South African Online shopping websites

The latest study from Effective Measure released, shows its latest research on the South African eCommerce sector, which showed that,, and are the most popular online commerce sites in the country.

Effective Measure is a leading provider of digital audience, brand and advertising and released new research. South African eCommerce report represents the first detailed demographic and sentiment based report across online and mobile usage, in the accelerating local digital retailing sector.

“South Africa’s digital citizens are very comfortable with online transactions,” “With 73.76% of South Africa’s online shoppers using the Internet to make banking transactions and over one third using their mobile for online banking there is a huge opportunity for the development of online commerce across all platforms,” said Effective Measure Country MD South Africa, Alan Morrissey.


“South African loyalty to local products and services represents a huge boost for the economy, marketers need to retain this momentum as global e-tailersaggressively enter the South African market” 


The following list of items gives an overview of what South Africans purchase online.

    Tickets for shows or sport events – 43.61%
    Travel Tickets: Bus, Train, Flights, Boat – 43.48%
    Books – 42.17%
    Hotel Reservations – 36.01%
    DVDs, Videos, Music (CD, K7, MP3′s) – 33.96%
    Software – 24.74%
    Holiday package -23.13%
    Flowers / Gifts – 18.28%
    Toys and games – 14.54%
    Computers -11.87%
    Health and Beauty Products – 11.54%
    Clothes and accessories – 10.69%
    PC or Console Video games – 9.91%
    Food – 9.54%
    Domain names, hosting services – 8.95%
    Ringtones, games or Icons for Mobile phones -8.75%
    Cars, Motorbikes, Bicycles – 8.39%
    Mass market electronics: TV, Radios, Mobile, HiFi – 8.09%
    Sport shoes, Sport Clothes – 5.68%
    Real Estate / Property – 4.91%
    Alcoholic beverages (beer, wine, spirits etc) – 3.58%
    Art objects – 2.52%


Latest E-COMMERCE TREND: E-Commerce Subscription buzz word "Subcom"

In an article on, James Gagliardi, predicts that "subcoms" will grow in 2014; consumers will trust and soon expect companies to deliver selected shipments of physical goods like food, clothing, or accessories. In 2014 "subcoms" will be what bridges the on-screen and in-store shopping experiences for a growing number of consumers.

An "Subcom" subscription focus on recurring profit and annual reoccurring revenue for the online business and therefore delivering the following value added shopping experiences:

Instant Gratification:
"We want to try it and see if we like it." Right now you can pick five frames from a website and those glasses sent to your houses. You will have a week to narrow choices down. Or men could instead of guessing which razor might shave the best could have them delivered at your doorstep.

Deeper Customer Relationships:
A bustling online liquor store changed their storefront business to a service, it uses its online subscription service ($75 a month subscription to Spirits or a $95 a month subscription to Cocktails) to cultivate a presence in homes across the country. Monthly shipments of expertly chosen liquors, spirits, and cocktail recipes help discerning mixologists “build a better bar.” “All full-sized bottles, no mini-bars here,” promises Bitters + Bottles on their website. Small companies like this can now establish loyalty with customers from thousands of miles away. This is where niches thrive.

Taking Advantage of the Digital Space:
Adobe recently discontinued its out-of-the-box Photoshop product (the physical product) in favor of a subcom. Adobe Creative Cloud offers membership subscriptions that allow customers to try out new apps, connect to new software, and fiddle with new features. This eliminates the need to hold new updates (anywhere from 12-24 months) until there’s a bundle big enough to justify creating a new product to ship to enough customers.

What does subcom mean for e-commerce? Be it eye frames, cocktails, jewels, or software, in 2014 the businesses that ship a sampling of their product to a mailing address, will be the businesses on the forefront of securing customer loyalty.

