At a recent conference held in Johannesburg, a stern warning was issued by one of the panel’s speakers that in effect South Africans should promote and support local e-commerce business’s. That, if we do not do this our economy will continue to struggle in future. This was said to be as a result of customers (who are already buying online) will continue to buy products and services on foreign owned websites.
The implications of this is that the unemployment rate will suffer further as there is no stimulation into local business and therefore less chances of job creation. Also, fewer transactions taking place in South Africa through South African business’s means less VAT that is paid over to the Government, meaning less service delivery and less advancement for services to be implemented into areas such as technology.
South Africans are slowly becoming more comfortable engaging with technology but there still seems be an element of unwillingness when it comes to buying products online.
A 2014 survey of 15000 consumers from 15 areas by auditing firm PWC looked at the lack of trust of online payments hindering shopping online, the results showed that 38% of South Africans do not want to transact online.
Mustapha Zaouini, CEO PayU, SA’s largest payments partner was quoted as saying “South Africans seem hesitant to shop online because they think the risk is only on them, but it’s actually up to your payment gateway and financial institution to ensure that complex money transfers are robust and secure. The responsibility on the online shopper is to stick to credible merchants,”
Of course you as an online shopper should be cautious, do your research on the company that you are buying from, only buy from companies that adhere to security laws and regulations and are credible. We also urge you to read the fine print but, that should go without saying for any kind of transaction, be it online or in the conventional buying process.
An impressive statistic to instil confidence for those who are still doubtful of South Africa’s standing in world e-commerce is that South African mass-media company Naspers, is ranked third with a value of $52 billion, behind Google (1st) and China’s Alibaba (2nd) in terms of brand value, according to Statista.com.
E-commerce is not only becoming more secure to the end user but with advancements in technology is also becoming more cost effective and convenient for both residential and business’s to utilize as a shopping means. This is due to rising petrol prices, expenses such as parking and E-tolls and not to mention the risk of theft of your motor vehicle at shopping centres, the risk of the shopping centre itself being robbed and naturally the time it takes you to get to the shop, browse for your items, stand in a cue to pay, walk back to your car and drive back home or to the office.
It’s a no brainer South Africa: Safety, Convenience and Cost Effectiveness. Go on… support our local e-commerce businesses!