The advent of the Coronavirus pandemic and the national lockdown that followed has done more for South African online stores in the last few months than any marketing drive could have done in years.
While distrust for online shopping portals is a global phenomenon, it is something that has proven to be quite the hurdle for South African online stores.
The push for social distancing and Covid safety protocols resulted in fewer trips to the stores, meaning that people had to turn to the most socially distanced option there was; online shopping.
This turn of events worked in favour of South Africa’s largest retailers as they had little to no competition. However, competition sprung up overnight.
If you’re looking to expand your options, here are five South African online stores to check out:
1. Runway Sale
About: RunwaySale describes itself as “the biggest South African online shopping society.”
The website is said to offer exclusive access to designer labels at up to 70% off for a limited time. RunwaySale also launches “new events” daily that features a variety of items from different categories at discount prices.
2. Boost Gymwear
About: Boost Gymwear is a website that seeks to help customers find “highly fashionable, excellent quality functional gymwear.” The site mostly caters to women and promises to cater to women of different shapes, heights and sizes.
3. Beauty on Tapp
About: Beauty on Tapp is a mobile app that connects customers to beauty services in their area and allows them to shop for the best in local skincare and hair care. This South African online store is popular among young, digitally savvy social media users.
4. Arc online
About: Arc is a “luxury beauty destination” located in Sandton City, Johannesburg, and the flagship store is home to top local and global brands in luxury makeup, skincare and fragrance. It also boasts an online store for consumers to buy the most covetable products.
5. Sassy Chic
About: Established in 2011, SassyChic describes itself as a women’s fashion label and online retail store founded by ladies for other ladies.
“A shared idea between mother and daughter, combined with a lot of hard work, a bit of hustle and fingers crossed through the years has culminated into a 24/7 fashion platform with a coveted product offering.”
This South African online store is 100% independent, female-owned and family-run as of 2020. The SassyChic team is made up of a group of sassy women with a true entrepreneurial spirit who are not only fashion-forward and trend-led but care about their customers as well as their online shopping experience.
6. Hello Pretty
About: Hello Pretty is a marketplace to shop for “cool stuff from independent South African creatives” that allows customers to buy design and craft items direct from South African designers and creatives.
The website features categories such as Jewellery, clothing, home, accessories, kids, wedding, art, stationery, food, body, digital, vintage and pets. This wide range of categories is not common among lesser-known South African online stores.