Get ready for e-commerce, it will be booming in South Africa by 2017 says ImproWeb’s Groove
Jun 22nd, 2015

Besides 2014 being a tough year for online businesses, there has been an increase in query volumes for South Africa of 37% – and increases of 49% in Nigeria and 33% in Kenya.

This is according to Nicholas Groove, business development manager at ImproWeb, sister company of Esquire Technologies. Esquire Technologies is an international award winning company, and one of the leading distributors of IT, mobility, digital and consumer lifestyle products from international vendors.

Groove said that the world leading search engine, Google, recently reported that Africans are increasingly googling – and are googling with the intent to buy.

Luke Mckend, country director for Google South Africa, said 2015 is expected to be another growth year for e-commerce.

He further stated: “We see a story of growth. Search is growing much faster than in mature Internet economies. What is particularly interesting is commercial intent queries, searches for purchasing information.”

These types of searches are apparently Google searches with the aim to ascertain a price for a certain good, and a shop where a service or product could be purchased.

It is also a natural assumption that the more time people spend online, the more prone they are to purchase online, reckons Groove.

Google statistics show that with South Africa’s total query growth between 2013 and 2014 measuring up at 37% the commercial intent query base has grown by 55%.

Mckend said this indicates that there is a certain degree of maturity with buying online – something that was missing a few years ago.

He went on to say that he is “excited” about the opportunities for e-commerce going forward, believing that a massive e-commerce market will indeed come to the fore by 2017.

“Companies who are not offering e-commerce platforms for companies and individuals,” said ImproWeb’s Groove, “need to get their battle plans together rapidly. If they cannot offer both brick-and-mortar operations, together with e-commerce, they are likely to see their sales dwindle during the next decade. Even though online retail sales still account for less than 5% of total retail sales in South Africa, this figure is growing – and it will become an increasingly material figure for companies.

“It is an indication that e-commerce, and online sales, cannot be ignored. Companies will ignore them at their own peril.”


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