Though lagging behind other regions in development of online retail, African B2C E-Commerce is expected to rise, stimulated by increasing Internet penetration, improving infrastructure and especially the rise of mobile.
South Africa is one of the continent’s leaders in online retail development. It is significantly ahead of many other African countries in terms of infrastructure indicators such as Internet, smartphone and payment card penetration. An important development in South Africa is the declining share of online spending made on foreign websites. Fear of hidden charges and convenience of buying from local merchants are cited as major reasons for not buying cross-border. Nevertheless, the US-based global merchant Amazon ranks among the most visited E-Commerce websites in the country, while the two largest South African online merchants Kalahari.com and Takealot.com have merged to join forces against increased local and international competition.
Overall, South African B2C E-Commerce market potential is still largely untapped, as online accounted for only slightly more than 1% of total retail sales last year.