Google Shopping in South Africa

South Africa is a significant and modern ecommerce market. Google Shopping offers a simple, effective and highly visible way to enter the South African ecommerce market and target South Africa buyers. With a population of 59,308,690, South Africa has an average annual ecommerce spend of €245 while the European average spend is €2,186

Google Shopping in South Africa - International Marketing
Google Shopping in South Africa - International Marketing   South Africa at a glance
Average CPC €0.24
Average CTR 1.43%
Average spend per capita €245
GDP per capita €6,120
GDP €286.18 billion
GDP growth rate 1%
Population 59,308,690
Number of Internet users 41,516,083
Median age 28
Mobile ecommerce 53%
Language(s) spoken Afrikaans, Englsh
Currency South African Rand (ZAR)
Google Shopping in South Africa - International Marketing
How to benefit from free visibility on Google Shopping in South Africa
Top sites
2. BidorBuy
3. Alibaba
Google Shopping in South Africa - International Marketing

Find out how to improve the
Return on Ad Spend of your campaigns

Increase your ROAS

Targeting international markets with Google Shopping Ads can often lead to an increased ROAS and reduction in CPC compared to your domestic market.

Click here to generate personalised report to show you which international markets have the highest potential for your store.

Average CPC cost in South Africa

Acquiring traffic through Google Shopping Ads in South Africa is often cheaper and will provide a better Return on Ad Spend than in your own domestic market.

Below are the average CPC rates in South Africa across the top Google Shopping Ads categories.


Average CTR in South Africa

In order to calculate the click-through rate (CTR) of a paid ad you divide the total number of clicks on the ad by the total number of impressions (i.e. the total number of people who saw the ad).


Top ecommerce categories in South Africa

Below are the top ecommerce categories in South Africa and the % of online buyers that have purchased in these categories.


What you need to know before selling in South Africa?

Today South Africa's B2C e-commerce market is worth €286.18 billion. Growth, however, is steady and is set to continue at an annual growth rate of around 1%.

Per capita the average annual online spend in South Africa is €245.

South Africa’s top ecommerce sites are:

  • 1.
  • 2. BidorBuy
  • 3. Alibaba

Cross-border spending in South Africa is growing, international e-commerce now accounts for 6% of total ecommerce spend in South Africa. When South African buyers choose to buy cross-border they tend to seek products from major markets like China, the UK, the US and Germany. The main driver for buying outside of South Africa tends to be price and the availability/uniqueness of the product.

How to list for free on Google Shopping South Africa?

In 2020 Google transitioned their Google Shopping Ads platform from a mainly paid service to a global ecommerce ecosystem that enables any merchant to sell their products anywhere for free.

It’s now free to list on Google Shopping in the US, the UK, EU, Asia and Latin American markets. By selling internationally in markets such as South Africa, merchants not only open up their business to more buyers than ever before, but it also enables them to move away and ahead of their domestic competition.

We compared the Google Shopping traffic of several merchants; after the US launch of free visibility in April 2020 and then, after the international launch in October 2020:

  • In the US, merchants saw a massive influx of free clicks growing to 10%-25% of total clicks.
  • After October global launch, merchants could see their unpaid clicks quickly grow to 8-15% of total clicks in less than a month.
  • Learn more about the impact of free listings on international Google Shopping.

How do I qualify for free Google Shopping in South Africa?

Whilst it is now free to list items, there are still criteria that needs to be met in order for merchants to qualify, and just like paid ads if they do not meet 100% of the requirements then they will not be eligible to be shown in the shopping tab.

To qualify for the free Google Shopping Ads in South Africa, you need to first create a South African feed and then opt into their program. To do this you need to localise your website and your listings for the South African market, to ensure that you meet the criteria set by Google to sell onto the South African market.

To set up your South African feed, you will need to:

  • Translate and localize your landing page and product details so they meet Google’s South African requirements.
  • Convert product currencies into South African Rand (ZAR) and make sure your checkout accepts South African Rand (ZAR) payments.
  • Enable international shipping through a global carrier. International shipping prices for the South African market will have to be included in your South African product feed. See more details.
  • If your South African product pages are hosted on a separated domain, you’ll need to setup a multi-client account that will allow you to submit data feeds for multiple domains. Each client may have a distinct store name and URL. When you request a multi-client account, your current Google Merchant Center account will become a sub-account in your new multi-client account. See more details.
  • Once your website is fully localised, upload your product feed for the South African market to your Merchant Center.

Why do you need to localize product ads?

Localization is extremely important for cross-border trade. Not only does it ensure your international listings get traffic but that your store can start to convert international buyers at the checkout. They expect a shopping experience similar to if they were to shop domestically, and providing them with a localized experience leads to an increased checkout conversion.

You’ll need to adapt your listings and store to the South African market. This includes product descriptions in Afrikaans, Englsh, correct local sizes, prices in South African Rand (ZAR) and with common South African methods of payment.

Adopting your feed, listings and store for the South African market will not only dramatically increase your international transactions, but also increase the average transaction value. Learn more about Glopal’s free product ads localisation solution.

Don’t have a South African store?

If you don’t have a South African store you can still benefit from Google Shopping Ads, but you will need to address the following:

Language: Afrikaans, Englsh version. Your store must have a South African version and your product feed that you submit to the merchant center for Google Shopping Ads should also point to the South African version.

Currency: The prices in your product feed must be in South African Rand (ZAR).

Prices: Your landing pages, product pages and checkout must show the same currency that you use in the feed. For example, if you submit a feed with South African Rand (ZAR) then all the prices on your site must also be in South African Rand (ZAR).

Shipping: All shipping prices must also be in South African Rand (ZAR).

Taxes: Where possible include local duties and taxes to ensure smooth and quick delivery of your products to South Africa.

Legal: Ensure your site is fully compliant with Local South African ecommerce Terms of Service and Returns policies.

Checkout: You’ll need to have a checkout that can process payment in South African Rand (ZAR).

Find out how to automate the store localization process with our translation plug & play solution.

How to localize your Google Shopping campaigns for South Africa?

As a business partner of Google, Glopal enables merchants across Shopify, Magento, and BigCommerce platforms, to scale their international sales through Google Shopping. Glopal’s simple Plug & Play solution takes care of all aspects of store localization to ensure that your international product feeds are compliant with Google Shopping Ads requirements.

Glopal’s pricing model is simple and easy-to-understand. We have a “Free forever” plan that enables full access to our Google Shopping solution as well as a “Pro” plan with custom features for advanced merchants.

Google Shopping in South Africa - International Marketing
Google Shopping in South Africa - International Marketing


Find out how to improve the
Return on Ad Spend of your campaigns