A business’s online retail requirements differ greatly to those of the average, single consumer, making the choice of retailer a more complex affair.

Even if a business isn’t placing bulk orders for dozens or hundreds of items, the stock availability, price and shipping times are crucial as there are always tight deadlines to meet and impatient customers to satisfy.

A delay in a package’s to arrival, or extra costs incurred on a large order can make a world of difference, and these considerations need to be taken into account before a business decides to use the services of an online retailer over those of a brick and mortar store.

In the online sector Takealot dominated in our survey, winning 55.9% of the vote. While this margin is huge, it’s not difficult to see why when looking at this site’s history. When Takealot first started they not only offered very competitive pricing, but also a low threshold for free delivery, very enticing daily deals, and specials that were only available on the app.

While these benefits have waned over the years, it was enough to cement Takealot as the go-to online retailer around the country, for both consumers and businesses.

The site’s huge selection in office supplies and tech must have been a huge factor in the win here too, and the constant sales, which seem to always appear on the front page must have helped too.

Makro’s online store landed in second place with 7,8% of the vote, and Evetech third with 6,9%.

If you need supplies for your work immediately, a physical store is usually the way to go, and here Makro jumps from second place to first with 32.4% of the vote.

Makro is the gold standard when it comes to the big-box stores in South Africa. From the great prices to the solid delivery, Makro is always a good choice when you need just about anything.

This store’s wide range of products also helped it claim victory here, as second and third place (Incredible Connection at 22.5% and DionWired at 16.7%) specialise in technology. If you’re making the effort to go and buy something, the ability to do extra shopping (for work or personal needs) is always a huge plus.

Makro’s second place in the online category also shows that this company gives their customers what they need on both fronts, meaning you can’t go too wrong when it comes to the giant. Hopefully in 2018 we can see some other companies challen ging these two, but it will be difficult to match their prices and offerings given their size.