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SPARK Media’s ROOTS research gives us unparalleled access to trends over time, allowing us to see and predict changes in consumer behaviour at both a national and local level.

Having conducted in-depth interviews with over 18 200 women from a diverse range of communities, ROOTS 2019 found that appliance and electronics shopping has increased by almost 50% over the past three years.

An upward growth trajectory since 2016

Large appliances

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National average



Highest area

50% Mamelodi, PTA

78% Athlone, CPT

Lowest area

1% Sea Point/Camps Bay & Knysna

11% Moot, PTA


Small appliances




National average



Highest area

68% Mamelodi, PTA

83% White River

Lowest area

1% Knysna

28% Constantia/Hout Bay, CPT


Computers & accessories




National average



Highest area

27% Overport, DBN

72% Midrand

Lowest area

0% Alberton & Mamelodi

7% Protea Soweto


The more finely grained the data, the more valuable the insights

These findings also underscore that while national statistics might paint an informative picture at the macro-level, it’s the area by area focus that holds significant insights into how women are living, what their needs are and what they’re willing to spend money on.

Residential living circumstances impact considerably on appliance and electronics purchases

For example, Midrand has seen a boom in apartment residency rates, with much of the property appealing to young professionals sharing accommodation to lessen the burden of rent.

These individuals prioritise smaller sized appliances and home electronics to maximise space savings. Compact and portable devices are preferred.

A large family that shares a space in Soweto, by contrast, determines size primarily by the amount of people the appliance needs to serve on a regular basis.

Life span of products

Another significant consideration when trying to predict possible spending patterns is confidence in future income and employment. In economically uncertain times, electronics and appliances are increasingly looked at as longer term investments.

Fostering a new buying culture

The 2019 sample is one that has become accustomed to Black Friday, which only started gaining traction in 2016. It is plausible that the annual sale has fostered a new buying culture: i.e. a tangible goal that comes round once a year and can be saved towards.

SPARK Media’s ROOTS 2019

Want to know more about South African women in their capacity as consumers? ROOTS 2019 is an indispensable source of reliable and accurate information for marketing and business decision makers.

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