While research from various sources – including the ODOmeter 2.0 survey from OneDayOnly.co.za, and Online Retail in South Africa 2021 by World Wide Worx – has shown that over 60% of online shoppers have reverted to a split of in-store and online shopping since lockdown ended, over 70% of those surveyed in the ODOmeter indicated that deals such as ‘40% off’ and ‘buy one, get one free’ would keep them shopping online.
The explosive growth of online shopping in South Africa over the last two years has meant that shoppers are becoming savvier than ever before. The ability to cross-reference products, shop around for the best deal and compare prices for a wide range of items from the comfort of their homes has changed the way that people view online shopping. It has gone from an anomaly that was usually considered with suspicion to an everyday tool that is making life more convenient, safer during the pandemic and easier to save on a range of items.
How do we make sure that the online shopping market continues to grow?
While it is not certain what the next Covid-19 wave will bring, as the only way that many small businesses were able to keep the doors open during lockdown, there is no doubt that the burgeoning online market will need bolstering to continue to grow in the coming year.
E-commerce companies have taken the lead by bringing local businesses and products into their product line-up, ensuring that they have broader reach into a bigger market. Adapting to changing needs will also ensure that online retail continues to thrive – with 73% of ODOmeter survey respondents wanting free delivery of items to become the norm in online shopping, while free shipping is even higher on the needs list than speed of delivery (66% of respondents wanted free delivery vs 33% who want faster delivery).
The fact that online shopping behaviour surveys done by OneDayOnly.co.za and World Wide Worx align and show a continued shift in the way people shop online, are key to understanding the market and adjusting to the unique and changing needs of customers to make the most of this current growth trajectory – and to sustain it.