SA confidence in e-commerce grows

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South African consumers mostly purchase books, event tickets and travel tickets online.
South African consumers mostly purchase books, event tickets and travel tickets online.

Effective Measure (EM) this week released its E-commerce Industry Report 2016, sponsored by Visa, which focuses on South African consumers' online shopping habits.

The study surveyed 12 000 people. The report shows there is growing confidence in e-commerce among local consumers, with 56% of respondents saying they had shopped online between December 2015 and March 2016.

The top five most purchased commodities in SA are books, tickets for events, travel tickets, hotel reservations and entertainment (DVDs, videos, or music).

The four main reasons users enjoy shopping online include time saving, product review access, special offers and price comparisons.

"Understanding the digital consumer, their behaviour and barriers to entry is increasingly a focus for many businesses," says Nicolle Harding, country manager, EM SA.

"Whether they are a retailer building e-commerce competency or media owner implementing paid-for content strategies, the challenge remains the same. How do they effectively reach the right consumer, increase the propensity to purchase and increase the basket size?"

Card payments are preferable when paying online, with 58% of respondents indicating they prefer to pay with a card and 23% would rather pay on delivery.

When it comes to delivery time, the report reveals delivery within five working days is most common and South African online consumers are largely content with this.

The three things that would make online shoppers shop more, are free or cheaper delivery, reliable payment methods and easy return policies.

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