Despite the tough economic times, or perhaps because of them, South Africans shopped up a storm on Black Friday this year, with a total spend of R6 billion – exceeding retailers’ expectations.
“Black Friday did not disappoint,” says Solly Bellingan, head of customer relations at BankservAfrica.
According to Bellingan, South Africans took advantage of the day’s special deals with in-store and online transaction volumes reflecting strong year-on-year growth.
International buyers were not left out and made their mark along with local shoppers. The highest single-purchase amount spent was by an international company that made a hospitality purchase online for R10 067 400.
Read: US retailers see biggest-ever Cyber Monday after record online Black Friday
Automated clearing house BankservAfrica says it processed 7 077 117 transactions for brick-and-mortar and online stores combined – a 36% increase from last year. This translated into total spend of R6 billion, an impressive 106% increase on the R2.9 billion spent in 2018.
Pumpkin hour start for many
BankservAfrica says it seems bargain hunters decided to get the best deals early, with a 33% year-on-year increase in sales at midnight this year.
It says the 12-hour period between 06:00 and 18:00 was busiest, with similar volumes being processed each hour. Peak hour proved to be between 10:00 and 11:00, when 595 792 transactions were processed.
Read: Black Friday: Buying all the things you didn’t know you needed
Another payment service provider, DPO Southern Africa, says better-prepared shoppers started shopping from Monday, with transactions increasing by 50% each day.
For this payments processor, peak shopping took place from 9:00 to 10:00 on Black Friday, with total sales volumes spiking 400% compared to a normal day.
Online retail store One Day Only says in 2018 most of the shopping was done at 06:00, 8:00, 11:00 and 15:00. But this year shoppers were at it “all the time”, with the biggest peaks at midnight, 6:00 and in the afternoon. During lunchtime, it sold 18 times more units than on an average lunchtime deal.
Cyber Monday failed to keep up
BankservAfrica says Cyber Monday was less active than Black Friday, with 42% growth taking online transactions up to 249 908 from 176 595 in 2018.
In both years, most of the transactions took place between 10:00 to 11:00, with the most expensive purchase this year being just shy of R2 million.
“This year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday data mirrors the global data of record-breaking sales – and the BankservAfrica-featured figures are only a portion of the entire sales figures for both days,” says Bellingan.
“It will be interesting to see if these manage to outpace festive season spend this year.”