Research shows how SA turned to e-commerce during lockdown - TechCentral

Research shows how SA turned to e-commerce during lockdown

New research from GfK suggests there has been a marked shift by South African consumers to online shopping, with most likely to continue using e-commerce, even after the Covid-19 pandemic ends.

The Consumer Pulse research from GfK looked into the behaviours and sentiment of online consumers during the level-3 lockdown.

“Consumers are preparing themselves for a prolonged period of cocooning, with 59% expecting the pandemic to last more than another 12 months, and 34% predicting that it will continue for another 18 months or more,” GfK said in a statement. “Only 2% reported that they have booked a holiday for the summer and 71% agreed that they will travel closer to home in the future.”

These changes in consumer behaviour will outlast the pandemic, with about 30% of consumers reporting that they had made an online purchase in the week preceding the survey. Some 26% of respondents said they will “definitely” increase their usage of home delivery even after the pandemic.

About 16% agreed that they will try to avoid the malls and shops and 48% said working from home will continue to be a reality for many companies even after Covid-19. “These figures reflect consumers’ growing fears about the virus as infection numbers soar – 70% said that they are ‘extremely worried’ about the coronavirus in lockdown level 3, up from 66% in lockdown level 4,” GfK said.

Staying home

“Consumers are seemingly ready to stay in beyond the end of the pandemic to enjoy the investments they have made in DIY, home appliances and consumer electronics for home entertainment,” said Rachel Thompson, insights director at GfK South Africa, in the statement.

The research shows that consumer preference for online shopping has grown dramatically in most product categories during the lockdown; across product segments an even higher proportion of consumers said that online shopping would be their post-Covid channel of choice.

“The survey results indicate that growth in adoption of online shopping in groceries, consumer electronics, DIY and mobile phones will be robust post-pandemic. A significant portion of consumers who claimed they used online as their preferred channel for fashion and IT shopping during the pandemic said they would go back to traditional channels after Covid-19, but not enough to bring this number down to pre-Covid levels,” the company said.  — © 2020 NewsCentral Media

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