According to the findings from the latest Online Retail in South Africa study, conducted by World Wide Worx with the support of Visa and Platinum Seed, “Online retail in South Africa is expected to pass the R14 billion mark in 2018 as e-commerce begins to go mainstream”.

The 2018 figure – which represents 25% growth over 2017 – comes as a surprise given predictions that online retail growth would slow down to below 20% by 2018.

Forecasts have been beaten as a result of massive investments in online retail, aggressive marketing, and the rapid uptake of new shopping channels like mobile shopping and Instagram.

Further, the report found that most established online retailers have enhanced their digital presence, and refined their fulfilment models, while many traditional retailers are starting to see significant growth in their online offerings.

It added that it was not unusual to see growth rates of between 25% and 50% reported by individual online retailers, with slightly more tempered expectations for 2019 and 2020.

“Online retailers in South Africa still make up a small proportion of overall retail, but for the first time we see the promise of a broader range of businesses in terms of category, size, turnover and employee numbers,” the report found.

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