Report Highlights Acceleration of e-Commerce Growth in South Africa

(30 November 2005) Recent statistics released by the Online Publishers' Association (OPA) and international ratings company Nielsen/Netratings, confirms an uptake in e-commerce in South Africa. The report disclosed a 13.8 percent increase in local readership (or unique browser figure) to 1.98 million readers or unique browsers and 97.37 million page impressions in the third quarter of 2005 over the second quarter of the same year. This phenomenal growth showcases the uptake of e-commerce in South Africa as consumers start to use the Internet at an ever increasing rate.

The latest readership figures, which are independently audited and supplied by Nielsen/Netratings, also show a large increase in international visitors to South African Web sites. The total combined readership for international and local readership on SA's top Web sites soared to its highest level to date, attracting 5,39 million readers or unique browsers and 128,15 million page impressions for the third quarter of 2005.

Reaffirming the findings of this research report is the record month that bidorbuy, one of South Africa's largest online marketplaces witnessed in October. Turnover based on transactions completed on the bidorbuy online trading platform exceeded R2 million with over 5 700 successful transactions. The Web site's annual turnover of R20 million also represents a growth of 65 percent compared with 2004, and the company expects this number to grow to R100 million by the end of 2006.

"This is indeed encouraging news for the local e-commerce market and depicts growth that no-one could have predicted," says Andy Higgins, Managing Director of bidorbuy.co.za. "As online shopping environments become more sophisticated, with retailers offering increased high-quality services, South African online consumers are starting to see the true value of e-commerce. What is of more significance is the economic benefits and impact that e-commerce trade has in terms of job market creation and consumer spend, not to mention the increase in consumer benefits such as convenience, security and reliability."

According to a research report undertaken by Forrester Research in January of this year, worldwide e-commerce growth is expected to increase by 14 percent in 2005 from 2004. Higgins continues; "The positive growth depicted in our local e-commerce studies, coupled with the vast increase in sales on sites such as bidorbuy is a clear indication that South Africa could certainly constitute a solid proportion of this global e-commerce growth."

"While it is not yet known what proportion of global e-commerce growth is South African based, and I look forward to research reports that can highlight such achievements, I am exceptionally confident of the increased uptake of e-commerce locally and look forward to further OPA statistics - to be released later this month, which will highlight the exact commerce patterns of our site for increased analysis," concludes Higgins.

About bidorbuy

bidorbuy is South Africa's largest online marketplace. Established in 1999, the company has created a safe and convenient way for people to buy and sell goods online. As a virtual trading place that brings buyers and sellers together and allows them to buy and sell virtually anything in an exciting auction format, using the Internet, bidorbuy has created a thriving online marketplace.