The E-Commerce market encompasses the sale of physical goods via a digital channel to a private end-user (B2C) and Business to Business (B2B). Incorporated in this definition are purchases via desktop computers (including notebooks and laptops) as well as purchases via mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.
The Covid-19 pandemic is quickly changing the buying behavior of people in South Africa. In previous years consumers were happy to go to the shopping malls to purchase the goods that they need. Purchasing goods in person was the most popular method of shopping in South Africa. Since the pandemic, consumers have become more health cautious and online shopping has become an increasingly popular trend. With the consumer trends changing, South African companies have had to adapt to their retail strategy and focus on digital transformation to keep up with the online consumer trend. The largest e-commerce shopping segments are Toys, Hobby & DIY with a market volume of €934 million in 2020.
Even before the Corona crisis, the E-Commerce sector in South Africa was growing steadily with the current market revenue of €3.27 billion. Annually the market was growing with 20 - 35% and was predicted that even without the crisis, the market would have exceeded sales of around 60 billion ZAR in 2020 while growing three times faster than traditional retail sales between 2018 and 2023. With the expected longer road to normality, the importance of E-Commerce will increase even more and will probably continue to play a major role in people's buying behavior after the crisis, which could change permanently.
More than half of South Africa's population of about 58 million people have access to the Internet. More than two-thirds of them access the Internet every day. Sales platforms on mobile devices are particularly promising, as around 96% of regular Internet users in South Africa access the Internet via mobile devices. The below image is a graphic illustration of the expected number of E-Commerce users. By the year 2024, a total of 36.9 million people will be doing online shopping in South Africa.
Bizcommunity, Accenture, Statista.com