A Mastercard study on consumer spending* has revealed that nearly four out of five (79%) surveyed consumers in Ghana are shopping more online since the onset of the COVID 19 pandemic.
Data, apparel, beauty products and other FMCGs (fast-moving consumer goods), have seen the highest surge of online activity. More than 90% of Ghana consumers said they had purchased data top-ups online while 62% shopped more online for clothing, 49% for beauty products, and 46% for groceries.
With fewer opportunities to browse in the stores or on the high-street, social media has emerged as the main platform for finding the most attractive products and offers, with 69% and 61% of respondents saying they had discovered new sellers through Facebook and Instagram respectively. In fact, 76% of typical in-store bargain hunters said they spend hours searching different sites to find the best deals.
When it comes to paying for goods or services online, price is a key factor for Ghana shoppers, with 82% quoting this a major consideration when choosing a business to buy from.
The Rise of Virtual Experiences
While adapting to the ‘next normal’, people have been changing the way they consume entertainment and learn new skills.
In fact, 85% of Ghana consumers said they were using the downtime as a positive learning experience. More than half of the respondents (59%) said they had taken a virtual cooking class, 30% have been mastering a new language and 48% are enrolling in an online university.
39% of respondents have been educating themselves on Do-It-Yourself (DIY) projects, and just over a third (36%) said they have been learning how to film online.
It is clear from the research that shoppers are rapidly moving away from more traditional forms of retail and opting for contact-free and digital transactions. This, in turn, is presenting e-tailers and businesses in Ghana and across the region, with new challenges on how to best leverage the shift towards online shopping and deliver fast, convenient and secure transactions.
“There’s no doubt that the way we live and shop has drastically changed as a result of the pandemic. With the surge in online shopping in Ghana, businesses need to optimize their operations to ensure they consistently deliver convenient, enjoyable and secure transaction experiences to their customers. At Mastercard, we are leveraging our network, insights, technology and partnerships with fintechs, banks and other key players across Ghana to support businesses as they make the most of this new reality,” said Ebehijie Momoh, Senior Vice President, Mastercard West Africa.
Securing New Shopping Habits
With the rapid rise in online shopping, consumers are also becoming increasingly aware of the associated risks. And, with 67% of consumers now managing their banking needs online, more than half (64%) have said that a secure checkout was fundamental for a good shopping experience.
This is a key priority for Mastercard, as it is working to reduce online fraud and protect retailers from data breaches, while ensuring that consumers still enjoy a convenient and hassle-free payment experience.
To advance these efforts, Mastercard recently rolled out its patented tokenization technology across the region. Tokenization encrypts consumer data by replacing card numbers with digital tokens. This prevents improper usage at any other location and provides additional security and peace of mind for consumers and merchants alike, resulting in higher approval rates while minimizing online fraud.