Consumers around the world are putting more value on experiences than they do on possessions, and South Africans are no different. Online shopping, commoditisation of once-expensive goods like smartphones, and a craving for simplicity among consumers are all factors that are helping to drive this trend. People increasingly agree that the thrill of a purchase fades quickly, but the memory of a great experience lasts a lifetime.
South African retailers saw strong sales during the week of Black Friday this year. Panel television unit sales experienced 47% growth and smartphone sales leaped 63% compared to the same week in 2016. The value of panel televisions sold during the week was up 41% over the comparable week in 2016, while the value of smartphone sales climbed by 34%.
South African smartphone sales climbed 28% year-on-year to 3 million units in the third quarter of 2017, while basic mobile phone sales were up 6% to 1.6 million units for the same period, according to point of sale tracking data from GfK South Africa. Smartphone revenues were up 27% compared to the same quarter in 2016, as the market accelerated its transition from basic phones.
South Africa has a youthful population, with more than 66% of our people below 35 years old and 41% younger than 21 years old. Marketers who want to ensure the longevity of their brands and win the consumer of the future thus need to come to grips with what the under-21s - Generation Z - want and value.
Retail growth in South Africa's mobile computer market has flattened out, though the market is performing reasonably well considering the tight economy, according to point of sale data from market research firm, GfK South Africa. However, the media tablet market has shrunk by about 40% in the first half of 2017, while smartphones continue to boom.