Help us understand how South Africans are spending

3 mins
Back to all posts

If you’re a regular reader of this newsletter, you might have noticed that we’ve been asking you to complete some 22seven Insights consumer surveys. Thanks to everyone who took part and congrats to the four winners who each received a R500 boost to their income!

What's the purpose of these surveys?

22seven is a free app. We earn money through 22seven Insights – the market research wing of our business. Insights publishes research based on completely anonymised, aggregated data from 22seven users. In other words, we help retailers and companies better understand where groups of users are spending, without ever sharing details of any individual user. Your personal data is safe, but the companies can better understand how people like you are spending, which in turn will hopefully enable them to deliver better service.

Give us an example...

Earlier this year, we analysed the spending of a group of 22seven users to help investors and media companies understand the shift from DStv to streaming services like Netflix. The results clearly showed that Netflix had won a significant share of the market over the past three years.

But not all our clients agreed. Some said that the true cost of Netflix – which is much cheaper than most DStv packages – should also include the cost of home internet. We had a hunch this wasn’t true because an internet connection at home is so much more than just a pipeline for streaming the latest shows.

But Insights isn’t about hunches. We wanted data to validate this theory, so we did a survey. The overwhelming response was that users would still pay for home internet even if they cancelled streaming, suggesting that home internet is something of a ‘sunk cost’, in the same way that you wouldn’t stop paying for electricity just because you stopped using your toaster. (Yes, comparisons to electricity in South Africa are sensitive, but we hope you get our point!)

Another example is clothing retail. Insights has been warning retailers that Shein – the online-only Chinese retailer – has been growing extremely quickly over the past 18 months. In some segments of the market, our data shows that Shein is larger than many well-known retail brands even though it basically didn’t exist here before 2021.

Again, some clients dismissed these warnings, so we did a survey. We asked you to list the website you go to first when shopping online for clothes and shoes. Shein ranked alongside some of the most established brands in the country – an amazing feat after just two years in the market, and a blaring alarm for the more established fashion retailers…

Sharing is caring

If you find this interesting, please complete this month’s survey! It really helps 22seven know what’s important to you. We promise to share more findings next time.