Insights on top selling products driving SA’s ecommerce growth

Running a successful ecommerce business is as much about creating unique customer experiences as it's about providing products and services that align with a new reality. South Africa's top e-tailer OneDayOnly shares insights on some of its top selling categories and products in Covid-19 era and what trends have influenced their growth and popularity.


OneDayOnly, a major player in South Africa’s commerce shares insights on how their customers have behaved online over the last year while being stuck at home during the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Naturally, our 2020 sales saw a direct association with products needed during a pandemic from personal protection equipment (PPE) like masks, sanitisers and thermometers to DIY and organisational items.” says Laurian Venter, director at OneDayOnly.

With coronavirus continuing to disrupt consumer buying behavior, likewise South African online shoppers chose to use their time on home improvement, getting fit and healthy, and keeping themselves entertained.

As such, the most popular selling categories weren’t only those offered in the above mentioned categories, but those offered at over 40% deal rate. These included;

✔ Exercise equipment – saw a 200% growth which only had a 10% increase in 2019

✔ Puzzles, games and books – were also very popular

✔  Kitchen and homeware products – saw between 40% and 300% growth across all items

✔ DIY products – a staggering 300% growth compared to the 30% growth in 2019

Furniture and household products are some of the top selling goods on the likes of Amazon. Image: NOWinSA

As an customer-centric ecommerce platform, having recently taken a firm decision to prioritise locally produced products, Venter adds it is important to be flexible when it comes to trending products.

As such the company loads the site with 250-300 deals at midnight for the next day. “Our our buyers are agile enough to be able to make sure we are able to move products that are our customers are looking for, both from a local and international perspective. ”

Looking at purchasing trends of other countries over the same period, it appears (as shown in this article by UNCTAD) that people from all over the world opted to spend their time constructively on DIY/gardening, home entertainment activities. and household and personal care products.

Unsurprisingly, some of the fastest declining categories in large ecommerce businesses such as Amazon, Alibaba, and eBay include suitcases, cameras, women’s swimwear and bridal clothing, according to previous findings by Visual Capitalist. 

*For the latest consumer insights from South Africa and around the world, make sure to regularly visit the NOWinSA/Consumer page!