South African e-commerce shoppers are snapping up shoes, electronics and homeware gifts, according to The Foschini Group (TFG), which has named these as the best sellers among its seven online stores.
‘Business Day’ newspaper quotes TFG executive Brent Curry as saying: “Footwear and electronics tend to be easy online purchases because people trust and know the brand and they don’t really have to touch and feel the product. Gifting, because it can be placed online and delivered the next day, is excelling as a category.”
The group launched online stores late last year for @Home, Hi Online, Duesouth, Totalsports, Sportscene and Anatomy. According to ‘Business Day’, it plans to have online selling platforms for all of its 18 retail brands by 2018.
Curry said e-commerce sales were currently running ahead of expectations and online was already making a 2.5% contribution to overall sales in less than a year. The original expectation was for a 5% sales contribution by 2018.
The 2014 MasterCard ‘Online Shopping Behaviour Study’, published in conjunction with SA-based research organisation World Wide Worx, noted that South African online shoppers were becoming more diversified in their shopping choices. “The products that consumers are buying suggest that online shopping is becoming increasingly mainstream, which also bodes well for local retailers,” Arthur Goldstuck, MD of World Wide Worx, said at the time. “No longer is online shopping confined to books and DVDs, plane tickets and apps.”
A survey published last year indicated that local Internet users increasingly want to shop online, with 22% of people saying they have already made online purchases and a further 48% saying they expect to do so in future. Among the biggest barriers, though, was concern about whether the items ordered would be ‘as described’ and the security of online payments.