Why more and more Africans are turning to online shopping

Shopping – who can resist the siren call of the mall on a lazy Saturday afternoon? According to research done by KPMG in 2017, consumers in Africa and globally have been turning more and more to online shopping instead.

It is not surprising that so many people are starting to take advantage of their favorite e-commerce platform. It means spending less on fuel, saving time, and possibly even saving costs as well.

Let’s look at some of the African statistics in more detail:

The Number of Transactions Conducted Online Per Capita

Africans have a way to go to catch up with the rest of the world in this area. This number per capita came to around 11, which is a far cry from the top place earner Asia.

The primary reason for this is a general lack of services – there are many areas where people on the continent are not able to access the internet. Either they have no means to access it, or they do not know how it all works.

Percentage of Imports Ordered Online

This statistic is a bit surprising with Africa leading the way. Around about 50% of purchases made in this region are imported. This is as a result of the fact that many of the products ordered are not available locally.

It is one of the reasons why Africans do resort to online retail services like Shopify or Amazon in the first place.

Devices Used

Africa tops the list when it comes to online purchases of PC’s – somewhere around 63% of all devices bought online in Africa are PCs. This would indicate that Africans, in general, prefer purchasing online using their PCs.

And, while mobile use has increased, it appears that smartphones made up 6% of purchases, while tablets made up only 7% of purchases.

This is a worldwide trend, though – many online shoppers prefer to shop on their PCs at this stage.

With the African market, one wonders if this is not also driven by need and a general lack of disposable income. A PC, for example, can be used for personal use or for work, so it would be a better investment than a smartphone.

What is the Main Driving Factors Behind Purchase Decisions?

34% of clients are motivated by promotions or good prices. 24% of people were motivated by the brand. The features came in third on the list at 17%, while only around 16% based their decision on reviews. The last 6% cited “other” reasons.

Where was the Latest Purchase Made?

56% of purchasers chose a store that was solely internet based. Around 28% chose the sites of brick and mortar retailers. Manufacturer or brand sites came last on the list at 11%.

This indicates that shoppers are becoming more trusting of online retailers and more willing to purchase from them. It could be valuable information if you are weighing up the pros and cons of keeping your business completely online.

One thing that this research has made abundantly clear is that shoppers are adapting to the electronic age in a big way. Even in the so-called ‘third world’ continent like Africa, online shopping is having a significant impact.

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