E-tailers in SA to see growth in mobile commerce

E-tailers in South Africa can expect to see their most prolific growth in mobile commerce according to Gary Novitzkas, chief executive of Kalahari.com.

“In developing countries such as South Africa where mobile phone penetration outnumbers fixed internet users 5:2 the mobile screen is the only screen for many. As smart phones start entering the mainstream, a new generation of internet user is emerging,” he said.

The company—which officially registered its millionth member on Tuesday—predicted that the tipping point of e-commerce would be provided by the widespread adoption of mobile commerce.

According to Novitzkas, a country is recognised as achieving a critical e-commerce milestone when online sales contribute more than 1% of retail sales and SA was sitting at 0.4%.

“With six-million connected locals, SA boasts a 12% internet penetration, it also has a 16.7% credit card penetration and a very promising 92% mobile penetration—all positive e-commerce indicators,” he said.

The company noted that books had always featured as a Kalahari.com bestseller but the electronics channel was starting to strongly appeal to the Kalahari.com shopper.

“We anticipate the widespread adoption of mobile shopping to grow younger audience bases,” Novitzkas said.

The company recently launched kalahari.mobi—the first fully operational mobi shopping site of scale in the country.—I-Net Bridge

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