Going online is a big part of celebrating the December holidays in South Africa. In the 2015 festive season, South Africans on Facebook shared 23% more posts, photos and videos compared to the non-holiday season, with the greatest increase coming from video. 88% of the posts, photos, and videos they shared on Facebook were on mobile.

’Tis the season of (self) gifting

Some 59% of South African respondents say they shop in December, compared to 63% average across all markets.

South Africans are not only shopping for presents for their friends and families, 47% say they self-gift during the season. The data shows that over half of people say they buy holiday gifts for themselves. Holiday self-gifting is particularly popular among those with a high income and mobile shoppers.

M-buyers and Millennials turn to Facebook and Instagram for gifting guidance

22% of the South Africans surveyed use Facebook to seek advice about gifts from friends, while more than half, 51%, say Facebook is influential in their shopping journey and 26% say they use Facebook for gift inspiration and shopping ideas.

Meanwhile, 17% say that Instagram is influential in their shopping journey and 18% say they use Facebook to research gift ideas.

M-buyers are 1.39 times more likely than the average surveyed population to say they use Facebook for gift inspiration and shopping ideas. M-buyers are also 1.81 times more likely than the average surveyed population to use Facebook to research gift ideas, and 2.04 times more likely to use Instagram to do so.

Mobile shoppers come with their own unique habits and needs

Timing and convenience matter to people who shop on mobile. When holiday shopping, 81% of South African m-buyers surveyed take shipping times into consideration, while 58% care about ordering online and picking it up in-store.

Only 16% of South African m-buyers say they do “spontaneous shopping”, compared to an average of 25% among all people surveyed.

Many m-buyers are also loyal to their favoured device: though they cited mobile shopping challenges such as too-small text, lost signals and content that doesn’t fit mobile screens, an average of 57% South Africans surveyed said that when they experienced problems, they tried shopping again on mobile later.

Black Friday comes to South Africa

While Black Friday is an established shopping holiday for Americans, we learned that it’s also become a time to shop for an average of 36% of people surveyed in South Africa. People surveyed in South Africa are 1.38 times more likely than the average total population surveyed to shop on Black Friday.

Considerations for Brands 

  • Self-gifting is an important part of shopping. As people buy holiday gifts, they often pick up something special for themselves. Remember self-gifters in your creative campaign, and inspire people to pamper themselves during a busy season; 
  • Master the m-buyers' journey. M-buyers are not deterred by the friction points that can cause others to abandon making purchases on their mobile devices, but they have their own set of requirements when holiday shopping. Earn m-buyers' loyalty by making sure your experience fits their needs (and screens); 
  • Reach out to procrastinators. Though people hope to get their shopping done early, reality finds people shopping much later than planned. Help smooth the way for procrastinators by offering last-minute deals and short shipping times; 
  • Go big for Black Friday: Capitalise on this sales opportunity on 25 November to capture early shoppers with your messaging and product offers; and
  • Make your holiday message mobile. Online platforms like Facebook and Instagram are an important source of gift inspiration during the holidays. During the busy season, use mobile to reach shoppers who are out and about with the perfect gift ideas. 

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*Image courtesy of Facebook