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Internet Shopping Booms in South Africa this Festive Season

By Dave Tucker, 14.12.11 | Comments
The festive shopping rush is in full swing, and South Africa’s retail sector is experiencing the seasonal surge in sales as the countdown to Christmas Day continues at lightning speed. Naturally, Internet shopping plays a major role in christmas spending, and while many consumers will happily flock to South Africa’s shopping malls to take advantage of the extended trading hours, a growing number of shoppers are opting for the convenience of purchasing gifts over the Internet. The country’s leading Internet auction website recently revealed that online Christmas shopping has led to significant growth in several specific categories, namely fashion, homeware, electronics and toys.

The auction site reported that electronic gifts are particularly popular this season, with more than 1 million South Africans shopping for these items over the Internet monthly. The most popular products include electronic readers like the iPad and Kindle, as well as smartphones such as the BlackBerry or iPhone. These were followed by jewellery and watches, home appliances and home décor items.

Mobile shoppers have led the charge this season, which is unsurprising considering the popularity of mobile Internet connectivity throughout South Africa. More local consumers than ever before are starting to put their trust in the Internet shopping process, and many South African retail websites have found their mobile platforms particularly profitable over the Christmas shopping season.

South African entrepreneurs and providers of MPLS VPN will also be interested to know that the popularity of Internet shopping has given rise to a new breed of online store – recently launched price comparison website Guzzle aims to “bridge the gap” between online and offline shopping by inviting major retailers to submit their latest catalogue specials to the site. In the coming months, founders plan to form partnerships with retailers who will introduce electronic barcodes into their catalogues. Shoppers will be able to photograph the barcodes via smartphone and make their preferred purchases over the Internet.

This innovative approach to Internet shopping is good news for business broadband providers as a growing number of retailers will be looking to adopt online and mobile platforms. It will be interesting to see how these latest developments affect the rate of Internet shopping among South Africans come the festive season of 2012. 

About The Author:
Dave Tucker is an enthusiastic local writer with a keen interest in business developments.
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