Take notes from these companies, which owe a chunk of their profits to the success of their subcoms.
Stitch Fix - “Let’s get started on your Style Profile. We’re so excited to get to know you :)” This women’s clothing company will send a custom-picked box of clothes and accessories for a flat fee of $20 based on personal style and
spending preference. Bonus: That $20 goes toward any items the client chooses to keep (aka purchase).
Beer 52 - “Craft beer is best enjoyed with friends, right? So let’s get to it! Remember there’s NO commitment - you can cancel anytime.” This craft beer company delivers Box of Brew (8 bottles of handcrafted beers from microbreweries around the world) for £24 a month. Bonus: Beer 52 is based out the UK, but they’ll ship anywhere.
BarkBox - “Our Goal? To make dogs happy.” This dog-friendly subcom is a monthly present for your pup filled with natural treats, big ol’ bones, ecofriendly toys, and the latest in canine hygiene and innovative owner gadgets. Four or more products start as low as $19 and curated by breed, age and preference. Bonus: 10 percent of proceeds go to a good cause.

Contact to set up a subscription e-commerce service that introduces customers to an alternative way of shopping.
Use this opportunity to create a new niche online website, we have the skills to work with new business idea's.

Source: "6 MAJOR E-COMMERCE TRENDS FOR 2014" © 2014, Inc.


Why should you build an e commerce site with CMS?

If you think CMS then there is 2 market leaders Joomla and Wordpress.

Virtuemart is Joomla's shopping cart and Wordpress uses Woocommerce and WP-Ecommerce. Virtuemart powers 38% and Wordpress 17% of the internet.

Fortune 500 companies also uses Joomla or Wordpress to run their e commerce business.

5 reasons to use an content management system as an e commerce platform:

1. Easy to use:
WordPress and Joomla is so easy and with a basic training session even a novice will find it simple to use. You don’t need to know how to code,
you don’t need to learn a complicated program and you would only need an expert in the beginning to setup your shop.

2. Functionality:
WordPress and Joomla has the flexibility to do almost anything you want. You can change the look and feel of your site by installing a new theme or template.
You can add new functionality with plugins or components. Upgrades are constantly made available so that you use the most reliable versions.

3. Inexpensive:
WordPress and Joomla core CMS are free and open-source. You only pay for what you need. If you’re setting up an e commerce site, you would need an shopping cart plugin, and a commercial template.

4. Updates and expandable:
Both CMS Joomla and Wordpress could be expanded as your shop as your business grows. The shopping cart components is also easy to upgrade.

5. Content Management System:
One of the best reasons to use Joomla/WordPress as an ecommerce platform is because it’s already an proven content management system, or CMS. One of the great advantages with an CMS system is that you can scale the system so that more than one administrator or manager can update the shopping cart and edit the rest of the website while it is live.


Owning Your Own eCommerce Shop and Domain

Are you thinking of creating your own eCommerce shop to sell products or services online? Are you confused about what the best ecommerce shop solution will be for your specific market, would you host your products or service's with an ecommerce hosting provider or would you purchase your own domain?

Advantages of owning your own e-store and domain:

  • Here are some advantages to hosting your own domain name and shop.
  • You have control over your own shop and can update your products and change prices yourself.
  • By owning a first level domain like any marketing efforts you embark on will improve your websites credibility in the search engines.
  • There is no monthly costs to have someone else update and manage your online shop.
  • One big advantage is that you would be able to compete with traditional retail as your running costs is far less.
  • Access to detailed reports of website visitors on website.
  • Easier to achieve better SEO (Search Engine Optimization) on a first level domain.

Dis-advantages having your e-store hosted by an e commerce service provider:

  • No control over update's and to manage the administration part of your website.
  • The ecommerce provider do the changes for a fee.
  • The ecommerce provider supply you an 2nd level domain like www.providername/ these sub-domain do not rank high with search engines.
  • There would be monthly hosting fees and you do not have control on different 3rd party plugins to improve your shops functionality.
  • Access to detail report on website stats will only be visible with 3rd party analytics websites.
  • SEO will not be affective on 2nd level domains.

Online shopping will soon replace traditional niche shops for an convenient shopping experience, where an online shop can service the whole world and not just an geographical area. When you realize that a website is a virtual real-estate and grow in ranking and credibility with search engines.

