In our online shopper survey with 11,828 respondents, we discovered that 30% of people who shop online for tangible items only started shopping online in the past 12 months. In an economy where most sectors are showing sluggish growth of around 5% or 6% (if they’re lucky), then a growth rate like this really stands out.

The penetration growth of online shopping is more noticeable amongst black consumers as well as females than it is amongst the other segments. The advent of smartphones has put the Internet into the hands of many more South Africans and this in turn is enabling them to shop online.

Another factor driving better penetration of online shopping is the increasing number of bricks and mortar stores offering an online shopping platform. Many prospective online shoppers feel more secure shopping online with a store they know and trust than through a website of a retailer with no physical presence.