The number of mobile internet subscriptions reached 46.9 million in 2018, up from 30.
Growth is also being stimulated by the growing number of retailers that are launching apps and mobile-enabled websites due to increasing demand for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Apps are playing a key role in the promotion and enhancement of mobile internet retailing with consumers able to quickly and easily view products, previous orders and offers, as well as processing orders.
The introduction of near-field communication (NFC) technology is another trend that is driving mobile internet retailing in South Africa. Although mobile NFC payment technology is not yet mainstream in the country, due to the requirement for complex infrastructure, this technology is increasingly being offered by retailers.
Retailers are increasingly developing mobile-compatible websites in order to encourage sales via mobile devices. For example, leading internet retailer Takealot launched iPhone and Android shopping apps during the review period.
In 2018 Woolworths launched mobile shopping through its mobile lifestyle app with it claiming that this made it the most comprehensive retail app in South Africa. With mobile users accounting for the larger share of the visitors to its website the company chose to invest in improving the mobile shopping experience.
There is expected to be strong growth in apparel and footwear mobile internet retailing over the forecast period and this is being driven by leading retailers such as Takealot, Superbalist (formerly Spree) and Asos, which all offer mobile shopping and mobile apps. The new Superbalist app offers consumers ZAR250 off their first purchase when they download the app, with the app itself offering quick and convenient browsing and purchasing options.
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