Why not choose an solution that would be able to grow as your business grow without being limited to update your website.


South Africa leading The Charge In Ecommerce

As you might know by now, mobile commerce is becoming more widespread on the continent as more innovative methods of payments and infrastructure continue to improve.

Over 10% of active internet users in Africa shopped on mobile in 2013. South Africa is home to some of the largest merchants on the continent, such as online merchant of books and electronics Kalahari and online fashion retailer Zando. The overall market leader is online merchant Kalahari while event and travel tickets, books, hotel reservations, video and music were the most purchased product categories. The report notes that while South Africa is the current regional leader in online shopping, other markets show high potential of overtaking the leader in the future. Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria and Kenya are the best performing countries in terms of overall ecommerce activity.

Though in terms of mobile shopping penetration, Nigeria, Egypt and Morocco are ahead of South Africa. Due to its large population and fast growing internet penetration, Nigeria has a potential to become one of the leaders in B2C ecommerce in Africa. The report states that the lack of supply in brick-and-mortar retail also drives demand for online outlets. We’ve seen popular ecommerce ventures such as Jumia and Konga taking the industry by storm using innovative techniques to leverage the growing market. In Kenya, the report found, B2C ecommerce is driven by a growing mobile internet penetration and popularity of mobile payments.

The number of internet users reached almost 20-million in June 2013 which accounts for half of the population. At the same time online shopping reached less than 20% of Kenyans even in urban areas. yStats CEO Yücel Yelken says that “ecommerce has a high potential in Africa as the growing middle class seeks more convenient shopping and better price quality, driving local and international Internet merchants to operate in the region.” B2C ecommerce sales were about US$1-billion in 2012 but annual growth of around 40% is forecasted in the next ten years. The main obstacles to overcome on the way to B2C E-Commerce boom are poor logistics in rural areas, low banking penetration and limited consumer awareness.



Do free Shipping generate more sales for your e-shop?

Do free Shipping generate more sales your e-shop?

The delivery of your products influences your conversion rate of your store.

It plays a direct role in the shopping cart abandonment rate of your store. Here is a recent research paper from a large courier company concluded.
Many shoppers are willing to pay a nominal fee to receive the product faster if given an option.
Shipping and delivery times is important during the shopping cart check-out. To reduce shopping cart abandonment, your e-shop should show the shipping costs, or give consumers the option of shipping faster delivery times.
Customers are willing to wait for their packages, but need to know an estimated delivery time and e-mail alerts updates is crucial.
The customer need to feel in control. Options such as “special delivery instructions,” the ability to schedule a late delivery, or having a delivery window gives the consumers the control they need to improve their shipping experience.
Finally, good experiences with returning items lead to repeat customers and recommendations for the retailer. Good experiences are those that ensure ease for the consumer, while the bad experiences are the ones that highlight hassles and the extra cost.

Free Shipping

Irrespective of the business and cost implications, if you talk to your customers, they will tell you that they want free shipping.
For whatever reason, a free shipping offer that saves a customer money is more appealing.
If you still have to charge for shipping, make sure that you always mention the shipping costs up front. If you can afford to offer a flat fee, it will work best because it makes the buying decision much easier for the buyer.


Top 5 Shopping Carts

What is the best shopping carts to create your online shop?

The top 5 open source shopping cart software e-commerce CMS Componenets.

1. Virtuemart is a shopping cart component for Joomla. Joomla is powerful CMS platform Virtuemart has grown into the most popular and powerful shopping cart extension.

2. Magento is an open source eCommerce, offers professional features, flexibility and control over the look, content, and functionality of the online shop.

3. Prestashop is a powerful shopping cart solution. It is an open source platform, which means you pay no fee and can modify the tool to suit your needs.

4. osCommerce Online Merchant v2.3 is a online store solution that contains both a catalog frontend and an administration tool backend which can be easily installed and configured through a web-based installation procedure.

5. WooCommerce is an extremely solid eCommerce plugin for WordPress. It has many standard features and futher commercial available extensions.

We use Virtuemart and WooCommerce shopping cart CMS


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