A report released by payments company, Visa Inc., indicates that more South African consumers are becoming more comfortable with making online purchases through various e-commerce platforms. The report also highlights that online security remains a major factor in the adoption of digital payments and eCommerce.
Consumers who were interviewed and said that they avoid shopping online, cited concerns about using their payment cards online.
“The world is becoming digital. According to some reports, last year global consumer card payments surpassed cash payments for the first time, so whether you are shopping online or in a mall, electronic payments are playing an increasingly important role. New technologies, such as mobile payments, are also driving greater adoption, so the trend is definitely towards the growth of online goods and services. However, consumers also want to know that their transactions are protected, their data is safe, and they are going to receive the goods they pay for. Visa’s role extends not just to helping consumers make fast and convenient purchases through technology like Visa Checkout, but also ensuring that every transaction is protected, and that the merchants who accept our payments are acting responsibly. This is why the Visa brand, whether it’s on a retailer’s web page, or on a card, or a point of sale device, means trust, reliability and security, for everyone everywhere,” said Geraldine Mitchley, Senior Director for Emerging Payments and Innovation at Visa Sub-Saharan Afrika.
Interestingly, the report found that goods consumers tend to purchase change the more familiar they are with eCommerce. The report categorizes consumers into three groups – Emerging online consumers, who are relatively new to eCommerce; Evolving online consumers, who are occasional online shoppers; and Mature online consumers, who are familiar and comfortable with eCommerce. The Emerging category tend to go online for essentials such as paying bills, digital content like music, and food delivery. The Evolving category displays similar habits to the Emerging group, but is also comfortable buying fashion, personal electronics and in some cases, more advanced services like education. The Mature category is most likely to book airlines and hotels, financial services and a wider range of goods and services.
The report also found that:
62% of online shoppers purchase mostly clothes and apparel. Other items on consumers’ shopping lists include flights, hotels, utility bills, electronics and movies.
63% of consumers surveyed said they still prefer doing their shopping in malls. Consumers said they prefer real-time tracking and monitoring of their purchases, and the opportunity to discover a bargain or a sale.
Security remains one of the top reasons people are hesitant to shop online. Across all categories, there is a lack of trust in making large purchases such as furniture and financial services.
“Notably, many respondents say they will shop online more readily if they are incentivised to do so by the various retailers. We are seeing a growing number of our own Visa merchants driving in-app sales and deals, with additional discounts and price cuts almost weekly. Using Visa data, there is also room for creating more personalised incentives for customers, and retailers can become more attentive of consumers’ needs and introduce initiatives that will attract them to their online shopping hubs,” concluded Mitchley.