The Best Online Shopping Websites in South Africa
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THE BEST ONLINE SHOPPING WEBSITES IN SA

You want to start online shopping but you’re wondering where to begin? The last thing you want is to visit some ‘dodgy’ online websites. The best websites excel for a reason, and so let’s look at some in South Africa.

ONLINE SHOPPING IN SOUTH AFRICA

For many, online shopping may be quite a foreign activity, and yet an ever-increasing number of Internet users in South Africa are making use of this facility. It is a two-way blessing – not only does it spare those doing online shopping the need to get into the car, and fight the traffic, but it also enables those to sell their goods from a virtual store without the usual huge overheads.

A study conducted in 2014 by MasterCard Worldwide showed that the South African online business is exploding compared to the rest of the world. This is so because more and more folk are getting Internet access. The foregoing clearly shows the ever-increasing importance of online shopping in South Africa. Take note of important services offered by each online shop, such as free shipping, gift wrapping services and any policies on returning goods purchased online.

FAVOURITE ONLINE SHOPS IN CAPE TOWN

According to Cape Town Magazine article in 2014, the following are some of the favourite online shops in Cape Town and surrounds.

  • aFREAKa Clothing Online Store – This store was started in 2011, and sells top quality handmade clothing items as well as the latest streetwear. What is important to note is that aFREAKa offers free shipping all over South Africa.
  • MonoShop.co.za, based on Scandinavian interior design, provides online shoppers beautiful homeware creations made by local craftsmen, and which can be ideally used in the kitchen, bathroom, and living room. Shipping is free all over South Africa, and a gift wrapping service is also provided.
  • TidyandCo.com – this online shop offers a host of different items that are ideal for providing gifts to your loved ones. The list goes on and on, consisting of artworks, solar jars, and decorative items, just to name a few. There are also the more abstract items on offer, such as hot air balloon rides, dance classes, and rock climbing. The site also has an amazing facility that offers you an appropriate gift after you have answered a few questions about the person who is about to receive your gift. Here, only orders above R450 will enjoy free shipping.
  • Black Insomnia Coffee Company – For those of you who need this daily “fix” – this is for you. Coffee beans are roasted in Cape Town, and blended from Ugandan, Guatemalan, and Brazilian beans. This apparently has been classified as the world’s strongest coffee. Free shipping only applies to orders over R500.
  • Yuppiechef.co.za – this online shop offers the finest kitchenware imaginable, as well as culinary equipment. To make the online shopping experience more “human”, a hand-written note accompanies each purchase.

THE BEST ONLINE SHOPS IN SOUTH AFRICA

Columinate, a marketing research agency, conducted a 2014 survey which provides a glimpse of what the South African online shopping market looks like. The survey reveals three things, namely, what is being bought online, who sells the item, and what degree of satisfaction is achieved by the online clients. What is very interesting is that 64% of all purchases fell into the “I want” category, with the rest falling into the “I need” category. The top 12 stores that provided the greatest website satisfaction were Kalahari, Yuppie Chef, Woolworths, Takealot, Groupon, Pick n Pay, Mr Price, Zando, Amazon, Exclusive Books, Makro, and Truworths. When online shoppers were asked why they shop online, ‘convenience’ and ‘saving time and money’ were the most frequent answers.

OTHER POPULAR ONLINE SHOPS

A 2014 survey by Effective Measure showed that Kalahari.com, Amazon.com, and Bidorbuy.com were the most popular online shops in South Africa. According to Effective Measure, 74% of online shoppers in South Africa paid via the Internet with over 33% using their cell phones to do so. It is interesting to see from this research that 84% of the South African online shopping was conducted with South African websites. This kind of loyalty is of course a great impetus to the local economy.

Regarding awareness of online stores by shoppers, Kalahari came first in line, followed by Amazon, and Pick n Pay.

Incredible Connection was the most popular regarding electronic goods, followed by HiFi Corp, and Dion Wired.

HOW CAN OTHER STORES IMPROVE ONLINE SHOPPING?

There are four issues that online stores can address to improve online shopping.

  • MAKE THE ONLINE SHOPS EASILY ACCESSIBLE TO CELL PHONE USERS

In 2013, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau South Africa (IAB SA, formerly known as DMMA), 39% of South Africans use cell phones to access the Internet. This percentage is certain to increase as more and more South Africans are using smartphones. However, the real challenge lies in designing acceptable online websites that are readily accessible to cell phone users. The incentive should be there, because success with this particular issue could mean a considerable increase in business.

  • IMPROVED SHIPPING TIMES

About 38% of South Africans indicate that the greatest deterrent to using online shopping is
the issue of shipping or delivery times. Most of this perception is not unfounded, when one
considers the poor condition of South Africa’s road and postal infrastructure. This is
something the online retailers cannot do anything about. However, to mitigate this problem,
online retailers can establish where most of their online shoppers are located, and then build
warehouses close to them. This should not be too tricky, as most shoppers are likely to be
either in or close to Johannesburg and Cape Town. By establishing parcel tracking systems, and
their own delivery systems can greatly improve overall efficiency of shipping itself.

  • IMPROVING ONLINE SECURITY

Many South Africans don’t trust the security of their online information. There is online
security equipment available, as our very sound banking system shows. Use of such security
systems will instil in users the necessary confidence required to become regular online
shoppers. They need to know that their data is absolutely safe. Online stores need to explain
more to their customers, about how their security systems actually work, as well as a
guarantee money back if any data is compromised. Blogs on their sites could document success
stories of online users who have successfully embraced online shopping, and thus in this way
reassure would-be online shoppers that this kind of practice is quite safe. It’s fear of the
unknown that needs to be addressed.

  • MAKING THE WHOLE PROCESS USER-FRIENDLY

If the whole process on the sites is easy to follow i.e. user-friendly, it will encourage potential online shoppers to make e-commerce their ongoing experience. Customer reviews will go a long way to reassure online shoppers that it is OK to go online shopping in South Africa. Online stores can use client data to make the shopping experience a personal one.

AWARDS FOR TOP ONLINE STORES

The awards ceremony for online retailers was held in September 2014 at the eCommerce Conference. It was sponsored by uAfrica.com. The top online retail winners were as follows:

  • The most favourite online retail website was Kalahari.com
  • The best online store was Yuppiechef.com
  • The best shopping process and customer service was provided by Zando
  • The best online services platform was provided by Bidorbuy
  • The best online business was Poetry

It would go without saying that those online stores that did not feature in the awards ceremony can take notes from the successful ones, and in this way, greatly increase their potential in the online market place.

Picking the best online shops to purchase from can be tricky but buying car insurance online doesn’t have be tricky too. PMD offers an online solution for buying car insurance, making it an easier choice than picking your online shopping websites. The PMD website is user-friendly, and takes a client through easy and secure steps. The client can also rest assured that his or her information is absolutely safe with PMD’s secure website.

YOU WANT BENEFITS WHEN BUYING CAR INSURANCE? USE PMD’S ONLINE INSURANCE PURCHASE PLATFORM

There are quite a few great benefits to be enjoyed by clients when it comes to using PMD’s online car insurance purchase platform. The process you need to follow when buying car insurance online is really user-friendly, and so you won’t need to make contact with anyone unless you want to. And if this is not the case, there is a call-back facility available on the website. You will also have the freedom to decide exactly what you would like to include and not include with your car insurance package. Should you get stuck in any way, there are audio and video materials available for easy reference. Finally, not only is the process quick, but you can also purchase your car insurance online at a time that suits you the best.

Sources:

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