South African E-commerce Report, 2014

Small and medium-sized companies have been identified as one of the major drivers of the South African economy. 90% of employment opportunities are coming from small and expanding firms. “E-commerce in South Africa is still in a nascent stage compared to developed countries. This is clearly illustrated in the fact that despite a 26% growth in online retail in 2015 amounting to R7.5bn, this still constituted only 1% of total retail sales (compared to 8% in the US for example)” National Report on E-Commerce Development in South Africa. What’s holding South African customers back from shopping online like their foreign counterparts? The typical South African online shopper had internet access for longer than five years and critical purchase decision factors are price, convenience, and fast and cost-effective delivery time. 80 % of South Africans would prefer to collect a parcel at a nearby shop. Other factors mentioned as stumbling blocks for ecommerce in South Africa are lack of secure payment platforms, hassles to do with online shopping returns, faster delivery times by delivery companies, more affordable delivery fees. Internet connectivity is also a problem. The realisation of the broadband policy of South Africa to have a universal average download speed of 100 Mbps by 2030 could further improve the adoption of online shopping in South Africa.
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