According to the report by Renub Research, titled “South Africa E-Commerce Market, Size, Forecast 2022-2027, Industry Trends, Share, Growth, Impact of COVID-19, Opportunity Company Analysis” the South Africa E-Commerce Market Size was USD 4.5 Billion in 2021. Technological advances and modernization have undeniably played a critical role in the adoption of e-commerce in South Africa. It has changed the face of economic trade and is gaining a foothold in the retail industry due to a low-cost way of conducting economic activities and building global business partnerships to interchange information through interconnected networks. E-commerce is a form of computerized commerce, enabling customers to buy products or services over the internet using a browser, regardless of distance and time.
Besides, several factors contribute to impressive e-commerce growth in South Africa as it has second-largest youngest population in the world. Thus, there is potential for a massive digital audience. In addition, internet penetration has been growing due to the broad expansion of smart phones and mobile devices in common. Indeed, various digital payments are becoming more widespread in South Africa. This is undoubtedly an essential aspect of e-commerce. As per research findings in 2021, User penetration is 41.1% in 2021 and will hit 53.1% by 2025.
How Covid-19 Benefited South Africa E-commerce Industry
The corona virus pandemic accelerates the development of the e-commerce market in South Africa, changes the way consumers behave and increases the importance of e-commerce even more. Indeed, consumers who stay at home and shop online to avoid the risk of infection also look more favorably on e-commerce; this has led not only to growth in industries that are already popular (clothing, electronics), but also those that were marginal until the crisis, such as e-grocery in South Africa.
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Fashion & Personal Care Products Segments have High Growth Potential
Further, the top e-commerce product categories in South Africa are Toys, Hobby & DIY, Furniture, Food & Personal Care, Fashion and Electronics & Media in South Africa. Fashion is the largest retail category in South Africa. The shift toward e-commerce is a vital, palpable movement in most economies. A quarter of spending on accessories, clothing and footwear (fashion) already occurs online and its rapidly growing. Online marketplaces, like takealot.com and superbalist.com Fashion United SA, are key purchase influencers in a fashion shopper’s purchase journey in South Africa.
Notwithstanding, the e-commerce platform is the most popular for personal care products in South Africa. Personal care products are commonly purchased online due to the wide range of products available on online platforms. The time-saving aspect of the medium has contributed to the rise of the online retail phenomenon. Online media helps consumers benefit by spending on skincare and increasingly associating an attractive appearance with career success and professionalism through beauty products.
South Africa E-Commerce Industry to grow with a CAGR of 9.83% from 2020 – 2027
On the basis of payment mode, alternative payment methods such as Bank transfers, Cards, Cash on Delivery (COD), Direct Delivery and E-wallet are being used by digital buyers in South African countries. E-wallets are much more common in South African compared to COD. Mostly unknown in advanced economies, E-wallet represents a revolution in other markets, making financial services accessible throughout the country, including remote rural areas. E-wallet allows customers to receive, store, and spend money using a mobile phone even without internet access.
Although, a card like credit and debit cards are popular payment methods for e-commerce payments in South Africa. It is simple to use; the customer has to enter their credit card number and date of expiry in the appropriate area on the seller’s web page. Increased security measures, such as using a card verification number (CVN), have been introduced to online credit card payments to improve the security system.
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South Africa’s e-commerce market is highly competitive and fragmented, with key market players such as Takealot, Superbalist, Woolworths, Amazon, Mrp. These key companies focus on expansions, acquisitions, and collaborations to strengthen their South Africa e-commerce industry.
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