Kevin Tucker, CEO of online shopping price comparison website PriceCheck, said there has been a spike in e-commerce volumes since a ban on unfettered e-trading was lifted late last week.
“I’ve never seen a spike in traffic like this outside of Black Friday. It really is like every day is Black Friday now,” Tucker said in an e-mailed statement.
Government lifted the restrictions on e-commerce last week, allowing online stores to sell anything they want — except cigarettes and alcohol — under level 4 of the nationwide Covid-19 lockdown. It reversed course after it came under significant pressure to do so from lobby groups, including DearSA, e-retailers and political parties.
“Since the afternoon of Thursday, 14 May, South Africans have taken to the Internet in a way the country has never seen before. Online traffic and user numbers show that e-commerce is experiencing a welcome boon,” said Tucker.
He added that the lockdown is influencing people’s shopping habits. The top five searches on PriceCheck since Thursday afternoon all relate to personal protective equipment and related items, with one interesting outlier — hydrometers used to measure alcohol content, no doubt due to people turning to home brewing amid the ban on liquor sales.
Other top searches include thermometers, face shields and masks. Popular items searched for include gas heaters, TVs, treadmills and spinning bikes.
The most popular products by far are gas heaters, digital thermometers, TVs and cellphones, Tucker said. Top brands being searched include Goldair, Huawei, Samsung and Defy.
There is also a clear trend towards finding work-from-home products, including several brands of laptops, webcams and LTE modems, and home gym equipment.
A substantial number of home appliances also made the list. — (c) 2020 NewsCentral Media