South Africa

South Africa

General Information

  • Population 59.3m
  • Population 15 + 42.2m
  • Online Population 38.0m
  • Area 1,221,037 km2
  • Currency ZAR
  • GDP 302.1bn USD
  • GDP per Capita 5,067 USD
  • Card-based payments
  • Cash-based payments
  • Bank transfer
  • Wallets
  • Other
[{"label":"Card-based payments","value":"43"},{"label":"Cash-based payments","value":"9"},{"label":"Bank transfer","value":"18"},{"label":"Wallets","value":"20"},{"label":"Other","value":"10"}]
Banked population
  • South Africa 69%
  • Middle East & Africa 48%
  • World 67%
Credit card penetration
  • South Africa 9%
  • Middle East & Africa 12%
  • World 19%
Internet penetration
  • South Africa 64%
  • Middle East & Africa 45%
  • World 62%
Smartphone penetration
  • South Africa 76%
  • Middle East & Africa 65%
  • World 70%

Social media has played a big role in increasing e-commerce in South Africa and retailers frequently use it as a way of reaching new groups of consumers. South Africans are very conscious of prices and frequently search online for the best deal.

South Africa is another market where Amazon doesn’t have a foothold. Instead, all the main movers in the e-commerce market are local. Even Jumia, Africa’s equivalent, can’t compete with local companies such as Takealot.com.

South African e-commerce is booming fueled by the pandemic, but expected to continue growing after. In the first half 2020, bricks-and-mortar stores saw footfall drop by 12% while
e-commerce grew by 30%, and is expected to keep growing.

South Africa’s economy fell by 7% in 2020 but is set to grow by 3.1% in 2021 according to the IMF, and 2% in 2022. Meanwhile inflation, which fell to 3.4% in 2020, is set to rise by 4.3% in 2021 and 4.5 % in 2022.

Future e-commerce trends (2021-2025)

E-Commerce market size forecast ($US billion)
2021 4.2
2022 5.1
2023 5.9
2024 6.8
2025 7.7
E-Commerce spending per capita ($US)
2021 70
2022 83
2023 95
2024 108
2025 121
E-Commerce spending as % of GDP
2021 1.2
2022 1.4
2023 1.5
2024 1.6
2025 1.7

South Africa

The E-Commerce Market

Top e-commerce segments 2019 | 2020

  1. Airlines & Hotels: 47% | 26%
  2. Health & Beauty: 10% | 21%
  3. Toys, DIY, & Hobbies: 11% | 18%
  4. Electrical Goods: 15% | 13%
  5. Food & Drink: 4% | 6%

Cross-border e-commerce

  1. Cross-border proportion of total e-commerce – NA
  2. Value of cross-border e-commerce ($US billion) – NA
  3. % of online shoppers who have shopped cross-border – 64%

Top 3 cross-border shopping origin markets

  1. USA: 27%
  2. China: 14%
  3. Germany
E-commerce % of total retail
  • South Africa 3%
  • Middle East & Africa 3.0%
  • World 20%
E-commerce completed on a mobile device
  • South Africa 63%
  • Middle East & Africa 53%
  • World 53%

The Credit Card Split

  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • American Express
[{"label":"Visa","value":"51"},{"label":"Mastercard","value":"48"},{"label":"American Express","value":"1"}]
  • E-commerce market size ($US billion) 3.7bn USD
  • E-Commerce spending per capita ($US) 61 USD
  • E-commerce spending as % of GDP 1.1%

South Africa

Local Payment Methods

BitPay Type Wallet Regions Asia Pacific + 5 Hyperwallet Type Bank transfer, Gift card, Prepaid voucher Regions Asia Pacific + 5 Market relevance High PayPal Type Wallet Regions Asia Pacific + 5 Market relevance High Paysera Wallet Type Wallet Regions Asia Pacific + 5 Market relevance High PayU Type Bank transfer Regions Asia Pacific + 4 Market relevance High Skrill Type Wallet Regions Asia Pacific + 5 Market relevance High Allied Wallet Type Wallet Regions Asia Pacific + 5 Market relevance High Apple Pay Type Wallet Regions Asia Pacific + 5 Market relevance High Boku Type Carrier billing Regions Asia Pacific + 5 Market relevance High DaoPay Type Carrier billing Regions Asia Pacific + 5 Market relevance High Google Pay Type Wallet Regions Asia Pacific + 5 Market relevance High Masterpass Type Wallet Regions Asia Pacific + 5 Market relevance High Mobiamo Type Carrier billing Regions Asia Pacific + 5 Market relevance High mobicred Type Instalments Regions Middle East & Africa Market relevance High Razer Gold Type Wallet Regions Asia Pacific + 5 Market relevance High Samsung Pay Type Wallet Regions Asia Pacific + 5 Market relevance High SnapScan Type Wallet Regions Middle East & Africa Market relevance High SWIFT Type Bank transfer Regions Asia Pacific + 5 Market relevance High FNB Cell Pay Point Type Wallet Regions Middle East & Africa Market relevance Medium MobiCash Type Wallet Regions Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa Market relevance Medium MTN Mobile Money Type Wallet Regions Middle East & Africa Market relevance Medium Secure Remote Commerce (SRC) Type Wallet Regions Asia Pacific + 5 Market relevance Medium SiD Instant EFT Type Bank transfer Regions Middle East & Africa Market relevance Medium Wallet One Type Wallet Regions Asia Pacific + 4 Market relevance Medium Boloro Type Wallet Regions Asia Pacific + 5 G2A Pay Type Wallet Regions Asia Pacific + 5 NETELLER Type Wallet Regions Asia Pacific + 5 payD Type Wallet Regions Middle East & Africa Splitit Type Instalments Regions Asia Pacific + 5

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