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How consumers are driving SA’s online shopping growth

Johannesburg, 15 Mar 2022

Research done by McKinsey and Company reveals SMEs make up 98% of businesses in South Africa and employ between 50-60% of the workforce.

Now almost two years into a pandemic that swept the country into an economic crisis, we’re witnessing a growth in e-commerce. But don’t be fooled: e-commerce is not new to South Africans.

Major e-commerce players like Takealot and Superbalist, which were doing well pre-pandemic, experienced a growth spike in sales as more consumers took the online shopping route.

In 2020, South Africa saw a 66% growth in e-commerce. And as it stands, a study done by Deloitte found that more than 70% of South Africans are shopping online.

As much as the marked increase of e-commerce was induced by limitations that stemmed from lockdown restrictions, that isn’t the only reason why e-commerce is projected to grow in an upward trajectory in the coming years.

Access to advanced digital technology, contactless payment methods and high-speed internet have South African consumers driving the shift of e-commerce even further.

And here’s why 2022 is the right time to take your business online:

Mobile penetration among South African consumers is higher than ever

Research results from a Geopoll survey conducted in 2020 indicated that 45% of the South African population browsed the internet on their smartphones for more than four hours a day. And as of January 2022, there are 41.19 million active internet users in South Africa.

The integration of wallets, bank apps and shopping apps has made browsing through virtual shopping isles easier than ever before.

From a survey of 1 000 South African consumers, Mastercard concluded that online shopping will continue to grow, as 71% of respondents say they will still shop online post-pandemic.

South African consumers put convenience at the forefront

A March 2020 McKinsey Consumer Pulse Survey discovered that more than 70% of South Africans are looking to cut back on transport and travel-related costs.

This reduced need to visit a physical store was also identified in research done by Deloitte. It found that 26% of consumers said they do online shopping because it is more convenient.

South African consumers want a personalised shopping experience

As South Africans become more comfortable with the concept of online shopping, their appetite for e-commerce solutions is growing.

Consumers desire a shopping experience that directly connects with who they are, offers safety, saves time and is seamless.

E-commerce stores give consumers what they want from the palm of their hand and can reach a wider audience, 24/7. 

Credibility is what South African consumers want

Smart Insights unveiled that 81% of consumers search for a product or service to buy online. In a world where online availability is quickly becoming a cost of entry, an online store presence immediately makes a business more credible and builds brand loyalty.

Over the past two years, it’s become clear that business owners need to take their businesses online to offer consumers the convenience they expect.

Durban-based financial technology company, iKhokha, has been paying close attention to these trends, investing in ample research, and has spotted development potential on the horizon.

On a mission to place South African small business owners where their customers are, iKhokha recently launched an online payment solution – the iKhokha Payment Gateway.

This new online payment solution makes it safe, easy and affordable for business owners to start, run and grow their business online.

iKhokha has also made educational digital resources like the E-commerce Trends for 2022 eBook available as a free download. It gives insight and deepens why e-commerce is the next best strategic move for small business owners.

For more information on iKhokha’s Payment Gateway, please visit