Read time: 3 minutes

E-commerce trends in South Africa during 2020

Source: Pexels

During 2020, the way we use e-commerce changed significantly. In 2019, the South African e-commerce market was worth $3 billion, and it’s expected to surpass $4.6 billion by the end of 2021. This annual growth rate of 8.2% is great news for e-commerce sites in the country, but it also means operators have to adapt to the demands of this growing sector. From how customers make buying decisions to the devices they use to do so, and how they pay, the sector is evolving and only those that have their finger on the pulse will flourish!

Use of comparison sites

As customers seek to do more and more tasks online, they look for reviews and experiences from others to validate and reinforce their choices. This includes looking to comparison sites where they can find a range of service providers displayed next to each other, making it easier to compare deals, terms and prices, all in one place. The use of these sites, which also sometimes include reviews and customer rankings, greatly aid the decision-making process and also reinforce trust and credibility for the client.

Comparison sites are particularly useful for products such as mortgages and insurance, but also online gambling. Prospective clients can see all information such as bonuses, special offers, games, platforms and rankings all on one page; is one of those trustworthy providers where it is possible to get a detailed overview. This can make it quicker for one to decide which trusted provider to go with. As e-commerce continues to flourish in 2021, we expect to see comparison sites growing as well.

Increased mobile usage

Source: Pexels

The use of mobile phones is increasing at an exponential rate, year on year. There are almost six billion mobile phone users in the world and more than half of these are smartphones. The average person spends three hours a day on their phone, communicating, researching, shopping and just scrolling. This increased mobile usage, when combined with fast and easy Internet access, means that e-commerce has to provide mobile-optimised solutions for customers.

Apps are the obvious choice, but failing that, a well-designed site that works quickly and easily on a variety of mobile devices is preferable. Users want to be able to locate the product they want quickly, pay for it seamlessly, and arrange delivery with just a swipe. Those that cannot facilitate this will lose custom to those that can.

Integration of one-click payment processors

As more South Africans turn to online shopping, they also need quick, slick and secure ways to pay. Customers do not want to be typing out long card numbers and inputting personal details repetitively each time they shop. This has led to an increase in the demand for one-click and integrated payment processors.

These sites or apps store the client’s details and facilitate payment with one authorisation in seconds. In addition to payment processors, the use of e-wallets also increased, which allows a similar seamless buying experience. Consumers want convenience but they also want security and to know that their personal and financial information is safe.