I have so many memories as a kid, getting ready on a Saturday morning for the anticipated day of going to the mall with my parents. Whether it was for our monthly grocery shopping or if I was lucky a brand-new dress. But over the past few years, the style of shopping has changed. Online Shopping – Click, Pay And Delivered
There came a point where the primary function of the Internet switched from being a communication or information gathering tool to being a shopping tool. And this year we have been shopping online, more than ever before.
As one of the biggest “positives” to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic was the rise in popularity of online shopping. This has been the response of many South Africans (and global citizens) to the social distancing rules and lockdown regulations.
By definition, e-commerce or electronic commerce is the buying and selling of products or services via the Internet.
We have a closer look at e-commerce. Starting back in 1972, long before eBay or Amazon. Students from Stanford University in California and MIT in Massachusetts conducted the first-ever online transaction. Using the Arpanet account at their artificial intelligence lab. The Stanford students sold their counterparts a tiny amount of marijuana. Who would have thought? Though, that technically did not count because money was not exchanged online. They only used the network to arrange a meeting place.
Then there was August 11, 1994. When Dan Kohn sold a CD of Sting’s Ten Summoner’s Tales album to a friend in Philadelphia. Who used his credit card to spend $12.48, plus shipping costs, in a transaction that, for the first time, was protected by encryption technology. What likely counts as the very first legitimate online transaction.
For a partial rundown of this long, strange trip, “Proceed to Checkout: The Unexpected Story of How E-commerce Started,” is well worth a watch.
History of Ecommerce
That brings us to 2020, South Africa. We look at some online data, from January to the end of May 2020, provided by PayFast. An online payment processing service for South African merchants of all sizes. PayFast allows merchants to accept secure payments from online buyers by offering a variety of payment methods.
PayFast data reveals interesting online buyer characteristics
Who shops online the most and with which device?
- Women shop online more than men, with 62% of all buyers being female versus 38% male.
- Millennials aged 25-34 years old account for the biggest group of online shoppers.
- In this age group, 37% make payments with their mobile versus 28% on desktop.
- The least likely age group to shop online is 65+ who only make up 4% of all mobile payments.
How has the online shopper demographic changed since 2019?
- Interestingly the fastest-growing age group of online shoppers is Gen Zs aged 18-24.
- This young group of shoppers grew by 139% year on year.
- In comparison, the group of shoppers aged 25-34 only grew by 55%.
- Unexpectedly the second-fastest-growing age group is 55-64-year-olds with 62% growth. Yes, your grandmother is buying her wool online now.
When do most people shop online and which device?
- Online shopping peaks between 11:00-12:00, probably coinciding with people at work taking a break. We hope.
- Overall desktop usage is dominant between 10:00-13:00. In contrast mobile usage peaks at 19:00.
- The majority of mobile payments taking place between 18:00-21:00
So, whether you still prefer the old-style mall experience or the fast and easy world of online shopping. One thing is for certain, that e-commerce is here to stay.
“Through e-commerce, women have found a means to jump over cultural and traditional lack of available time for remunerated activities.” ~ Arancha Gonzalez
Tag us with your latest online purchase #BlossTech. Let us know in the comments below whether you prefer going to the mall or online shopping
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