consumers felt most comfortable doing their first online payment with bill payment merchants, while automobile merchants may need to polish up their e-commerce skills as they ranked lowest with only 7% of consumers feeling comfortable making their first online purchase with them.
Marketers can take note of what South African online shoppers look for before making a purchase: 41% of the 12 000 respondents indicated that the overriding assurance they look for when shopping online is guaranteed returns; and 59% say that an “on delivery” payment option would motivate them to purchase online more often.
With the increasing availability of online shopping in South Africa, the report reveals that consumers have most enjoyed purchasing these top five commodities:
* Books;
* Tickets for events;
* Travel tickets;
* Hotel reservations; and
* DVDs, videos or music.
The report also sheds light on topics such as – who the decision makers are, shopping frequency, payment preferences and delivery charges. It provides valuable insights into what consumers look for when choosing to purchase online and the reasons they choose not to follow through with a purchase.
The report uncovers reasons why young SA consumers choose not to shop online. This is largely due to the fact that they do not have access to credit facilities.
When it comes to delivery time, the report reveals that delivery within five working days is most common and South African online consumers are largely content with this, and 58% are satisfied.
“Understanding the digital consumer, their behaviour and barriers to entry is increasingly a focus for many businesses,” says Nicolle Harding, country manager of Effective Measure South Africa. “Whether they are a retailer building e-commerce competency or media owner implementing paid for content strategies, the challenge remains the same: how do they effectively reach the right consumer, increase the propensity to purchase and increase the basket size?
“Consumers’ wallets are under pressure, this report aims to provide insight on how e-commerce can provide a clever solution to solve a real business challenge.”
When it comes to paying for goods online, card payments are preferable with 58% of respondents indicating that they prefer to pay with a card and 23% would rather pay on delivery.
Geraldine Mitchley, head of emerging products and innovation for Visa in sub-Saharan Africa, comments: “At Visa we are opening up the payment environment to make paying online easier. For more convenience Visa debit cards can now be used to pay online over and above Visa credit cards.”
Other key insights from the Effective Measure E-commerce Industry Report include:
* 50% of online shoppers in South Africa have a household income of more than R20 00 with over 60% working full-time jobs.
* 57% of SA online shoppers are either in a relationship or married.
* While card payments are preferable shoppers indicated that they would make use of cards more frequently if purchase discounts are offered as incentives.
* The four main reasons users enjoy shopping online include time saving, product review access, special offers and price comparisons.