In 2014 SA will experience a steady growth in e-commerce, even though there is a low internet penetration.
This prediction for 2014 and the years ahead come from the World Wide Worx who watches the e-commerce landscape each year with MasterCard.
There is also a rise in the number of South Africans that are active internet users, which in turn creates a larger base of users that shop online once they are comfortable with the medium. In fact in a 2012 report by World Wide Worx they found that there is a 30% increase in the e-commerce market per year and it doesn’t look like this rate will slow down anytime soon.
This could be because as the internet access grows in South Africa more and more retailers are looking to place themselves online and make a shift to be all-commerce, which is to be both available online as well as in store.
The boom in e-commerce can be owed to the fact that there is a stronger confidence with online shopping.
There is also fierce competition occurring as companies realise that having just brick and mortar is not enough and to increase their market share and attract new consumers they need to spread their reach online as well.
Consumers within South Africa are using the online option more because there is an increased trust in the medium. Also the security offered when paying for the products or services is gaining more trust as they show their security measures in place for the consumer to feel confident in their purchasing.
There will be not only an increase in retailers shifting to all commerce, but also a shift in consumers to use the online base provided.
This will come over the next few years as the internet penetration in South Africa becomes more accessible over the country, allowing more consumers access to the platforms.
An interesting note is that whilst some may still be uneasy about purchasing online because of the security risks, all-commerce allows customers to browse the product line and to also contact the actual store to see if they have stock or to gather more information. This means that instead of scouring the shops they can do it all online and go to the store that has stock.
There is no question however that e-commerce is on the rise in South Africa and it shows no signs of slowing down in the near future.