Online shopping in South Africa is all the rage – which is to be expected, given that now nearly half the population uses the Internet – 24,9 million of us, says Research group We Are Social.

The biggest spenders online are the younger generation, which isn’t much of a surprise. Nor is the news that online shopping is on the rise. But here are five facts about online retail in South Africa that might just be surprising:

1. December 2014 saw the most online purchases

In December last year 23 % of South African Internet users bought something through a website. Of these, 11 % were transacted using a mobile phone.

2. Online purchasing account for 1 % of online retail sales

Last year SA experienced its highest online retail income yet, with 1 % of the country’s total retail sales coming from online purchases. This might not seem like much, but it totalled R5,3 billion.

3. South Africans research before they buy

Just under half of South African buyers researched a product by means of a PC or mobile phone before they purchased it online.

4. South Africans buy with mobile phones and PCs

South Africans are comfortable shopping online with both mobile phones and PCs. As much as 11 % of all online purchases originates from a mobile phone.

5. Teenagers also buy stuff online

Although the younger generation is more comfortable with online shopping, as much as 53 % of the total online retail income comes from the 16-32 age group.

Source: Ask Afrika Group