A Mastercard study on consumer spending has revealed that nearly 80% Kenyan consumers involved in the survey are shopping more online since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Data, apparel, healthcare, banking and other FMCG (Fast-Moving Consumer Goods) have experienced a surge in online activity. An overwhelming 92% of consumers in Kenya said they had paid for data top-ups online, 67% for clothing and over 56% said they had bought computers and other equipment.

According to findings from the study, social media has emerged as the main platform for finding the most attractive products and offers. 78% and 56% of respondents added they had discovered new sellers through media platforms Facebook and Instagram respectively. In fact, 80% of typical in-store customers said they spend hours searching different sites to find the best deals online.

While adapting to the new way of living, people have been changing the way they consume entertainment and learn new skills. 71% of the respondents said they had taken a virtual cooking class, 30% have been mastering a new language and 43% have been learning online dancing.

“In this post-COVID world, we are seeing an undisputable transformation in the way everyday transactions are being conducted. As people increasingly lean on e-commerce for their shopping, businesses who will remain relevant must ensure their customers continue to enjoy a safe, convenient and secure experience when shopping with them. At Mastercard, we are leveraging our network, insights, technology and partnerships with fin-techs, banks and other key players across Kenya to support businesses as they make thee most of this new reality and optimize to thrive”, said Kari Tukur, Vice President, Products, Sub Saharan Africa, Mastercard.

With 77% of consumers now managing their banking needs online, 68% have stated that a secure checkout was fundamental for a good shopping experience.

To advance these efforts, Mastercard has rolled out its technology across the region, to encrypt consumer data by replacing card numbers with digital tokens. This prevents improper usage at any other location, to provide additional security for consumers and merchants alike, hence minimizing online fraud.