Tablets join Smartphones in catapulting local eCommerce growth – survey

The 2012 Mobile shopping survey reveals:



  • More than a third of connected shoppers own a tablet device
  • Apple iPad is the most popular tablet followed by Samsung Galaxy
  • 73.4% of tablet owners are already using the device to shop online for items such as eBooks, music, flight tickets or for banking
  • 78.3% of SA’s connected own Smartphones
  • 74.2% of shoppers access internet via Smartphones  everyday
  • Blackberry is the most popular Smartphone followed by Apple’s iPhone
  • Close to 98% feel accessing the mobile  internet is as safe as accessing it through a fixed line
  • More than a quarter of SA’s connected are already shopping online using their phones, an 11.3% increase from last year.
  • 63.2% plan to shop on their phones in the near future 

The 2012 Mobile shopping survey by, South Africa’s leading online retailer, reveals that tablet devices are joining Smartphones in catapulting online shopping growth.

The survey, which analysed behaviour of over 4000 connected South Africans, reveals that 73.4% of tablet owners are already using the device to shop online. This number is set to grow as close to 60% of shoppers who do not currently have tablets, are considering purchasing one.

Tech-ing over: The rise of T-Commerce

“The  growth of mobile shopping in the last year has been fuelled by the vigorous uptake  of tablet devices,”says Liz Hillock, head of marketing at “Tablets  are portable and, with their touch screens and intuitive interfaces, they have become a more tactile and convenient way to access the internet and shop online. It comes as no surprise  that, according to GfK, tablets in the local tech market  have grown from claiming 18%  of the webbook and mobile PC market to a 26% share from February  2012 to March 2012,” says Hillock.

The survey revealed that the most popular tablet  for shoppers is Apple’s iPad followed by the Samsung Galaxy. Close to 70% of tablet owners indicated that they access the internet via their tablets through WiFi and 3G, followed by 19.8% who connect through WiFi only and 12.1% through 3G.

A tablet is a girl’s best friend

Hillock moves on to say that a growing number of women are appearing to take advantage of convenience that the tablet has to offer: “From 2010 to July 2011, males were the predominant purchasers of tablets (64%) while the number of female tablet buyers was a mere 36%. This is changing, as from  August 2011 to date:  54% of tablet buyers are male and 46% female.”

The prevalence and covetable nature of tablets cannot be denied and with increased broadband and connectivity, the “T- commerce” trend is going to be a major driver of online shopping growth. Retailers recently surveyed by  research company Forrester in the US  reported that more than 20% of mobile traffic they received came from tablets  a sign  that the devices are poised to become significant future drivers  of mobile shopping growth.

Smartphones still dialling up growth of M-Commerce

The mobile shopping survey reveals that 78.3% of South Africa’s connected shoppers own a smart phone.  In addition, a staggering 74.2% of respondents say they access the internet every day through the devices, compared to just 51% last year.

The increase in access of the internet via mobile coincides with the growth of mobile shopping transactions recorded over the last year. “It’s interesting to see that when the mobile shopping survey was conducted last year , shortly after we launched our mobile shopping platform,  26% of respondents indicated that they had made an online purchase using their smart phones while 53% said they were considering it,” says Hillock. This year, 37.3% of the respondents have indicated that they have already made a purchase on their Smartphones while 63.2% indicated that they were considering it.

“Shoppers are clearly becoming comfortable and confident with the idea of transacting through their cellphones. In fact, the survey also shows that 98% of SA’s connected feel that accessing the internet on their Smartphones is as safe, or safer than  accessing it via their computer,” says Hillock.

When asked about the Smartphone brand they own, the Blackberry emerged as the most popular with shoppers, followed by the Apple iPhone.

“Interestingly, recent stats from the International Data Corporation (IDC) show that globally, Smartphones powered by Android  (Samsung) and iOS (iPhone)  platforms took the market share lead in the first quarter of 2012 while RIM’s market share (Blackberry) keeps dropping sharply,” says Hillock.

This year’s Mobile shopping survey confirms that an increasing number of shoppers will be transacting and shopping through their cellphones in the near future. “In a country where more than 70% of the population owns a cellphone and mobile internet access has already surpassed PC internet access, plans to be at the forefront of what promises to be a vibrant and growing mobile commerce sector,” says Hillock.

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Tablets join Smartphones in catapulting local eCommerce growth – survey