Confidence in online travel purchases ‘growing’ in SA

Cape Town – Locals are showing growing confidence in online purchases, with travel tickets and accommodation bookings listed in the top five online purchases in the country.

The latest Effective Measure e-Commerce Industry Report for 2016 indicates that South Africans have shown a growing confidence in e-commerce, with a notable 56% of the respondents indicating that they have shopped online between December 2015 and March 2016.

The report, sponsored by Visa, focuses on those who shop online as well as those who don’t and the motivating reasons behind both decisions.

Consumers felt most comfortable doing their first online payment with bill payment merchants, while automobile merchants may need to polish up their e-commerce skills as they ranked lowest with only 7% of consumers feeling comfortable making their first online purchase with them, according to the report.

‘Guaranteed returns and on delivery payment’

Marketers can take note of what South African online shoppers look for before making a purchase. 41% of the 12 000 respondents indicated that the overriding assurance they look for when shopping online is guaranteed returns and 59% say that an “on delivery” payment option would motivate them to purchase online more often.

These are the top five commodities according  to the consumer purchasing habits: 

1. Books
2. Tickets for events
3. Travel tickets
4. Hotel reservations
5. DVDs, videos, or music

The report also sheds light on other habits related to online purchases and it shows that the reasons why young SA consumers choose not to shop online is largely due to the fact that they do not have access to credit facilities.

When it comes to delivery time, the report reveals that delivery within 5 working days is most common and South African online consumers are largely content with this. 58% marked satisfaction.

“Consumers wallets are under pressure and this report aims to provide insight on how e-commerce can provide a clever solution to solve a real busines,” said Nicolle Harding, Country Manager, Effective Measure South Africa.

When it comes to paying for goods online, card payments are preferable with 58% of respondents indicating that they prefer to pay with a card and 23% would rather pay on delivery. Added to this, consumers who indicated that card payments were preferable also indicated that they would make use of cards more frequently if purchase discounts are offered as incentives.

Said Geraldine Mitchley, Head of Emerging Products and Innovation for Visa in Sub Saharan Africa: “At Visa we are opening up the payment environment to make paying online easier. For more convenience Visa debit cards can now be used to pay online over and above Visa credit cards.

“We are also working on taking the friction out of paying for goods. With Visa Checkout we are offering an easy and secure way to pay online.  Enrolling in Visa Checkout is intuitive and simple, and shoppers can use any Visa debit or credit card or even other branded cards to make purchases from a PC or mobile device,” says Mitchley.

“Visa Checkout is how we’ve reengineered the card that people already know and love to work as well online and on mobile devices as it does today in physical stores. We are currently working with a number of online merchants to bring the benefits of Visa Checkout to online shoppers.”

“This year we changed things up, by introducing a comparison between EM digital respondents and AMPS respondents, supplying an additional layer of insight and value to the research conducted,” adds Harding.


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