Increase in SA public holiday online shopping spend predicted

Upcoming public holidays in South Africa will be the turning point for local online retail.

September 9, 2013

Upcoming public holidays in South Africa will be the turning point for local online retail, according to Mark Chirnside, CEO of PayU, SA’s largest online and mobile payment service provider.

“Traditionally, South Africa has always been out of step with global patterns regarding public holidays. In the US and Europe, online sales spike during public holidays as people shop from home. However, locally, South Africans have done their online shopping on normal business weekdays, transacting during office hours by accessing the internet from their workplace.

According to the DMMA and Effective Measures South African Online Report for July 2013, this usage pattern has now reached a tipping point with 70.64% of South Africans accessing the internet from home. Work internet access falls to second place at 61.4%.

Chirnside comments, “With the majority of active online South Africans now accessing the internet at home and the rise in mobile shoppers and mobile retail, we foresee a definite spike for online shopping numbers starting with Heritage Day. This trend should now establish itself across all public holidays going forward.”

The benchmark example of the holiday shopping phenomenon is America’s Black Friday which takes place on 23 November, the day following Thanksgiving Day and the start of a long weekend. Most major retailers open quite early, often at 4 am or earlier, and offer promotional sales to kick off the holiday shopping season. Black Friday has consistently been the busiest shopping day of the year in the US since 2005. This has been replicated in the e-commerce space where, due to the convenience of online shopping allowing consumers to avoid crowds and queues, American shoppers spent in excess of $1 billion online on Black Friday in 2012, a 26% increase on 2011.

“While online shopping continues to be a regular internet activity for more than half of all South Africans who are actively online, research shows that the most important considerations when consumers are transacting are secure payment facilities and convenient payment methods. Consumers are able to rest assured when shopping on our vendor sites,” said Chirnside.

PayU is incentivising South African online shoppers during this Heritage month of September, by running a competition to win the new MacBook Air.

Every time you shop at one of the online stores displaying the Support SA Online Stores banner, consumers stand a chance to win the latest 11 inch 128 GB Apple MacBook Air worth R12 799 – compliments of internet payment service provider, PayU.

“Ecommerce is one of the fastest growing industries in South Africa. With a broad range of South African online retailers, the public is able to find anything they require while supporting their fellow countrymen,” comments PayU’s Chirnside.

The Support SA Online Stores campaign will run throughout September. Visit PayU.co.za/legal for the terms and conditions