South Africa’s Online Spending Habits during Lockdown

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As the country enters into its fourth week of lockdown, South African consumers have embraced the concept of online shopping – not only for themselves but also to assist the many families who are in desperate need of financial relief during the COVID-19 crisis.

This is according to Matthew Leighton, spokesperson from OneDayOnly.co.za, who says the South African e-tailer has observed some interesting buying trends over the lockdown period.

“Over-and-above the expected purchases of essential items, there has been an increased demand for some non-essential items as well – all of which can only be delivered after the lockdown ends.”

He also highlights the amazing generosity of ordinary South Africans who are thinking of others less fortunate than themselves during this time.


“On Tuesday night, President Ramaphosa reemphasised the massive impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable members of our society.” One of the best trends to have emerged during lockdown, according to Leighton, is that of giving to those in need.

“While this is a tough time for everybody, some are struggling more than others, and it’s great to see how many people have been eager to help out where they can. To enable this on a broader scale, we’ve partnered with Boost Africa Foundation to set up a COVID-19 relief donation option on our site, which has been so warmly received.”

Leighton goes on to unpack this and other lockdown e-commerce trends in more detail:

South Africans are shopping more online during lockdown

“Since the start of the lockdown period, we’ve seen a 40% increase in page views per user, and a 15% increase in basket sizes. Based on this data, we can definitively say that online shopping is a viable option during lockdown, and one South Africans have embraced,” says Leighton.

Some are using this time for self-improvement

Aside from COVID-19-related essential items like hand sanitizer, gloves, and masks, Leighton says that many customers are investing in fitness gear and homeware. “We’ve seen a spike in demand for activity trackers and watches, treadmills and other fitness equipment, as well as homeware products like beds and blogging lights.

“From this, we can deduce that many people are using their time in lockdown to either work on themselves, their living space, and even a part-time blogging gig,” he comments.

While others are focusing on the light at the end of the tunnel

“Our bestselling shop last week was our wine shop – to be delivered after lockdown, of course,” says Leighton, who adds that many customers have also purchased clothing items, even though these are not allowed to be delivered during the lockdown period. “We’ve been surprised by the number of customers who are placing orders with ‘life after lockdown’ in mind.”

Many, however, are offering a helping hand to those in need now

After going live on Wednesday, April 15th, the OneDayOnly.co.za Boost Africa Foundation initiative has already attracted over R450 000 in donations, which has resulted in the delivery of four truckloads of food – enough to feed 750 families that are struggling financially during this period.

“This is a great example of how South Africans are willing to support those in need during this challenging time, and how e-tailers like us are able to use our existing infrastructure in order to make this happen,” Leighton concludes.

Edited by Jenna Delport
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