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South African Online Customer Purchasing Trends – A Boom For Sales And Business!


The South African consumers love to shop, and they love to shop online. The South African market is ripe for e-commerce business. According to a research conducted by Paypal:

  • 57% of South African people like to shop online.
  • 42% of them prefer to shop from international e-commerce websites.

Where Do They Shop?

Top Destinations:

Although, the South Korean customers have their native online shopping websites, they still like to shop from international websites. They prefer the websites belonging to the following countries:

  • UK – 13% consumers.
  • USA – 27% consumers.
  • China – 14% consumers.

What Do They Shop?

When they are shopping online, they like to shop the following items from the international websites:

  • Clothing, Footwear, Apparel, Accessories – 37%
  • Consumer Electronics – 30%
  • Digital Education and Entertainment – 44%

How Do they Find You?

  • 47% of the South African consumers go to the international websites their friends and family recommend.
  • 60% shop from the websites they have used in the past.
  • 41% of them use the websites that show up when they are looking for products or brands on the search engines.

Cross-Border E-Commerce Revitalized

  • 55% of the South African consumers use their smartphones to shop internationally.
  • 18% of them prefer to use their smartphones to make payments.

What Urges Them To Shop Online Internationally?

  • 52% of them shop online internationally because of the payment options.
  • 48% prefer this because all the costs and fees are shown before they make the purchase.
  • 53% prefer this method of shopping because of free shipping.
  • 48% shop online internationally because they have the choice to make payments in their own currency.

What Turns Them Off?

  • 48% don’t shop internationally because they are concerned about identity theft or fraud.
  • 50% of them don’t ship internationally because of the high shipping charges.
  • 49% are concerned they may never receive the product.

Why Do They Abandon Shopping Carts?

  • 30% abandon their carts because of high or unsure custom, tax, duty and other fees.
  • 47% abandon their carts because of high shipping costs or long shipping times.
  • 30% abandon carts because of the low security of the websites.

Why Do They Return Your Products?

  • 19% of the products they buy are returned.
  • 6% of the South African consumers no longer wanted the item.
  • 11% returned because the product was not as described.
  • 5% always intended to return the product.

Freight Forwarding – A Major Issue

  • 36% of the South African customers use a forwarding address.
  • 16% of them like to use a freight shipping company.
  • 42% hire a company because it is cheaper.
  • 26% of them use a company because the product was meant to be a gift.
  • 35% of the time, the website did not ship to their company, so they hired a freight company.

Currency Conversion

  • 78% of the South African consumers prefer to make payments in their own currency.

Moreover, the South African consumers don’t shop from the international e-commerce websites that do not offer support in Afrikaans language. They may like your brand and the products you offer, but they will abandon their carts or simply leave the website if it is not in their language. Using Retail Translation Services can help you with your sales and make them your permanent client. Globalize your Ecommerce Business and see the results.

So, pick up that phone and dial +1 908 516 8877 to get a free quote and Contact Us for more information.