Shopping Trends in South Africa 2024

February 12, 2024

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Shopping Trends in South Africa 2024

All the shopping trends that you need to know for 2024

Time keeps ticking, right? And with it comes new innovations for every industry.Well, the retail scene is no different. Shopping is no longer a chore, these days it's a whole experience. Let’s unpack why and explore the shopping trends for 2024.

The Shopping Evolution

Let’s take a step back to understand just how far shopping has come. From shopping in-store to the revolution of E-commerce , which gave way for mobile and social commerce. Then the groundbreaking buying innovations of Omni channel retailing, and contactless payments. Up to now where Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality has forever changed the shopping experience. With each innovation, shopping becomes more convenient, efficient, and personalised.

The In-store Shopping Experience

South Africans value traditional in-store shopping because of its instant gratification of purchases, the convenient try before you buy physical experience, and its trusted secure payment options. This includes the special social interaction that they receive from helpful staff. Recently a study found that online shopping represented 38% of retail shopping compared to 27% in 2020. This gradual growth shows that shopping in-store will remain prevalent for the foreseeable future.

27 millions South Africans use e-commerce

The Revolution of Online Shopping  

With over 27 million South Africans using e-commerce, we can see that more people are starting to engage with online shopping, and this is just the beginning as its continuously expanding and maturing. E-shopping has created a wonderous experience with convenient, and personalised offerings, along with exclusive deals that can be accessed at anytime and anywhere.

The Convenience of Digital Payments

·      ETF and payment platforms like Ozow are ranked as one of the most used payment methods for E-shopping convenience.

·      Mobile technology has simplified the way you pay with your card by digitalising it, like with Zapper, SnapScan, Google Pay, Samsung Pay and ApplePay.

·      Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) payment options are popular as it allows you to conveniently shop now and pay later interest-free, like Float, Pay JustNow  and PayFlex.

·      Digital wallet payment apps like Ozow.ME allow for faster online shopping.

·      Buy Online, Pick Up in-Store (BOPIS) efficiently integrates the online and in-store shopping experience.

Conscious Shopping

Trading Economics has shown that consumer confidence fell at the end of 2023. This is due to South Africans becoming financially conscious given the current state of the economy. People have begun cutting back across all their expenses except for groceries, rent and other necessities. This pattern of saving will continue to affect buying trends in 2024. Being more responsible with your shopping and its sustainable, environmental, and societal impact has become more prevalent than ever. This has a ripple effect on deciding which brand to support.

A cardless and cashless future

Cost-effective Shopping

For your responsible shopping, both ethically and financially conscious, there are some great shopping methods that can be used in 2024. For instance, Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) allows South Africans the financial benefit to shop and pay with interest-free instalments over a certain e. As well as mobile commerce and payment apps because of its shop-on the go efficiency. Cash vouchers will continue to be popular as it's easily used and reloadable both in-store and online. With innovations like Ozow’s digital payment solutions, a cardless and cashless future is closer than ever. It makes e-shopping accessible with its secure instant EFTs.

Phygital is The Future of Shopping

The emerging trend of ‘Phygital’ - is a unique blend of physical and digital retailing. When we’re ‘Web Rooming’(researching online before making informed in-store purchases) or ‘Show Rooming’ (visiting the physical store to check out products before buying it online), we all become part of this new shopping trend, whether it be consciously or subconsciously.

Projected South African Retail Sales Year on Year

Experiences above the rest

In 2024, some South Africans will still continue to spend on experience-based activities for entertainment, and travel which will become a sought-after trend. As more and more people feel fulfilled or enriched by experiences that leave lasting memories rather than material possessions.

Investing in Health and Fitness

The demand for health and fitness products and services will continue to trend as people are becoming more invested in their health and overall wellbeing which transcends the notion of doing it just to look good but rather to improve how they feel.

Social media and Influencers: Guiding our shopping choices

Social commerce and influencers are now and will continue to significantly affect the decisions of buyers and shopping trends for the foreseeable future. Whether it be for inspiration or recommendation, influencers and social media are becoming a trusted and relatable guide for shopping decisions.

Joining the Revolution

These shopping trends shed some light on what you can expect for the purchasing behaviour and retail space in 2024. Watch these trends to stay ahead of the curve and be able to adapt to the ever-changing landscape of e-commerce and online retail. Ozow’s innovative payment solutions have made online shopping more seamless, convenient, and accessible to South African shoppers. So, shoppers should keep these trends in mind to help enhance and explore their shopping experiences in 2024. Additionally, businesses can also use these trends to adapt the experience of their offering for consumers in 2024.


1. What is the difference between e-commerce and mobile/social commerce?

E-commerce refers to any buying and selling of products or services online via websites. Mobile commerce and social commerce are subsets that specifically focus on online shopping via mobile apps or social media platforms respectively.


2. What is the benefit of Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) services?

BNPL allows shoppers to purchase items and pay for them interest-free in instalments over a period of time. This provides more financial flexibility versus paying the full amount upfront.


3. What is the "phygital" shopping trend?

"Phygital" blends physical and digital shopping experiences. It covers browsing online before buying in-store (web rooming) or visiting stores to view items before purchasing online (showrooming).


4. Why are conscious/sustainable shopping practices becoming more popular?

As people become more financially conscious and environmentally aware, they are putting more emphasis on responsible purchasing decisions that align with their values around sustainability, ethics, and societal impact.


5. How are digital payment solutions like Ozow enhancing the online shopping experience?

Ozow and other digital payment platforms make online checkout faster and more convenient through secure, instant EFT payments without needing card details. They increase accessibility to e-commerce.


6. What role do social media influencers play in shopping trends?

Social media influencers act as trusted guides and have a major impact on shopping inspiration, product discovery, and purchasing decisions for many consumers.

Staff Writer

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