In 2016, almost 70% of South Africans were browsing the web using their mobile devices – an increase of 15% compared to 2015. That’s according to a survey among almost 5,000 mobile Internet users in South Africa by Effective Measure, together with IAB South Africa and Samsung, from November 2016 to January 2017. The findings should guide mobile advertisers in making informed decisions on how to reach audiences in the country.
Almost 63% of South Africans are using prepaid phone deals, with half of them having Vodacom as provider. Samsung continues to be the leading manufacturer of choice with a 40% market share. However, 21% of consumers did state that they were using other brands.
42% of those surveyed were using their mobiles for around 30 minutes to 2 hours per day, with almost a fifth using them over 5 hours per day.
Mobile Internet is the first thing in the morning which 35% of respondents turn to. 36% of them also browse the Internet whilst watching TV.
A whopping 78% said they had accessed the Internet from their mobile device just the day before. Calls and accessing the Internet are the top usage categories among respondents.
However, communication apps are also finding a growing audiences, with 83% of South Africans now having WhatsApp installed. SMS is still a popular format (51%), followed by Facebook Messenger (40%).
When it comes to mobile purchases, almost half of South Africans are not buying things whilst on a mobile connection. 42% of respondents did say they used their devices for mobile banking.
However, mobile advertising is proving fruitful in the area with almost half of them clicking on a mobile ad if they saw something they wanted or needed.
Greg Mason, Sub-Saharan Africa Regional Managing Director of Effective Measure, said:
“We started this research because we know professionally and personally how integrated mobile phones are in our lives. What we don’t really know is how South Africans in particular use their smartphones. These insights highlight how South Africans are changing as consumers. Interestingly enough, almost half of South Africans will click on a mobile advertisement if it is advertising something they want and need. Providing the right message at the right time to the right person is more important than ever if brands want to cut through and connect with their target audience.”