2018 brought with it another year of impressive growth across the digital landscape. According to We Are Social and Hootsuite’s digital report on South Africa 2019, the countries annual digital growth & penetration is still well on the rise.

Digital Trends
  • South Africa’s total population is recorded at 57.73 million people. Of this, 31.18 million people (54% of the total population) are regular internet users.
  • Over 23 million people (40% of the total population) are actively engaging on social media.
  • 97% of the regular internet users are watching videos online. With 48% streaming content and 22% playing live streamed games.
E-Commerce Growth:
  • Over 55% of regular internet users reported purchasing a product/service online in the past month/s. With 38% of these purchases being transacted via mobile devices.
  • The total number of people purchasing consumer goods via e-commerce is up by 4.2% from last year.
Annual E-Commerce Spend (Top 5):
  • Travel (Incl. Accom.) reached $2.864 billion
  • Electronics & Media reached $933 million
  • Toys, DIY and hobbies reached $635 million
  • Furniture & Appliances reached $589 million
  • Fashion & Beauty reached $524 million
Social Media Reach (Top 5 Channels):
  • Facebook - 23 million users
  • LinkedIn - 6.9 million users
  • Instagram - 4 million users
  • Twitter - 1.67 million users
  • SnapChat - 1.35 million users

As an emerging economy, South Africa is slowly pushing the digital landscape into prevalence. While we are not as far along as other first world markets, there is no doubt our trajectory is aimed in the same direction. The rise of content streaming is imminent and perhaps already upon us, as internet becomes more affordable and boasts faster line speeds.

It’s only a matter of time before content streaming will equal the percentage of regular users watching online videos. We are clearly able to process and retain a lot more information through video and/or imagery, therefore it’s only natural these media types resonate with users the most.

We are also seeing more confidence in online e-commerce transactions year-on-year with sceptic’s slowly making the transition, all in the name of convenience.


There has never been a more opportune time to get into digital marketing. The playing field for small and/or corporate firms is levelled by a miniscule barrier to entry.

Marketing teams and executives alike are going to need to broaden their horizon’s this year. There is a delicate marriage of creativity and analytical thinking required to see success in the ever-changing digital landscape. Given the current assessment of various digital marketing teams and their skillsets, we have a massive shortage of skilled professionals within the industry.

With the amount of data analytics & reporting systems available today, assessing the success of a digital campaign has become much more feasible. As a result, there shouldn’t be a reason why a digital campaign can’t run on a 3 – 6 month trial period. Thereafter, based on the data, a high-level decision can then be made with regards to reinvesting or broadening the search for your ideal customer.