Local online retailer Kalahari.net, a popular stop on the web for South Africans looking to buy especially CDs, books and DVDs, has been chosen as best e-commerce store of the year, for the second year in a row.
The South African e-Commerce Awards is an initiative hosted by online shopping search engine Jump Shopping that acknowledges South African e-commerce stores displaying impressive growth.
Kalahari.net also was named best online bookstore, as well as best online jewellery and watch store.
“The 2007 awards were a runaway success with new entries joining in the running as well as a clear indication that the standard of local e-commerce stores has vastly improved from the previous year’s selection,” said Albert Bredenhann, MD of Jump Shopping.
He expects to see an e-commerce boom hit the market within the next two years due to South Africans’ increased access to broadband as well as more offline stores joining the online arena.
This year’s awards nomination process received more than 17Â 000 votes by members of the public for their favourite online stores. A shortlist was compiled from these nominations and once again presented to the public for final voting over the course of one month. These votes were then given to a panel of judges for moderation and final selection of winners.
Internet research firm World Wide Worx reported in October this year that South African online retail is turning into a healthy and attractive business as more consumers access broadband and become more comfortable with online shopping.
By the end of this year, online spending on retail goods in the country is expected to have grown by more than 35%, compared with 33% growth a year ago.
The total spent on online retail goods in South Africa this year is expected to be R929-million, up from R688-million in 2006, according to a World Wide Worx report titled Online Retail in South Africa 2007.
These figures exclude the sale of air tickets online, which continue to dwarf the numbers for online retail.
Winners of the 2007 South African E-Commerce Awards