South Africa of the BRICS, Cross-border E-commerce customer unit price exceeds 100 USD


 According to the 2016 global consumer research report released by Ipsos, South African consumer shopping overseas is very common, and 43% of online shoppers in South Africa shop on other countries’ e-commerce platforms. 


On July 24, China’s president, Xi Jinping attended the BRICS Summit in South Africa. The BRICS countries include Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The total land area accounts for nearly 30% of the world’s territory, with a total population of 3.11 billion, accounting for 41.2% of the world’s population. From an economic point of view, the GDP of the five countries accounts for about 23.7% of the world’s total, and trade volume accounts for 16% of the world’s total trade volume.

In 2017, the total number of Internet users in the BRICS countries exceeded 1.45 billion, accounting for 41.9% of the global Internet users. The total number of online shopping users exceeded 840 million, accounting for 50.8% of the global online shopping users.

It is estimated that by 2022, the number of online shopping users in the BRICS will rise to 1.35 billion, accounting for 61% of the global online shopping users. The total online retail sales will increase to 3 trillion USD, accounting for 59% of the total online retail sales.


South Africa is the most developed country in Africa with a population of 55 million, a netizen (people who use the internet) population of 31.8 million, and a penetration rate of 58% for netizens.  In 2017, online shopping users reached 18.4 million, second only to Nigeria, ranking second in Africa, with an online shopping rate of 57.9%.


In 2017, the cross-border e-commerce retail sales in South Africa was approximately 890 million US dollars, an increase of 30.9% compared to 2016.

The middle class in South Africa is growing and their shopping habits have changed. According to McKinsey’s report, by 2025, online shopping may account for 10% of retail sales (worth about $75 billion USD).

As online shopping increases, so does the demand for devices such as smartphones. The 2017 Accenture Digital Consumer Survey found that in South Africa, smartphone usage increased from 52% in 2016 to 63% in 2017. The number of smartphone users has nearly tripled across the continent, reaching 226 million. The surge in smartphone penetration is leading the digital revolution in Africa, allowing users to face the unlimited opportunities offered by the Internet.

According to the data provided by Statista, in 2018, South African e-commerce market revenue will reach 33.07 billion USD. It is expected that revenue will show an annual growth rate of 13.2% (CAGR 2018-2022), and the market transaction volume will reach 5.43 billion USD by 2022. The largest category in the market is electronics and media, with a market transaction volume of 1.06 billion in 2018. User penetration rate was 56.9% in 2018 and is expected to reach 64.1% by 2022. The current average revenue per user (ARPU) is 101.67 USD.




Takealot is South Africa’s largest e-commerce platform. This platform has been in existence for more than a decade and was established in 2002. With a wide catalog of merchandise and a wide range of entertainment products that Africans love, customers can buy everything from books to games, computers, and televisions, etc.

In April 2017, Takealot received a huge investment of more than $69 million from South African investment agency Naspers (which is also Tencent‘s largest investment institution). Previously, the online retailer received $100 million in investment from investment company Tiger Global Management in 2014. Naspers owns a 53% stake in Takealot, while Tiger Global owns approximately 34%.

(Source: ePandaMENA)


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