SA consumers swarm online but still lag way behind international trends
E-commerce is growing rapidly with online spending expected to breach R18bn in 2018, but empty store space across the 2,000 shopping centres is already on the rise
It’s too early to say to what extent Black Friday sales have boosted retailers’ bottom line but there is no doubt that South African consumers are increasingly turning to tech-enabled solutions for their regular dose of retail therapy. Online spending in SA has more than tripled over the past five years — from R5.7bn in 2013 to an estimated R18.1bn in 2018, according to data released by the SA Council of Shopping Centres and market research group Urban Studies.
The growth in e-commerce poses a threat to mall owners, who are already facing a slower uptake of retail space as cash-strapped consumers cut back on spending in bricks and mortar stores. E-commerce in SA has grown 22% year-on-year since 2016 while the average spend per online consumer has nearly doubled from R1,882 to almost R3,400 per month since 2013. However, Urban Studies MD Dirk Prinsloo said that the adoption of e-commerce in SA still lags way behind that of overseas markets. Online spending in SA contributes o...