Digital Content

Some South African websites are finally becoming an effective way of generating revenue for a business by attracting enough local and international consumers to make them viable.

The latest internet readership study by the Online Publishers' Association and research house Nielsen//Netratings shows that 60% of internet users are the main purchasing decision-makers in their homes.

About 4,6-million readers visited the websites run by the association's members in June, with local users accounting for 37% and international readers representing 63%.

Since online retailers and advertisers rely on high user traffic for their revenue, the growing readership translated into rising revenue streams, said the association's chairman, Russell Hanly.

Online advertisers and e-commerce specialists should enjoy long-term sustainable growth as online readership will continue to climb, Hanly predicts. That would be helped by a gradual acceptance by consumers that online transactions were not as risky as they thought they were.

SA's internet users have been sceptical about the effectiveness of online privacy and security measures, but growing readership levels indicated that those negative perceptions were fading, Hanly said.

"SA's internet consumers are now starting to see the value of the internet as an information and consumer tool, and are beginning to trust internet security far more as they increase the number of online transactions they make," he said.

"This growing level of trust among consumers means more online sales for retailers. There is no doubt that this is a growing and sustainable market."

Business Day