Consumer Business

Deloitte releases Holiday Survey – South Africans are pinching their pennies for presents this festive season


The year-end holiday season brings with it well-deserved breaks, and shopping sprees! But South Africa is faced with a number of economic challenges that affect consumer sentiments. From a weakening rand & rising inflation to accompanying hikes in interest rates, South Africans are choosing to be a lot more discerning when it comes to their how they spend their hard-earned money.

Retailers are thus faced with the challenge of understanding how these economic and other factors may affect the shopping behaviour of consumers this season, and how they can meet their escalating needs in an ever complex and connected world.

We asked South Africans a range of questions about their shopping plans for the 2015 holidays, and published the results in our 2015 Year-end Holiday Survey report.

What’s in the stocking this year?

  • Still high on the gifts to have, and likely to be representative of the consumer perceptions about the economy, is cash, with 41% of respondents expecting it as a gift; an increase from last year’s 39%.
  • The top 4 gifts holiday spenders will be buying for their loved ones are chocolates, books, gift vouchers & CDs.

Where will South Africans be doing their holiday shopping?

  • About 70% of consumers still prefer physical stores for all of their purchases, however, of the purchases being made online, most are dominated by products such as, video games, movies, music and books
  • Overall, only 27% of consumers who shop in physical stores would switch to an online platform if a product is not available in a physical store. 67% of respondents would go to another physical store
  • Hyper / supermarkets remain the primary channel for food shopping, but food shopping for 2015 has seen a slight shift away from hypermarket stores (71% in 2015 vs. 77% in 2014) towards the convenience store format (39% in 2015 vs. 34% in 2014)

When is the ideal time to hit the stores?

  • 69% of survey respondents want to avoid the rush and buy their gifts before the 15th of December

What about expectations for shopping experiences?

  • Consumers have higher expectations for their shopping experiences, with 79% of South African consumers expecting store assistants to be knowledgeable about products, while 64% expect them to provide information on price discounts
  • South African consumer’s conscience influences their purchasing behaviour with 72% of respondents indicating that they do not buy products involving child labour

And what may influence their shopping plans?

  • Loyalty programmes have a big role to play, with 48% of consumers wanting to use their loyalty points to buy gifts and 69% indicating a medium to high influence of loyalty programmes on their shopping behaviour
  • 81% of consumers admit that promotions are likely to influence their spending for the holidays

Download the full report and infographic here to get more exciting insights about festive season shopping in South Africa.

Our team will be delighted to discuss any of the findings from this publication in more detail. We welcome your feedback and thoughts.


Join the conversation on Twitter, @DeloitteSA, #DeloitteHolSurv



About the author


Leave a Comment