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African online shopping trends in 2017

The digital age has seen the rise of many activities that used to require you to leave the house, but can now be done from the comfort of your couch. That of course includes many people's favourite thing to do, blow all our hard earned cash… Shopping.
Image by 123RF
Image by 123RF
The rise of online shopping is clear to see as many people no longer feel the need to flock to crowded shopping malls on weekends, instead they can spend as long as they want, all day if needs be, searching online shops from around the world for items which their hearts desire. This has led consumer businesses to adapt or die as they say, moving online and creating online stores which offer fast delivery and easy payment solutions.

Here are some of the key findings of The 2017 Global Online Consumer report by KPMG:

1. Number of online transactions per person per year: The average number of online transaction per person per year in the African/Middle Eastern market was 11, only higher than that of the Latin America market who had 9.2. Asia unsurprisingly topped the list with 22.1 , North America second with 19, Western Europe 18.4, Australia and New Zealand 16.1 and Eastern Europe 11.9.

The reason the African/Middle Eastern market falls behind many other markets is an obvious one, the digital divide on the continents mean that large parts of the population either don’t have access to the Internet or don’t know how to use it which means they cannot participate in online shopping.

2. Percentage of online purchases imported from other regions: The African/Middle Eastern market this time tops this list with 50% of their online purchases are imports from other regions. This is because many of the products that are bought online are not available in those countries, coupled with the fact that many of the biggest and best online stores are based in foreign countries.

Second on the list is Latin America with 44%, third is Eastern Europe 43%, Australia & New Zealand is fifth with 35%, Asia is sixth with 21%, Western Europe 15% and North America 14% are seventh and eighth respectively.

3. Device preferences: When it comes to online shopping PC’s are still the device of choice for online shoppers this is despite the rise of the mobile phone and tablet. A massive 63% of devices bought online in the African/Middle Eastern market are PC’s, which is higher than anywhere else in the world. Only 6% of devices bought are smartphones, 7 % are tablets and the remaining 23% has no preference.

Other markets around the world show the same trend when it comes to device preference with PC’s the preferred option, then people with no preference make up the second choice, tablets are third and smartphones fourth.

4. Factors driving purchase decisions: In the African/Eastern Europe market 34% of online consumers are making decisions based on price or promotions, 24% based on the Brand, 17% on product features, 16% based on online reviews and the remaining 6% had other factors affecting their purchase decision.

5. Where most recent purchase was made: An astonishing 56% of the Africa/Middle Eastern market made their most recent purchases from an online-only retail store, 28% were from retailers websites, 11% from the brand or manufacturer website and 5% were from other avenues.

This highlights the growth of online only stores and shows the value of moving online as appose to renting out shop space.

As online shopping continues to develop and evolve the habits and trends of consumers are likely to change as well. This creates a situation where consumer businesses are going to have to continue to change and adapt to their clients preferences.


IT News Africa
IT News Africa, established in 2008, is a leading provider of Africa focused ICT news and information aimed at technology professionals and businessmen.
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