South African online shopping is on upward trajectory, it exceeded the R50 billion mark in 2022 

South African consumers are smart and they likes conveniency when it comes to shopping, thanks for covid 19 pandemic that accelerated the trend of e-commerce and online shopping. 

According to a study by World Wide Worx with Mastercard, Online Retail in South Africa 2022, The total growth for online retail in South Africa in 2022 came to 35%, bringing the total of online retail in South Africa to R55bn. This comes after 40% growth the previous year took the total to R42,3bn in 2021.

“One can call this the pandemic dividend,” says World Wide Worx MD Arthur Goldstuck, principal analyst on the research project. “The 2020 boom in home deliveries has continued for the past two years, as retailers compete aggressively in every area of online shopping.”

Gabriel Swanepoel, country manager of Mastercard South Africa, says: “Since physical shopping was limited during the hard lockdown, it was during this time that we first saw a rise in consumers resorting to online shopping.

“Due to this, consumers got comfortable – but with comfort of use we are seeing emerging consumer needs and expectations that go beyond being able to shop online.”

The result is that growth in online retail comes not from increasing demand, but from consumers shifting existing purchase behaviour from physical shops to online stores and apps.

“Based on our observation, consumers are expecting online retailers to offer fast delivery with apps such as Uber Eats and Superbalist, that offer same day delivery,” says Swanepoel.

The World Wide Worx findings are compiled using accumulated figures and projections from listed companies, interviews with unlisted online retailers and data from card transactions.

“Total online retail comfortably surpassed our previous forecast of R52-billion for 2022,” says Goldstuck. “However, it will fall just below the 5% mark, a milestone that was previously anticipated for the end of 2022, but we are confident it will be reached in 2023.”

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