Shoppers increasingly move online
“January 2015 statistics reveal that online shopping now accounts for 12% of total credit card purchases, a 7% increase from the same period in 2014,” said FNB.
The results indicate that most of these transactions (36%) were via online retail and entertainment websites. Professional services were also popular for online payments, with transactions including paying school fees, university fees and professional-membership subscriptions.
Chris Labuschagne, CEO of FNB credit card noted: “An increasing shift suggests that South Africans are realising the convenience that online shopping offers. The desire to view products in store is quickly being overtaken by the time it saves to select and order items online.”
Labuschagne highlighted: “Improved communication, tracking systems and continuously evolving secure transacting technology all ensure consumers of the safety of online shopping and the protection of their details, as well as delivery of their purchase.”
According to FNB, shoppers between the ages of 20 and 30 are increasingly spending more online.
The bank pointed out: “This is in accordance with consumer trends of instant gratification and the always-on culture of, particularly young, professionals.”
An Absa spokesperson added: “Online spend is growing at a rapid rate. The major drive for online spending is the ease of access and convenience of effective service. The improvement of infrastructure that facilitates online transactions has also contributed to this growth. In November 2014, online transactions accounted for 6% of overall spend. This grew to 8.3% in February 2015.”
Labuschagne stated that the three most prominent advantages of shopping online include:
1. Product availability:Labuschagne highlighted that often products are available on a company’s website that are not as easily available in the physical store.
2. Time saving:In addition to saving the time needed to travel to the store, shopping online also allows you to compare prices quickly and easily. Labuschagne added: “”It also takes the hassle out of returning items as couriers collect packages from you, an online shopper therefore never has to battle with finding the time to return an item.
3. Budgeting for rewards:Some rewards programmes also provide customers with extra rewards if they shop online. Labuschagne noted: “It is worth reading up on the rewards programme that you are subscribed to as online shopping with your credit card is likely to afford you more rewards. FNB customers who shop online using their Gold, Platinum or Private Clients Credit Cards for example earn double eBucks.”
According to Labuschagne, online shopping looks set to grow. “It is expected that online shopping will grow exponentially in the coming year and we encourage consumers to make use of the value that shopping online with credit cards offer.”