Shopping online a hit for Christmas

A survey on Facebook by online retailer, confirms that sales on the Web are set to boom this December. 87% of connected South Africans plan on doing some of their festive season shopping online this year

November 12, 2010

A survey on Facebook by online retailer, confirms that sales on the Web are set to boom this December. 87% of connected South Africans plan on doing some of their festive season shopping online this year. The tough economic climate is partly to thank as surfers turn to the Internet to find the best bargains.

Gary Novitzkas, the General Manager of Customer Experience at says, “The figures are in line with a research report recently released by Verdict Research which forecasts that Christmas 2010 in the UK will be best for retailers since 2007, and that online will take the lion’s share. Online sales on have increased incrementally throughout the year and we anticipate a 20- 25% increase in sales on the site this year from 2009.”

More than half of the respondents to the Festive Season Shopping Survey  plan on spending up to 10% of their monthly earnings on gifts, while a third of the respondents plan on spending up to a quarter of their monthly wage. It looks like that might have to be the case with 48% of the respondents also hoping to receive an electronic device including cameras, eReaders, cell phones or computers as gifts this year.

A consumer shopping trends survey by PriceCheck, the newly re-launched shopping comparison website, released at the end of October this year mirrors this sentiment by stating that 82% of its respondents turned to the Internet for information first when considering a purchase. 77% on the other hand plan on doing some of their shopping online this year or at least, plan using the Internet to research best buys.

All I want for Christmas is…

More than anything, 34% of connected South Africans really want an iPhone4. 21% of the Festive Season Shopping Survey  respondents are hoping for an eReader while 18% would love to find an iPad under the tree this year. Roughly the same number (16%) are hoping to receive the new iPod and the latest DVD of their choice.

Although the repsondents feel the media items such as books, CD, DVDs and games are certain to be biggest sellers online this year, almost 15% feel that eReaders will be second in line. “This statistic is encouraging,” says Novitzkas, “ is making every effort to make eContent widely accessible to as many South Africans as possible. It is for this reason that we have launched South Africa’s first eReader for under R1 000. the Elonex EB500 that is bundled with a R160 eBook voucher.”

A timely respite it would appear, as 46% of respondents are willing to gift any electronic device as long as it’s under R1,000.

Books: Jamie Oliver  and Madiba battle it out

It would appear that South Africans are hungry for quick convenient meals as the demand for Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals by the famously naked British chef challenges Nelson Mandela’s latest literary masterpiece, Conversations with Myself, as the top seller. Nigella Lawson’s Kitchen Recipes from the Heart,  comes in as the third favourite by respondents. Interestingly, the biggest selling book on in 2009 was Captain in the Cauldron  – The John Smit Story about the world’s most capped Test captain and an icon of South African rugby.

“The survey was done prior to the release of Hershell Gibb’s highly publicised book, To the Point. It will be interesting to note how the release of this book will impact on sales this year,” continues Novitzkas.

Other Interesting Findings

The survey respondents also conveyed that they really wanted the following category gifts this year:
•    In eBooks, it’s Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol that is the current hot holiday read
•    DVDs: tips Twlight Saga’s Eclipse as the festive favourite, but Mac Dreamy and  Katherine Heigl seemed to have worked their magic on the on the online masses as 25% say they’re gagging for the  Grey’s Anatomy Box Set  as a festive season gift. Inception follows with 18%. Top seller in this category in 2009 on was Ice Age 3 Dawn of the Dinosaurs.
•    Games: Call of Duty Black Ops (19%) and Wii Sports Resort (20%) came in neck and neck, but the new Gran Turismo 5 is set to accelerate to first position as gamers clamour for gifts. Top seller in this catergory in 2009 on was  Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.
•    CDs: American rock band Kings of Leon once again prove their saleability with 21% of respondents hankering for their Come Around Sundown album. as a gift over the Now 56 album (17%).  But Susan Boyle is tipped to be the best seller for the second year running, her debut album I dreamed a Dream was top stocking filler in 2009 in this category. will be introducing daily and weekly deals in time for bargain shoppers this year. It also offers free delivery on orders over R385. Kalahari also offers  24-hour delivery service on selected products and free gift wrappin.