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The Use of Mobile-Marketing in SA

According to research by, a global ecommerce platform, South Africans still prefer using desktops rather than smartphones when online shopping. Only 1 out of every 3 online shopping transactions made in SA in 2018 was on a mobile device. The research also shows that South Africans tend to spend less when using smartphones. When they shopped on their phone, the average order value was R428, which was R294 less than when using desktops (R722) and R416 less than when using tablets (R844). Picodi found iOS users on average spend more than Android users at R501 and R417 respectively.

The report also found South African women far outnumber men in online shopping, with women making 67% of online purchases and men just 33%. The younger generation prefers online shopping. Around 42% of all online shoppers were aged between 25 and 34. This was followed by people aged 18 to 24, which made up 21% of shoppers; 35 to 44-year-olds made up 19% and the remaining 18% were consumers over the age of 45. The research was based on’s internal data.

Meanwhile, the latest data shows that 13,5 million smartphones were shipped to South Africa last year (interestingly 61% of those smartphones cost less than 1,500R). This means that 51%  of all mobiles in SA now are smartphones, 70% of all unique browsers are coming from a mobile source, and an increasing percent of smartphones are not high quality – a point which ecommerce designers need to bear in mind when producing mobile-friendly sites.

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Shahrain Coovadia

Shahrain Coovadia is a Cyber Security Consultant at Deloitte, South Africa. Prior to joining Deloitte she started a web-design studio, and worked at the University of Cape Town as a teaching facilitator. Shahrain graduated from the University of Cape Town with a Bachelor of Commerce Honours specialising in Information Systems. She currently facilitates web & database management for Ecommerce Forum South Africa (EFSA).

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