Mobile shoppers beat the rush

7 December 2011

With holiday season around the corner, more South African shoppers are avoiding the rush at stores by turning to their mobile phones to do their Christmas shopping.

“Based on the astounding uptake in our mobi services, Santa’s biggest little helper this Christmas will be mobile shopping platforms,” Gary Novitzkas, CEO of South African online retailer kalahari.com, said in a statement last week.

When kalahari.com launched its mobile platform in March this year, it recorded growth of 37% within a month of its launch and over 200% in the period to September 2011.

Mobile cannot be ignored

Over 70% of South Africa’s population own a mobile phone, and mobile internet access is fast surpassing PC internet access, making mobile a commercial channel that cannot be ignored.

A recent Mobile Shopping Survey conducted by kalahari.com not only shows that 51% of connected South Africans access the mobile internet every day, but that they also have intent to transact, with 26% of respondents having already made a purchase and a further 53% considering it.

“Mobile shopping is still a small base of overall transaction volume and we are aware that consumers need to be comfortable with retrieving information and content before they become at ease with making transactions on mobile devices,” said Novitzkas.

The usual favourites

Kalahari anticipates similar favourites similar to those from its website to be purchased on its mobile site this festive season. “Top selling categories on our mobi site to date have been books, then DVDs, then games followed by technology, and we can expect much of the same for this festive season.

“As shoppers become more comfortable with mobi we will see bigger purchases taking place and technology to shift higher up the ranks,” said Novitzkas.

He said that shopping on the move allowed shoppers to compare prices, research gift ideas, redeem electronic vouchers and watch for special deals, while also saving time and money.

“Our aim is to alleviate the stress of Christmas shopping by making it as convenient as possible, as well as offering great value and an extensive range of ‘must have’ items.”

SAinfo reporter

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