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Online Retail Brands Report South Africa 2020 - Cover

Online Retail Brands Report 2020

The Acentric Online Retail Brands Report 2020, offers detailed insights into the online-retail brand landscape in South Africa, while providing invaluable tactical information for startups and existing store owners.

It is of special relevance to decision makers responsible for marketing and brand management, providing a broad range of measures specifically related to brand performance and positioning that provide essential input into marketing strategy. In order to ensure data integrity, the study avoided supply-side interviews (i.e. retailers) and instead focused on consumer interviews. Only consumers who had made at least one online purchase in the 12 months prior were allowed to participate. Additional restrictions included age (15 years and older) and residence (South Africa).

In total, 75 brands and 30 product categories were covered. In terms of brands included, particular emphasis was placed on ensuring the top brands in the following categories were included: appliances, books, cellular, computers, electronic goods / appliances not listed elsewhere, fashion (clothes / shoes / accessories / cosmetics), watches, jewelry, homeware. In addition generalist stores such as Amazon and Takealot were included.

The survey was conducted using panels managed by CINT AB Sweden and Acentric Marketing Research. While the survey was completed on the 8th of March 2020 – meaning it is free of the temporary distortions of lockdown on brand positioning and purchase measures - as a report buyer you are entitled to an update survey for the initial behavioural questions as these are likely to have shifted post Coronavirus lockdowns (e.g. stores purchased from and spend) - but only if you order prior to end January 2021. The survey covers the 12 months preceding the survey. In total 264 respondents completed the survey yielding an estimated confidence interval of +-6% at a 95% confidence level. Confidence interval estimates assume a worst case scenario of 50% for percentage statistics. As is best practice, post-weighting was applied to improve representation in terms of demographics.

Who would benefit from this report?

Investors, potential online store owners, existing online store owners, brand managers, marketing managers and advertising agencies.

Why buy this report?

  • Value for money – obtain insights at a fraction of the cost of commissioning your own study.
  • Includes a conjoint simulator to aid in tactical trade-offs such as delivery charges, delivery timelines, return charges, return policy, discount coupons / mystery gift, compensation types for returns and time allowed (more detail below).
  • Obtain measures of categories ‘ever’ bought online, online category penetration over 12 months, online purchase frequency and online average spend per category.
  • Gauge each online retail brand’s performance over the preceding 12 months. Included are measures of brand penetration, brand purchase occasion frequency, average spend per brand and ‘ballpark’ estimates of brand revenue. Obtain a ranking of brands in terms of customer-based brand equity (ABM Index).
  • Understand consumer perceptions of each brand’s positioning.
    • Brand awareness and perceived positioning data (brand signatures for each brand & brand performance per attribute) to enable you to make the right brand positioning and promotion decisions – whether you are launching a new store or you already have one.
    • Discover the competitor weaknesses consumers perceive.
    • You’ve got limited budget. Discover the hot buttons (attributes) to press to promote your brand.
    • Discover which attributes competitors are poorly differentiated on – identify opportunities to differentiate your brand.
    • Obtain indicatiors of attribute correlation with store preference.
  • Substitutability quantified. Identify who consumers see as the closest substitutes for each brand.
  • Quantify which problems are most commonly encountered by customers, and how this differs using banner tables across demographics (significant differences highlighted).
  • Quantify the communication channels preferred by consumers, and how this differs using banner tables across demographics (significant differences highlighted).
  • Quantify the payment mechanisms consumers are able to use, and how this differs using banner tables across demographics (significant differences highlighted).

Categories included:

Arts & crafts
Audio entertainment DEVICES (e.g. iPod, Hi-Fi)
Books (paper)
Books (electronic – i.e. eBooks)
Camping/hiking products
Cell phones/smartphones
Clothing/shoes/fashion accessories (excl. watches)
Computer – PC/laptop
Computer peripheral
DIY/home improvement
Electronic goods not listed elsewhere
Entertainment physical (e.g. DVDs, CDs)
Entertainment digital (e.g. digital video/music downloads and streaming services)
E-reader (e.g. Kindle)
Flowers/flower accessories
Furniture – indoors and garden furniture
Homeware (excl. kitchen)
Hotels/vacation packages
Jewelry (excl. watches)
Security (e.g. alarms, safes, pepper spray)
Software for a laptop/PC
Sporting goods
Tablet (e.g. iPad)
Toys for children/babies
TV or projector
Vape / e-cigarette

Online retail brands included:

Bargain Books*
Best Beauty Buys
Bid or Buy*
Book People
BT Games*
CA Cellular*
Direct Deals
Elite Occassions
Fashion World*
First Shop
Foxy Beauty
HiFi Corp*
House and Home*
House of Cosmetics*
Laptop Direct*
Mens Shoe Centre
Metro Cosmetics
Pink Cosmetics
Readers Warehouse
Signature Cosmetics*
Smartphone Shop*
Solo Shoes
Step Ahead
The Book Dealers
The Brand Store
The Fix*
The Watch Channel
The Watch Co.
Top Watch
Tread + Miller
Watch Republic
Watches Direct

*Brands with stars are included in all report sections. Brands without stars are excluded from the brand signature and brand performance charts due to small base sizes. However they are included in the brand awareness, brand penetration charts as these would not be affected. They are also included in frequency and spend charts, however caution should be exercised in interpreting their results.

For more detail, see the table of contents.

Conjoint analysis simulator provides tactical input to store setup

Learn what trade-offs to make using a unique excel-based store simulator. The simulator is based on consumer reactions to alternative stores. Survey participants were shown various store alternatives, allowing the estimation of statistical model for each consumer, providing insight into trade-offs consumers are prepared to make.

A mathematical model was then setup as a simulator which allows you to test alternative scenarios impact on store appeal by varying the following attributes:

• Time to deliver
• Delivery charge
• Return shipping charge
• Policy wording
• Discount /promotion
• Compensation
• Time allowed (days)

Answer specific questions such as:

  • What change in timeline could compensate for a change of R50 in delivery charges? Just input the change in delivery charges in the simulator and record the change in appeal. Compare this to the change in appeal when changing timeline. At what point is their parity?
  • Observe the impact of changes in delivery timeline (1 to 14 days) on store appeal.
  • Observe the impact of delivery charges (free to R320) on store appeal.
  • Observe the impact of return shipping charges versus free return on store appeal.
  • Observe the impact of policy wording specifying the conditions for return (3 options) on store appeal.
  • Observe the impact of discount coupons of differing percentages (0%, 10% and 20%) versus the impact of a free mystery gift. Compare this to other changes you could make such as changing delivery charges or timelines.
  • Understand compensation alternatives impact on appeal – exchange, refund or store credit.
  • Understand the impact of return grace periods (from 7 to 60 days). How does this compare to other changes you could make, such as changing return policy or delivery timeline?


To purchase visit Acentric's online store.
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