Netflix has announced the launch of a free plan in Kenya that lets people stream content from the service on their Android phones without…
South African shoppers are doing more of their shopping online, and there’s no sign of the trend stopping.
That’s the finding of a new report published by Mastercard published on 14 April.
The report found that online sales were a lifeline for retailers and restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“While consumers were stuck at home, their dollars traveled far and wide thanks to e-commerce,” said MasterCard Chief Economist, Bricklin Dwyer.
“This has significant implications, with the countries and companies that have prioritized digital continuing to reap the benefits.”
Mastercard: Local and global trends in online shopping
The Mastercard Recovery Insights report for 2020 identified several trends related to online shopping.
Between March 2020 and February 2021, international e-commerce grew between 25% and 30%. This brought in an additional $900 billion.
To put it into perspective, that means around $1 for every $5 spent on retail was spent online. In 2019, it was $1 for every $7.
In the Middle East and Africa, under which South Africa falls, e-commerce made up 4.6% of retail sales at the height of the COVID-19 crisis, up from 2.2% before the crisis. Now, e-commerce makes up 2.4%.
The retail sector to experience the biggest growth in e-commerce was essential products such as food and groceries. Mastercard estimates that between 70% and 80% of the growth in the sector will be permanent.
Meanwhile, 68% of South African customers are doing more of their shopping online and 54% are buying their groceries online. South Africans also made an effort to support local businesses with 63% wanting to buy from local stores online.
In addition to increasing online spending, COVID-19 also sped up the shift to contactless payments. A Mastercard study last year showed 75% of South Africans used contactless payments while 71% preferred to shop at stores that offered contactless payment options.
The report concluded that between 20% and 30% of the overall shift towards online shopping during the pandemic was permanent.
Feature image: Unsplash/rupixen.com