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Online shopping is on the rise in South Africa.
Online shopping is on the rise in South Africa.

Mobile commerce on the rise in SA


By Jessi Wesson, Editor - Fastmoving - Apr 4th 2018, 10:46

Online shopping is on the rise in South Africa. PayPal recently released data about mobile phone usage and mobile eCommerce at the Seamless Africa Conference in Cape Town last month. The research revealed South Africans spent R37.1 billion shopping online in 2016, an increase of nearly 30% from the previous year.  

“eCommerce is taking off much faster than it did twenty years ago thanks to technology, smartphone penetration, and greater connectivity.” This is according to Efi Dahan, General Manager of PayPal for Russia, Middle East, and Africa. We sat down with him to find out more about their research findings.

What did your research reveal about mobile spend?
“Our study found that 52% of South Africans have left their home without their wallet at least once in the past month and this number is growing”, says Dahan.

“Our survey also revealed three of the top seven most used mobile apps relate to e-commerce. This shows that South Africans want to shop online via their mobile devices,” says Dahan.

“85% of South African online shoppers use their mobile devices for payment transactions and the number is growing. 46% of consumers also stated that because of the convenience of using their mobile device for online shopping, they tend to make more purchases.”

PayPal expects sales from SA of R53bn in 2018 as more and more South Africans use their mobile devices as digital wallets.

What is PayPal’s One Touch and how do consumers use the service?
One Touch features a sales conversion rate two times better than the industry average. This means consumers are more than twice as likely to complete a purchase when the merchant offers PayPal's One Touch as a payment method.

"Consumers simply click with PayPal’s One Touch and pay for their product from the e-commerce platform with no need to enter any details such as name, password etc. This is great for providing the best seamless and secure mobile shopping experience.”

“One Touch is the most adopted service we have launched to date”, says Dahan.

What mobile and e-commerce payment trends do you predict for the year ahead?
“As part of PayPal's vision, we want to offer inclusive services regardless of income, geographics and transactions. We believe mobile will be the main driver for eCommerce goals and more people will adopt the use of mobile as a wallet.”

"From PayPal’s point of view, there is no one solution. We need to look at the broader picture and not just the payment space as the overall experience is key throughout the purchase process. We are working very closely with logistics companies as well as the retailers in order to educate them on how to implement e-commerce services.”

“eCommerce has the potential to connect consumers to the digital global economy,” continued Dahan. “The data showcases a huge opportunity for South African businesses to reap rewards and grow their businesses if they embrace mobile eCommerce and provide the convenience consumers all over the world crave.”

PayPal also asked respondents to rank a variety of stressful scenarios based on which would cause them the most anxiety. The survey results found:

* 60% ranked losing their phone or having it stolen as a scenario that would cause them the most anxiety and worry.
* This scenario tied with a home invasion for the highest response, and more South Africans are worried about having their phone stolen than getting fired from their job.
The survey was conducted by Johannesburg-based research company Answered Insight.


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