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SA festive shopping leaps

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In its annual survey, kalahari.com has revealed that 87.6 percent of connected shoppers said they will be doing their festive shopping online. The online retailer predicts a sales growth of up 30 percent over this period and attributes it to e-commerce’s resilience to an uneasy global climate.
kalahari.com revealed in its annual survey that online shopping is set for a robust increase this festive season. 87.6% of South Africa’s connected shoppers said they will be doing their festive season shopping online whilst only 12.4% indicated that they would be hitting the traditional shopping malls instead.

With less than 5 weeks to go to Christmas, 40% of the shoppers indicated that they had already started their festive season shopping in November and  34% will start their gift shopping early next month.

Gary Novitzkas, CEO of  kalahari.com, says  the financial constraints facing South Africans could be one of the drivers leading more consumers online for their year-end spending. “Consumers have become very conscious of how they spend their money and realise there are huge savings  to be found online.  We predict an online sales growth of up to 30% over the holiday period confirming e-commerce’s resilience in the face of an uneasy global economic climate,” says Novitzkas.

He adds that consumers growing confidence in the safety of online shopping with trusted brands like kalahari.com is also contributing to the increase in online sales and average order values. “ South Africans are increasingly buying high value technology products online and, as such, electronics has  become kalahari.com’s second largest category after books. Items are delivered  direct to your door by courier, for free. It’s totally safe and is ridiculously convenient.”

The majority of the shoppers (57%) said they would be spending up to 10% of their average monthly earnings on festive season gifts, followed by 27% of the shoppers who indicated they would be spending up to 25% of the earnings on gifts.

The 2011 Christmas Wishlist
When asked what the most sought after items would be this festive season,  close to a third (30.9%) of the kalahari.com survey respondents predicted that tablets such as the iPad2 would come out tops, whilst 23%  thought media items such as CDs, DVDs and games would be the most coveted, and 13.2% predicted that eReaders would be the most purchased item.

“It will be interesting to see how these predictions pan out. Although it still to soon to tell, we have seen remarkable sales record of the gobii 7” colour LCD eReader which sold out within 21 days of launch in August  and sold out again in November.  There are hundreds of pre-orders for the third shipment which is due at the end of November,” comments Novitzkas.

Stocking Favourites
Books:  South Africans plan to add a bit of courtroom drama and irreverent humour to their stockings this year.  Claiming close to  a quarter (20.4%) of the vote from respondents, The Litigators by John Grisham, ranked in at number one as the ideal literary gift to bestow for the holidays, whilst Jeremy Clarkson’s cheeky offering, Round The Bend, pulled in in second place at 16.3%. Confirming the nation’s penchant for satire is Zapiro’s cartoon collection, The Last Sushi, which came in third place with 15.3%

When it comes to titles that shoppers are purchasing for their own holiday reading this year, competition for the most coveted title is split between 7 Dae, the latest offering by one of South Africa’s best crime thriller writers, Deon Meyer and Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography by bestselling author Walter Isaacson.

“Deon Meyer taking the number one spot for 7Dae over Steve Jobs’ international bestseller would signal the third consecutive year in which a local title claims the number one  position,” says Novitzkas. Local books that have held the top position over the last two years were Herchelle Gibbs’ To the Point in 2010 and Captain in the Cauldron by John Smit in 2009.

Other sought after festive season gifts as predicted by respondents are as follows:

·         DVDs: Tip-toeing above their height to grab top spot as the most coveted DVD gift are the The Smurfs (18.3%), followed closely by the pop culture phenomenon and complete saga of Star Wars available on Blu Ray (16.7%)  followed by Harry and with his magical friends inHarry Potter and the Deathly Hollows part 2 with 16.5 % of respondents wanting to get their hands on the final installment  of the Hogwarts tale.

·         CDs: Boasting artists such as Maroon 5, Adele and Prime Circle,  Now 59 emerged as the most desired CD with 20.9% of the respondents saying they would like the album as a festive season gift. With the band’s recent SA visit fresh in their minds, fans are hankering after Coldplay’s latest offering Myloxyloto (17.2%) for Christmas.  Looking for a slightly more traditional musical offering for the season, 17% of the respondents are hoping to receive Micheal Buble’s Christmas album.

·         Games: Call Of Duty 3 is the most wanted game this year (20.5%) followed by Battlefield 3 (14.3%) and Sims 3 (7.2%).

With over 8 million products on offer, free delivery on orders with a 24-hour delivery service on selected products, shoppers have more than enough reasons to click through their festive season shopping at kalahari.com.

The current Top 3 selling festive season items by category on kalahari.com

Books:
1.       7 Dae – Deon Meyer
2.       Steve Jobs:  The Exclusive Biography – Walter Isaacson
3.       The Litigators – John Grisham

Music:
1.       Now 59
2.       Michael Buble – Christmas
3.       Susan Boyle – Someone To Watch Over Me

DVDs:
1.       Cars 2
2.       Kung Fu Panda 2
3.       Harry Potter Deathly Hallows Part 2

Games:
1.       Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
2.       Battlefield 3
3.       FIFA 12

Technology:
1.       gobii 7″ Colour LCD eReader + R160 eBook Voucher
2.       DStv HD PVR DECODER
3.       Canon Powershot digital camera

* Follow Gadget on Twitter on @gadgetza ”

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