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Online shopping in SA

Recently a new online store hit the South African market. Room Online aims to showcase the best of local design, bringing South African gems that are often so hard to find, to the fingertips of all homemakers. We chatted to co-founder Anne Bouwer about the store, and the state of online shopping in South Africa. What inspired you to start an online business? Natasha Stone and I started our online store because we believe web-based retail is definitely the new way to shop. It’s quick, easy and accessible. We really liked the idea of taking South African design talent, which can be elusive, to the customer’s doorstep at the click of a button. Has online shopping taken off in South Africa? We are definitely seeing a surge in online shops and retailers offering an online shopping option. However, we think that there is still a lot of education that needs to be done with South African consumers because, although they are happy to browse online, they are still quite reluctant to actually purchase items online. What are the most popular products in your store? We have a number of items that seem to fly off the shelves. These include wooden cake stands from Goet, ceramic wear from Love Milo and the dainty earrings made by Starbright Girl. Mia Widlake’s collection is also very popular and we have just about sold out of our cotton summer pyjamas by Cloth Clothing. Look out for the winter collection… Are all your products local? Absolutely! There is an abundance of local talent on our doorstep just waiting to be showcased, so why look elsewhere? What is the philosophy behind the store? We are proudly South African and we LOVE South African design. We believe it rivals international design in every way and we are committed to providing a retail space where local talent is accessible and attainable. We want to encourage people to support our local designers and choose homegrown products over imports. To browse and shop at Room Online, visit