The internet has indisputably displaced other media. A study by Columinate commissioned by the Digital Media and Marketing Association (DMMA) revealed that newspapers were used 62% less, followed by magazines (59% less). Television and radio were also impacted to a lesser extent, with a 45% and 28% decline in audience attention respectively.
“We undertook to assess the state of the online and digital landscape so that we could offer advertisers viable avenues through which they could enhance engagement with consumers,” says Jarred Cinman, newly appointed director of the DMMA and chair of its steering committee.
“By collecting this information we hope to provide a more comprehensive perspective of the online consumer and gain a deeper understanding of the potential of the market, therein assisting our members in utilising these channels effectively,” says Cinman.
Data was collated from over 2 200 internet users via a panel and weblink survey conducted from 21 September – 5 October 2012. A series of predominantly close-ended questions were asked that aimed to establish how South Africa’s digital nation used the internet, specifically in terms of e-commerce.
It showed some fascinating insights into South Africa’s digital nation.
Web advertising is relevant to consumers’ needs, with 59% of users found adverts placed on websites most relevant to their needs, followed by social networks (36%), with mobile applications (3%) and mobile sites (2%) being least relevant. The majority of users also found adverts on websites more noticeable than those on applications, and graphical adverts (images and animation) were found to be most attractive.
Unsurprisingly, of those who were surveyed that made use of social networks, Facebook proved to be the most popular, with 88% admitting they were members. This was followed by Twitter (50%) and business networking site LinkedIn (36%). 72% of users follow brands on social networks, and 60% of the content created by page members or followers about brands was said to be positive. It was found that positive comment had greater impact than negative comment on other users potentially looking for more information on a brand. It was also revealed that one in five users spent five or more hours a day on Facebook!
After five years of internet use, respondents were 50% more likely to shop online, and of those that did not shop online, concern regarding security was the primary reason given. 45% of users that shopped online in 2012 admitted to spending more than the previous year.