The Growing Importance of Online Shopping in SA

mobile shopping

Online shopping is something South African consumers have been coming more and more familiar with, especially with the complications posed by COVID-19. From ordering immune-boosting vitamins to a week’s worth of family groceries, more consumers are shopping online than ever before.

More South Africans are supporting local businesses rather than international retailers to jumpstart the economy – yet another reason for proactive companies to focus on personalised experiences and excellent customer service.

Let’s look at how the online shopping space is changing, key trends that have emerged in the sector and how retailers can use these techniques to stand out from the crowd.


According to a recent e-Commerce market analysis report, the eCommerce industry in South Africa generated over R60 billion in 2020 and will grow by 10% each year. And with a projected total of 31.6 million local users by 2024, it’s clear that online shopping is only going to become more commonplace as time goes on.

Global research also reveals that online shopping is shifting from desktop to mobile. Mobile commerce (mCommerce) is on the rise, with mobile bringing in 46% of the sector’s revenue, compared to 25% from desktop and 9% from tablets.

And with Millennials checking their phones on average 150 times a day, this group of tech-savvy customers make up a massive chunk of online shoppers and are more likely to shop on their smartphones, out of sheer convenience.

But this 24/7 shopping capability has also led to increased customer expectations and demands. Adobe’s research shows that consumers have come to expect personalised experiences, with 80% being more likely to buy from retailers that offer these experiences and 63% willing to increase their spending with a brand if it emphasises personalisation.


What does this mean for local businesses looking for an edge?

It’s now much more likely that online shoppers will be interacting with your company from their smartphones and want you only to send them relevant, tailored content. Armed with this knowledge, you can work towards creating a unique and seamless mobile shopping experience that appeals to your customers.

However, as eCommerce becomes more competitive and online shoppers more finicky, it’s best to find a business-in-a-box solution that’s simple, cost-efficient and features powerful online shopping tools.

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Digitise makes it simple by having it all in one place, running on one system, giving you a single log-in to control all the aspects of your business from your phone, tablet or laptop. And of course, keeps affordability in mind with flexible pricing packages. It features a drag-and-drop website builder, which you can use to create your own online store, with the ability to add products with ease, grow your client base, and feature multiple payment options, so that your site is ready for the hungry South African market.

Why not sign-up and get cracking on your business now? Check out Digitise here.


By combining innovative messaging and data, a conversational cloud platform irons out every phase of the shopping journey, offering customers a mobile VIP treatment that will keep them coming back for more.

View Comments (2)
  • Hi guys. There might be a typo above “South Africa is expected to reach approximately R62m in revenue in 2020” as it seems very low. Takealot managed R196m on Black Friday alone in 2018.

    • Hey @James, thanks for the comment. Those stats were in line with the report from Statista, but we’ve updated the article with new info from a more recent study. Thanks for the heads-up!

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