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SA behind Nigeria in smartphone-generated ecommerce

SA behind Nigeria in smartphone-generated ecommerce

When it comes to e-commerce, South Africans still prefer interfacing over desktops than smartphones - unlike their Nigerian counterparts.

New data from, an e-commerce platform which provides discount coupons for online stores, shows that one out of three transactions ( 32% of orders) – placed in South Africa in 2018 were processed using a mobile device.

South Africa stands out as one of the few countries, out of the 35 analysed, where desktop shopping still dominates.

Nigeria ranks second in the overall use of smartphones, behind Peru, with 62% of transactions recorded.

The finding suggests there could be a correlation between the rate of mobile device use and the average value of the online order among the two African countries.

Nigerians tend to spend more (US$43) than South African consumers (US$30 or R440 at the time of writing).

This view could be supported by the study's claims that almost half of all online shoppers (42%) are people between the ages of 25 and 34.

According to a 2018 Pew study more than nine out of 10 millennials (92%) own smartphones. also states that clothing, food on delivery and groceries are the top three categories for online shopping. It singled out Monday and Friday as the days more consumers in South Africa shop using mobile devices - Wednesdays and Sundays are for desktop users.

It added that South Africans tend to spend less when using smartphones with an average order value of R428 - about R294 less than when using desktops (R722) and R416 less than using tablets (R844).

Gbenro Dara is the chief executive officer of Cheki, an online business of One Africa Media (OAM) which operates in Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania and Ghana.

Dara said: "In my opinion, the key difference is in the difference in size of the economy, access to retail credit and purchasing power of the middle class. More South Africans can afford to buy a laptop or desktop computer than the number of Nigerians who can."

He added that a lack of fixed broadband in Nigeria means most internet users will rely on GSM network providers to access the internet, unlike those in the South African market where several homes are connected to high speed broadband.

"Some other factors include low-cost Android smartphones and falling data prices further cementing mobile as the preferred option for consuming most of the internet's content for the Nigerian market."

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