33 Million Online Shoppers in South Africa by 2025

south africa ecommerce

Insights into the growth of South African ecommerce profiling payment methods, target audiences, marketing, social media, economy and logistics


South Africa is home to 58 million people, with a total GDP of US$351 billion. Continued economic growth in South Africa has resulted in it now being classed as an Upper Middle Income economy. Although GDP per capita is low at US$5,443 international retailers should focus on the rising middle class that reside predominantly in urbanized areas. 13.7% of the population is classed as middle class, with almost 15% of the population classed as middle class and above.

Digital User Insights

There are currently 24.7 million ecommerce users in South Africa, with 9 million additional users set to shop online by 2025.

south africa ecommerce

Product Categories

Total ecommerce revenue across all product categories is US$4.6 billion, expected to reach US$6.3 billion by 2025. Fashion is currently the leading product category, accounting for more than double the amount of revenue produced by any other category, at US$1.4 billion.

By 2025, Fashion will still lead, valued at US$2.1 billion, with Toys, Hobby and DIY second at US$1.6 billion.

south africa ecommerce


South Africa is ranked 33rd in the world by the World Bank for logistics.. The overall population is becoming steadily more urbanized, with 67% of South Africans currently residing in the country’s biggest cities.

Preferred Online Payments

39% of online payments are made via credit/debit card, with the usage of card type split 50:50. Ewallets are the most popular alternative payment type, accounting for 20% of online payments in South Africa.

south africa ecommerce

Where does South Africa buy from?

South Africa imports from China (US$16.1 billion), Germany (US$9.85 billion), United States (US$5.44 billion), India (US$4.18 billion), and Saudi Arabia (US$3.69 billion).

south africa ecommerce

Internet and Device Usage

Internet penetration in South Africa is currently at 60%, and should reach 65% by 2025. Smartphone penetration is 60%.


Marketing spend in South Africa has grown in recent years, with television accounting for almost 1.5 billion USD of total marketing spend. Digital has seen a steady increase in market spend, with radio growing steeply to reach 500 million USD market spend.

Social Media

South Africa’s social media usage continues to shift, with users spread across a number of different platforms. Whatsapp and Facebook are the most commonly used networks, while GooglePlus, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter all show that at least 10% of the population logs on.

south africa ecommerce

For more market insights, check out the ESW series of blogs covering a range of emerging eCommerce markets. 

*Insights derived from ESW data, Statista, WorldBank, OECD and other industry sources.