The recent mobile shopping survey run by one of South Africa’s leading online retailers,, reveals South African men are following the international trend of shopping more via their mobile phones than their female counterparts (73% versus 67%).

Men are also spending more via their mobile phones, with 55% of men spending over R500 per month on goods versus only 47% of women.

Unsurprisingly, 74% of respondents agreed they feel lost without their mobile phone, but the findings show that it’s men that are accessing the internet via their phones the most, with 72% of men accessing the internet more than once an hour versus only 56% of women.

The survey shows that men and women still equally favour their laptops and desktops to make purchases online. It does however reveal that men prefer their phone to their tablet for online purchases while the opposite is true for women who choose their tablet over their phone.

The survey points towards a growing trend of mobile users conducting online research and price comparisons with 70% of all respondents using their mobile phones for this before making a purchase.

“We can see this behaviour in Spree’s stats,” says  Karen Dempers, head of Customer Interaction at Spree. “While a third of Spree’s visits are coming from mobile phones, people aren’t yet buying in the same proportion, although they are becoming more comfortable as the percentage of orders placed via mobile continues to grow.”

According to Google, 85% of online shoppers start searching on one device — most often a mobile phone — and make their purchase on another.

With 70% of respondents having completed a purchase via their mobile phone, the increased confidence in m-commerce by South Africans may be as a result of the ease of purchasing non-physical items (such as airtime and electricity) via mobisites and apps, with 90% of the survey pool making a purchase in this category.

At least 73% of those surveyed have also made a purchase of a physical product for delivery.

“This positive sentiment around online shopping for physical goods via mobile devices revealed in the survey’s results supports the upward trend we see in Spree’s orders via our mobile site,” says Dempers. “We can see a much steeper growth in mobile orders year-on-year with comparison to our growth in desktop orders”

“Changes and developments in m-commerce are taking place at a rapid pace and the findings from the survey reinforce Spree’s decision to retain a strong focus on our mobile offering and further increase our relevance in the menswear market,” concludes Dempers.