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Ecommerce Facts and Figures in Southafrica

Mobile commerce and online shopper behaviour in Southafrica

Read below more about ecommerce growth, Ecommerce sales and cross-border ecommerce in Southafrica

Total Population
- 53.1 million
Age Breakdown
- 38.2% of the population in South Africa are between 25 and 54
- South Africa is a Christian country, with the majority of inhabitants being Protestant, or other versions of Christianity
Urban Population
- 64%
Internet Penetration
- 48.9% 
- 23.6 million people
Mobile Penetration
- 128% 
Tablet Penetration
- 5% 
Smartphone Penetration
- 47% penetration. 
Online Shoppers 
- 16.4 million
Ecommerce Sales
- USD 361.9 million (ZAR 4.4 billion)
Ecommerce Penetration
- 30.9% 
Ecommerce CAGR 
- 20.8% (2007 – 2013)
Mobile Commerce
- 23% of shoppers in South Africa use their mobile phone for online purchasing, accounting for 15% of ecommerce, a value of approximately USD 50 million
- Phone apps and music downloads remain the most popular categories purchased by those using their mobile phones for online shopping since 2011, but mobile commerce has become dispersed over more categories
- 51% of South African respondents to a holiday shopping survey reported having used their smartphones to purchase a product
Mobile OS platforms
- Blackberry is the preferred mobile operating system in South Africa at 36%, followed by Symbian S60 at 26%

Cross-border Ecommerce Opportunities

• South African consumers purchase mostly from South African websites (84.3%), but 27.1% purchase from the US, and 14.6% from websites in Europe
• The third most visited ecommerce website in South Africa is, the US version of the website
• 30% of Nigerian cross-border shoppers have purchased goods from South Africa in the past 12 months
• The overall top locations for goods export for South Africa are China (8.3%), the US (8.1%), India (7.8%) and the UK (7.2%)

Language as a Key Driver

• There are eleven official languages spoken in South Africa: Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Sotho, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa and Zulu
• English is the fourth most spread language in South Africa, spoken by under 10% of the population. The three most commonly spoken languages are Zulu at 22.7%, Xhosa at 16% and Afrikaans at 13.5%
• In Namibia, Afrikaans is widely spoken as a second language, while as a native language it is spoken in 11% of households